CK’s Sasquatch! Festival recap: Saturday
TK and I spent this past weekend at the gorgeous Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA, taking in the Sasquatch! Music Festival. Over the next few days, we’ll be dissecting the festival in all its grandeur right here at CKTK. We also tweeted hard, so look back at our Twitter feed for those to-the-minute observations. Heck, you should be following @CKTKmusic anyway; this is a good excuse.
Anyway, you’re probably here for some hard-hitting analysis, right? Here’s my impressions of every band we at least caught a glimpse of on Saturday. I’ll follow this up with analysis of Sunday and Monday, and we’ll have some general and non-music related observations as well. Without further ado…
Fool’s Gold: Part of a Los Angeles-based collective that shares members with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Foreign Born, Fool’s Gold rocked the Yeti stage. They had some sick percussion that drove much of their music – bongos, shakers, modified cymbals and more. The music had a multicultural tint, including some songs written in languages other than English. My observation about their set was that the more ‘into it’ you were, the more fun you had. If you weren’t totally willing to let go to the music, the vocalist could get a bit monotonous.
Mumford & Sons: This London-based group brought a large, energetic crowd to the Bigfoot stage. I was surprised how many people knew every word to every song! They were very tight, and almost every song sounded just like the record (their 2009 debut, Sigh No More). While I would have liked them to push it to another level, this made it easier to determine what the two new songs they played actually sounded like (spoiler alert: they were pretty good!). They rotated through three different drummers, showing their versatility.
Minus the Bear: We didn’t stop by Minus the Bear’s set (I had seen them before and TK had no interest), but we did walk by and hear one song. It sounded like a typical Minus the Bear live show, though: tight and energetic.
The Middle East: We caught a bit of their set while waiting for Patrick Watson to perform. Mumford & Sons said they were going to watch The Middle East, so we figured it’d be a pretty good idea to check them out. We weren’t necessarily wrong, but they weren’t great. The best thing about them was their use of interesting instrumentation: banjo, harmonica, and solid percussion made up for the droning vocals.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: This was one of the most packed shows we saw at the Bigfoot stage all weekend. We wandered over for the beginning of their set, but they didn’t sound good at all. The bass drum dominated everything else as far as we could tell. As we got further away from the stage, it actually sounded better. They especially rocked it on “Home“.
Patrick Watson: One of the great surprises of the weekend, Patrick Watson rocked a very creative set, driven by the talent of his ensemble. His percussionist was one of the best musicians we saw all weekend, and Watson is no slouch himself. I’m not a big fan of his record, but Watson certainly knows how to put on a great show. Every song was better live than on the album.
Broken Social Scene: So far in 2010, Broken Social Scene’s Forgiveness Rock Record is one of my favorite records. I was glad, then, to hear them play a set that was made up of songs from that record and 2002’s You Forgot it in People. The only exceptions were “Fire Eye’d Boy” and “7/4 (Shoreline)” from their self-titled 2005 record. The stripped-down band (which was still 6-8 members strong) put on a solid rock show, driven by Kevin Drew’s positive attitude during stage banter. This was one of my favorite sets of the weekend.
The National: I’m not sure what I expected from The National’s set, but whatever it was, I got more than I bargained for. Vocalist Matt Berninger stumbled around the stage, drinking white wine, kicking over the mic stand, jumping into the crowd, and generally acting like a badass rock star. He completed the set by literally throwing the mic across the stage. The highlights here were anything they played from Boxer as well as the two highlights from this year’s High Violet: “Bloodbuzz Ohio” and “Afraid of Everyone“.
Vampire Weekend: Another one of my favorite sets from the weekend, Vampire Weekend entered to “Everybody Jump,” which got everyone up and dancing. And I mean everyone. We were up on the hill, and it seemed like every girl immediately started grooving. Soon enough, the guys joined in for a joyful dance party unlike anything this side of U.S.E. Lead singer Ezra Koenig was a masterful MC for the party, inserting clever quips between songs. VW was absolutely a perfect band to perform in the coveted sunset time slot. My only complaint was that their keyboardist was a little lost during a couple of songs; other than that, they were tight. The stage banter, time slot, solid performance and crowd involvement actually reminded me quite a bit of Death Cab For Cutie’s 2006 set on the main stage (which I loved).
My Morning Jacket: Unfortunately, TK and I were feeling pretty exhausted / headachey / cold at this point, so we decided to call it a night after only two MMJ songs. They began with a massive intro that didn’t quite end up leading to anything, but their first two songs were rockers. MMJ sounded fantastic, but we just couldn’t quite justify staying. We could, however, hear them from our campsite, and they even sounded great from there.
Filed under: ck, sasquatch, show reviews | 5 Comments
Tags: broken social scene, death cab for cutie, edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros, fool's gold, foreign born, middle east, minus the bear, mumford and sons, my morning jacket, national, patrick watson, u.s.e., vampire weekend
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