May 31, 2010 at 6:37am
SUNDAY RECAP AND MONDAY PREVIEW >>>
There's nothing easy about the Sasquatch! Music Festival. They make you work for it.
First and foremost - don't believe anyone that tells you different; the Gorge is in The Middle of Fucking Nowhere. The view is spectacular, of course - and there's really nothing in the world like sitting on that hill watching an awe inspiring band dwarfed by the awe of Mother Nature. But come on. Facts are facts. People wouldn't spend much time here if it wasn't for the amphitheatre - and for good reason. It's not comfortable. It's the Middle of Fucking Nowhere, and beer costs $11.
Sunday, however, was a good reminder that the Gorge isn't just hard on the drunken masses - it's hard on the drunken artists too. As a reunited, aged Pavement struggled through their set to what seemed like half the number of bodies that'd packed the main stage just moments earlier for LCD Soundsystem - the prevailing vibe of the festival so far being that of good times, getting-drunk, and-raving out in The Middle of Fucking Nowhere, not checking out bands known by people born prior to 1990 - you were reminded of this. Pedals malfunctioned. Stephen Malkmus - who was either a little drunk or more aloof AND COOLER THAN FUCKING EVER - stopped songs on at least two occasions, cussing and apologizing to the crowd in the process. A rare old man standing next to me - in the sea of youth that is Sasquatch! - got visibly frustrated, yelling "Come on!" the second time Malkmus halted. Most in the crowd, however, just felt sorry for Pavement. Something tells me that's not how they planned it.
On the Honda Bigfoot Solar Stage, Public Enemy met a similar, technically difficult, fate - though Chuck D and Flava Flav were far from aloof. Though it's difficult to call being in the presence of two of the most important bands of a generation, in The Middle of Fucking Nowhere of all places, a letdown - it's hard to classify yesterday's Pavement and Public Enemy sets as anything but - though both acts did have redeeming moments.
The weather cooled Sunday, not that it was incredibly hot on Saturday - but the drop in temperature and the clouds overhead seemed to have a calming effect on the youthful, half-naked, face painted youth. The overall vibe was less belligerent, and people had more clothes on. These were both positive developments.
Other highlights, you ask?
LCD Soundsystem doesn't blow my skirt up, but I've never seen the Gorge dance as one like it did when the band held down the main stage - and I once went to a Phish show (though only for the hallucinogens). It was an impressive sight.
Carrying on the electronically infatuated theme, The xx drew one of the bigger crowds of the day - droning and buzzing on the Bigfoot stage as afternoon worked its way into evening. On a day that included LCD Soundsystem and Massive Attack, you would assume The xx benefited to some extent - but it could just as easily be hypothesized that the massive swirl of hype around the band has thoroughly made its way to the masses.
Finally, tUnE-YarDs - which is basically just one talented woman, Merrill Garbus, working out her musical, tribal demons - laid down what was easily one of the most captivating sets of the festival. Tossing chanting, vocal loops on top of electric ukulele and a whole lot of low-fi, experimental - technology meets rock in a warm, real way - charisma, Garbus and tUnE-YarDs definitely made new fans Sunday. Halfway through the set, Garbus admitted it was her first Sasquatch! - and her first major festival.
She then admitted to having a shitload of fun - a fact already obvious to those smart enough to be paying attention her.
The Day-Glo facepaint and headbands should be out in force with MGMT in the house, but let us not forget Ween, The New Pornographers and Band of Horses - not to mention Jaguar Love (straight off their Tacoma show at The Den), Temper Trap, Quasi and Dr. Dog.
It's enough to make a guy wish he was 22 again, didn't have to work on Tuesday, and owned more neon clothing.
LINK: Sasquatch! Day One Recap
LINK: Sasquatch! Preview
Off duty rules.
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