Showing posts with label sasquatch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sasquatch. Show all posts

June 10, 2013

Sasquatch 2013: The Good and The Bad


THE GOOD

Once Again, The Acoustic Tent
For the third year in a row, the intimate acoustic tent situated in the middle of the festival grounds, proved its worth. While large festivals rarely offer chances to see your favorite artists up close and personal, Sasquatch sets itself apart with the acoustic tent. If you spin a wheel and win day passes to the tent (you can spin it as many times as you want until tickets run out), you gain entrance into mini-sets performed by some awesome acts! This year, Vampire Weekend, The Tallest Man On Earth, Edward Sharpe, CHVRCHES, and Alt-J all stopped in to give their fans a special experience.


Shovels & Rope
These rambunctious South Carolinians wowed me instantly with their twangy sound that fits somewhere between The Civil Wars and Mumford & Sons, with a healthy dose of barnstorming fun thrown in. The duo sounded like helluva lot more than two people and provided fun for thousands who gathered at the tiny Yeti Stage to catch a peek of indie-twang's newest stars.


Vampire Weekend
I may be late to the party, but I was never particularly excited by the New York prepsters' first two albums. They were pleasant enough, but they didn't capture my attention like their third record has. With their new material, the Vamps mature their sound, leaning more towards rock 'n' roll as opposed to light prep-pop. Along with the recorded improvement in their sound, their live show is now a well-oiled machine of entertainment. They have now proven themselves as one of the premier indie acts of the decade and have a live show to back it up.


Father John Misty
I went into his performance not enthralled with his music, but simply interested. Seeing his hilarious on stage antics led me to believe that Mr. Tillman was truly born in the wrong decade. Aside from the people watching the show through their iPhones, there was nothing to say that this performance did not happen in the 70's. He had all the style and casual charm of a crooner from a bygone era and I couldn't stop smiling.


Robert DeLong
Mr. Delong got the dancing going early on Saturday, enthralling listeners as a truly one-man band. Switching between drum pads, singing, synths, and live drums, he simultaneously looped his own voice and manipulated it using a Wii controller. I was as amazed by the inventive use of technology as by the catchy melodies and infectious beats.


CHVRCHES
My latest musical crush: Lauren Mayberry. The lead singer of this up-and-coming Scottish trio sings honey-sweet tunes over hard-hitting grimy synths and has an adorable accent! She also has the ability to seamlessly transition between The Knife-style weirdness, 80's synth ballads, and Rage Against The Machine covers. What's not to love?


P.O.S.
Going back a few years, P.O.S. was in fact the first act I ever saw at a music festival. And sadly, I was underwhelmed. But this past weekend, the Minnesota rapper earned back my devotion. Mostly running through tracks from his recent We Don't Even Live Here, he spent as much time in the crowd, interacting with the fans as he did on stage. Chatting with the audience (hilariously by the way) showed that Mr. Alexander is perhaps one of the most personable rappers out there. Not even a slippery wet stage and a painful-looking fall could stop everyone from having a great time.

THE NOT SO GOOD



Baths
Baths' debut album Cerulean caught me by surprise, exploring glitchy, ethereal soundscapes that were able to maintain my attention. Unfortunately, with his followup, Obsidian, Will Wiesenfeld, turned a corner and began to focus more on his vocals, often whiny and too straight-forward. At his Sasquatch show, thousands of beat junkies turned up to hopefully hear some of the soothing, intricate tunes he is known for. Little did we know, we would have to wait until about halfway through his set to hear a single track from his heyday. While he was trying hard to plug his new album, fans were streaming out towards something more interesting.


Four Color Zack
I'm not sure what the Sasquatch organizers were trying to do with this one. The Seattle DJ recently won a Red Bull DJ contest catapulting his fame upwards in a matter of days. Maybe it was a deal made with festival sponsor Red Bull, but giving this guy a 2.5 hour set in the Chupacabra tent was far too generous. Sure, maybe he did do well at the contest that he won, but he was clearly not prepared for this, sounding as if a random festival-goer won the chance to open the festival.


Rusko
I'm a big fan of Rusko's music and was eager to hear him close out the weekend in style. Unfortunately, he would turn his bangin' beats down every 30 seconds or so to yell the always important "Let's Go Sasquatch!!" This could have helped pump up the crowd every 10 minutes or so. Instead, his constant commentary only interrupted his flow.

The Food
Other festivals have caught on. Why not you Sasquatch? $13 for a beer? $9 for a frozen chicken wrap? I understand the urge to jack up prices, but can't the food at least be good? Dozens of festivals invite local food trucks and restauranteurs to set up shop for a weekend, and I have no doubt that Seattle has tons of chefs who would be willing to trek out to The Gorge to feed 30,000 hungry fans. I appreciate the addition of the lone food truck: fish 'n' chips and tacos. Hopefully that was a test that proved successful.

May 22, 2013

Sasquatch 2013: Set-Time Conflicts

One of the largest challenges of music festivals is that you can't see every band on the lineup. Unless you want to jump around frantically seeing one or two songs of each artist from the back of the crowd, you are guaranteed to miss some great music. Sasquatch, the greatest festival of the Northwest, has their fair share of set-time conflicts and we are here to offer our help. Here are our suggestions for who to see when the choices get tough. Click the image to zoom in.


You can see the whole Sasquatch day-by-day schedule here.

2013 Sasquatch Festival Guide

For all those Sasquatch rookies out there, here's a little info about the fest, where to be, and what to avoid.

The Acoustic Tent

For the past few years, one of my favorite places has been the Acoustic Tent, situated right in the middle of the festival grounds. Simply by scanning a bar code with your smart phone and entering your e-mail address, you can win access to the tent for the whole day. Many bands, before they perform their full sets, stop by the tent to play for 15 minutes or so to about a hundred lucky fans. I've been able to catch intimate shows from The Decemberists, Alabama Shakes, Givers, Foster The People, Flogging Molly and Fitz and the Tantrums. Keep an eye out this year for how to gain entry. It's well worth your while.

The Walk

For Sasquatch first-timers, keep something in mind. If your favorite band is playing at 1:30, don't leave you tent at 1:25. The walk, from the average camping site into the festival, can take up to 20 minutes in crowds. And that won't be a happy 20 minutes if you miss bands you want to see. Just by entering the festival a little early, you might be surprised by some bands you don't know yet, and you have a greater chance of getting in the prized acoustic tent.

The Stages:

Sasquatch Stage

The Sasquatch Stage, of course, is where the big guys play. This festival has a unique feature here though: the view. While watching any group perform at this stage, you will have the pleasure of seeing the beautiful Columbia River in the background. If you're tired, I recommend setting down a blanket on one of the amphitheater's grassy ledges and camping out to watch great act after great act. For those of you who need to be close to the stage, luckily, the main stage at Sasquatch due to its size and layout, is very easily accessible. It is often very easy to get a great spot for some awesome bands.

Bigfoot Stage

The Bigfoot Stage is the second largest stage at The Gorge, and this year, will host Vampire Weekend, Primus, Empire Of The Sun, Rusko, Grimes, Alt-J, and many more. Situated right near the entrance to the fest, Bigfoot is a great place to catch a glimpse of an act you're unfamiliar with on your way in or out of the grounds.

Yeti Stage

The Yeti Stage is a very intimate stage, which means it is a great place to go if you want a great view of some of the smaller bands on the bill. This year, Killer Mike, Shad, Surfer Blood, Shovels & Rope, Youth Lagoon, and many more will grace this little stage with their presence. 

El Chupacabra

El Chupacabra, formerly known as the Banana Shack, is a large tented stage that is reserved for electronic acts and comedy. The innovative lighting rigs always make it a perfect place to dance the night away and the shade allows attendees to relax if they want to break up the constant music with a few laughs. This year, Steve Aoki, Disclosure, Laidback Luke, Baauer, Baths, Nick Offerman, Mike Birbiglia, and more will pay a visit to the tent. 

Cthulhu

This stage is in its second year in 2013. The sole purpose of the Cthulhu Stage is to get young Northwest hip-hop artists attention. With Seattle hip-hop bigger than ever these days thanks to Macklemore, dozens of other artists are waiting in the wings. Nacho Picasso, Brothers From Another, Knowmads, Tilson XOXO, and other locals will be hoping to build some buzz after their performance at The Gorge.

Most importantly, relax, have fun, and enjoy all the great things Sasquatch has to offer.

May 20, 2013

6 Sasquatch Bands You Need To Hear

CVRCHES
Fiendishly catchy Scottish electro-pop



Wake Owl
Raw Canadian twangy singer/songwriter



Luke Sital-Singh
Immersive, relaxing, British, Bon-Iver like beauty



Indians
Danish psychedelic, folky pop



Odesza
Sunny, summery, smooth electro jams



And don't forget, Up-and-coming Hip-Hop Galore (Like Grieves) at the Cthulhu Stage!



Listen to more Sasquatch artists over at Songza!