You saw some of our photos and coverage from day 1, right? Well, now here is the rest of our 2010 Sasquatch! Music Festival coverage.
…So as I mentioned in our previous post about day one, I had just seen Minus the Bear and Portugal. The Man perform early in the day.
After Portugal, I hiked on over to the Esurance Yeti Stage to meet up with Deb and Victoria to catch Victoria’s recommendation of the day: The Middle East. At this point, I had only known Victoria for 24 hours, but somehow managed to trust her judgment on the very important matter that is musical taste. This turned out to be one of the best decisions of the day. The Middle East drew a suprisingly large crowd and blew me away with their set. Their mellow, laid back tunes with occasional outbursts of fun craziness were exactly what we needed for a good mid-day break. After snapping a few photos, we sat at the front of the stage and zoned out to their mezmerizing music for the entire length of their flawless set. If you haven’t heard them, check them out ASAP – it’s hard to be dissapointed by music like this.
After some lunch and a little break to dump photos on to the laptop, we caught The Lonely Forest at around 5:30. These local guys (Anacortes) seemed pretty humbled by the fact they were playing at Sasquatch! but still managed to rock their set without an issue. They brought a great crowd to the stage – even bigger than I expected to see for some of the more well-known acts. By the way, their drummer was rad. If you live in Seattle, catching a Lonely Forest show soon shouldn’t be a problem for you.
As tired as we were at this point, we headed over to the Mainstage to hang out on the lawn and watch The National. As we walked over, we caught the tail-end of Broken Social Scene, who where wrapping up their set with hundreds of dancing fans all around us.
We found a decent spot on the lawn a great distance from the stage and sat down to enjoy the show. Soon, Matt Berninger and the rest of the band were out on stage. Berninger reportedly has some anxiety issues and is said to have walked off stage in the middle of sets never to return. While that never happened this night, he did seem a bit manic. His energy served well at fueling the crowd’s excitement as he kicked down mic stands, wandered to the edge of the stage at every opportunity, and especially so when he walked off the stage and in to the crowd, not missing a note as he wandered through the crowd and back to the stage. We were a bit far from the stage to get any good photos, so we took a self portrait instead. I promise, we were watching The National when this shot was taken:
After a long day, we headed back to camp to sleep it off for day two.
I started day two in the press trailer attempting to update R’Ville with the happenings from day one, but discovered the internet was down. There was no sense in wasting any time, so I plugged in all the electronics for charging and headed over to the mainstage to hang out side-stage for The Long Winters. I think the Gorge spends a lot of money on stage lighting.
It was unfortunate The Long Winters played so early at the huge mainstage. Apparently most of those in attendance for the sold out festival were still sleeping off hangovers at 2:00 p.m. Despite the relatively small crowd, John Rodderick and crew managed to pull off a killer set, ending with a fantastic cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey”. Most of the youngsters in the front row had no clue what they were hearing as Rodderick danced around on stage joyfully, but there were more than a few in the crowd singing along, including a crazy man waving a Canadian flag.
I decided to skip They Might Be Giants so I could watch Tune-Yards at one of the side stages. Singer Merrill Garbus was a blast to watch as she switched up instruments along side Nate Brenner on bass, sampling her own voice and screaming along to create some truly unique music. They even brought out a sax at one point to really make things interesting. Apparently I wasn’t the only one excited about the Tune-Yards performance. Not only was the crowd decently sized, but one girl in the crowd couldn’t help herself from reaching as far as she could over the crowd barrier, screaming things like, “I love you, Merrill Garbus!!!”. Or, “You’re so beautiful, Merrill Garbus!”, and “I just cried soooo HARD!!”. Although the music was really good, and Merrill Garbus may be beautiful, I have to admit, I didn’t do a whole lot of crying.
Freelance Whales were next on my list of bands to see at Sasquatch!. They played shortly after Tune-Yards on one of the smaller stages, though they probably deserved a larger stage. I’d been listening to the Freelance Whales’ newest album, Weathervanes everyday during the week before Sasquatch! and had become pretty much addicted to their spry, catchy sound that combines indie with a little bluegrass banjo. The five bandmates put on a smooth set, opening with their catchiest song, “Hannah”. Stay tuned for my interview with Freelance Whales on day three.
I managed to catch a few minutes of Seattle locals Vetiver before heading over to check out LCD Soundsystem at the mainstage. This was the point in the weekend where I begain to feel the effects of festival life. Peanut butter for every meal and five hours of sleep don’t make for the best note-taking. I’m sure they put on a great set. I honestly wasn’t paying much attention when I snapped these shots:
If anything was going to pull me out of my festival funk, LCD Soundsystem was it. The party was already started by the time the mainstage came in to view as I came over the hill from the Yeti Stage. It was as if the entire place had suddenly turned in to one huge dance party. It looked as though everyone who had a ticket to the festival was dancing along to James Murphy’s chanting/singing insanity. All I could think to do was take photos of the crowd’s crazy antics. They were by far the rowdiest group of fans of the weekend, and LCD’s set was one of the most energetic, right next to The National. As I was walking down one of the pathways around the amphitheater to get more photos, a guy with a bloody paper towel covering his face passed me, his bloody nose most likely the result of a dance party gone wrong. I was then approached by a drunk man in cowboy garb who asked if I wanted to make him famous. I told him I would like nothing better and took his photo. Now he’s famous. Not as famous as LCD Soundsystem will be for hosting the best party of Sasquatch! weekend, but famous enough, I suppose.
Dirty Projectors were up at 8:15 p.m. on the larger of the two side stages. I’d never listened to them much before, but was confident they would put on a good show. Good show, indeed. I didn’t stick around for the entire set since I had a few things to take care of before Public Enemy hit the stage at 9:45 p.m.
The final show of day two was probably the best of the weekend, if you ask me. Flava Flav, Chuck D, and the rest of the Public Enemy drew a huge crowd to the smaller side stage they played on. Their set began right after Pavement, who had just played the mainstage, exclaiming at one point in their set, “It’s good to be here opening for Public Enemy”. It was sarcasm, but also true – there was a huge rush of people after Pavement finished. I’ll admit, I was much more interested in watching Public Enemy than Pavement or Massive Attack. About five minutes in to the show, the sound starting cutting out intermittently – most likely due to the light rain that had begun to fall- and groups of people began leaving the stage. Once enough people left, the sound started working again, and I worked my way up to the crowd barrier where I was able to grab a few clear shots of the performance. Highlights included performances of “Fight the Power”, “911 is a Joke”, and Flava Flav rocking a beat on the drums while Chuck D performed “Timebomb”. To see such a legendary group perform such a solid set was truly one of those things I don’t think I could live without seeing. And how old are these guys now? 50? Yep. They sounded as good as ever and had just as much energy as I imagine they ever did at 25.
I kicked off the final day of Sasquatch! the only way anyone in their right mind should have: Watching Portland boys, Jaguar Love tear apart a stage. Apparently there weren’t many people in their right mind that day, because only a surprisingly small number of festival-goers showed up. Such is the problem with playing the first time slot of the day at noon. Regardless of the turnout, Johnny Whitney didn’t hold back an ounce of his usual energy on stage. His flailing and dancing is a necessary part of any Jaguar Love show and pairs extremely well with his unique, high-energy vocal style. Watching a band with a little more energy, who plays a little louder than the usual indie acts of the festival was a bit of a relief for me. It was a great set that I wouldn’t have missed for any other show that weekend (OK, well maybe Public Enemy…) and as soon as I got home, I put their album straight in to my CD player.
I ran down to the mainstage soon after Jaguar Love finished and was just in time to catch Austrailan band, The Temper Trap ending their set with their hit song, “Sweet Disposition”. The huge crowd was going nuts as frontman Dougy Mandagi made his way to the front row and stood atop the crowd barrier to belt out the lyrics with near perfection.
After eating some free ice cream from the Ice Cream Man while checking out an amazing view of the Columbia River gorge from backstage with a couple of rad new Seattle photog friends, it was time for a some good local hip hop.
I’ve lived in Seattle for nearly a year and have been becoming increasingly familiar with the hip hop scene here. I’ve never had a chance to catch a Fresh Espresso show, so as soon as I saw they were on at 3:00, I headed over their stage. The crowd was impressively large for a local hip hop act a predominantly indie-rock festival, and everyone seemed extremely excited to be there for Fresh Espresso, including the fifteen-or-so photographers who were there. I was not dissapointed in the least. Not only are Psmoov, Rik Rude, and Terry Radjaw amazingly talented, but they have the energy and fun attitude that anyone can appreciate in a live performance.
Once Fresh Espresso was about to wrap up, I took someone’s advice on checking out Quasi. Not a bad band, but I shouldn’t have left Fresh Espresso to check them out. They rocked pretty hard and were pretty fun to shoot photos of, so I snapped a few shots and took off to check out someone else.
Telekinesis was the final band I saw that day. Not particularily the band I wanted to end the weekend with, but unfortunately, there were some unforseen circumstances that lead to our early departure. We were all a bit bummed, but we did what we had to and helped rationalize our situation by acknowledging our fatigue-induced delerium and extreme dirtiness. Anyhow, Telekinesis put on a great set and I don’t regret at all having seen them.
Until next year…Thank you, Gorge Amphitheatre for all of your amazingness and a huge thank you to all who make Sasquatch! happen every year. It was a truly incredible experience. Also, I wouldn’t have even been there if it weren’t for these two amazing new friends:
Deb and Victoria, who gave me a ride to Sasquatch!, shared their campsite, and made endless “your mom” jokes throughout the weekend.