Sasquatch, or my week at “hippie fest”

May 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

One of my childhood best friends and I share similar tastes in music, so when the Sasquatch line-up came out I semi-jokingly posted it on his wall saying something like, “WE HAVE TO GO TO THIS.”

I didn’t think we actually would, especially since it was in the faraway unknown land of Washington state. I’ve heard references to Seattle in Portlandia, but that was the extent of my knowledge of the pacific northwest. By the way – if you tell someone from Portland that you, “just love Portlandia!,” they’ll roll their eyes at you and walk away.

Somehow, mostly through the expert planning and organization of my friend (thanks, Joe!), we ended up at the gorge in George, Washington. My dad, my friends, my aunt, my co-workers, EVERYONE that I mentioned the trip to, bid me farewell with the phrase, “have fun at your hippie fest.” I think they imagined I was flying off to Burning Man.

Here’s a little taste of what the gorge looked like:

As the wuss of a Texan that I am, I spent most of the time wearing three layers tucked up in my blanket, but there were a few glorious moments when the sun came out and warmed my southern heart.

Look how happy I am. Right after this picture I fell asleep hard for a good hour or so. Hooray for sunshine and naps in the grass!

The lineup is what drew us to Sasquatch and it certainly did not disappoint. While I obsessively listened to most of the bands going prior to our trip, there’s something mind-blowing about hearing a group live and experiencing the personality (and the quirks) behind the music.

Without further ado, I’ll share a little about some of my favorite groups.

St. Vincent – This quirky songstress was my favorite performer of the entire festival. I started listening to her a while ago, but found her mellow tracks best for the office and for putting me to sleep. I told Joe that her show would probably be super chill and we could just sit back and listen. She wasn’t mellow at all on stage. She was mesmerizing. At one point she crowd surfed while still hitting every note. And then she played a moog synthesizer. This girl was incredible. Fun fact courtesy of my friend who hangs out with musicians on the reg: St. Vincent was part of The Polyphonic Spree for a while, which is why she unconsciously falls into some of their strange quirks every now and then.

Little Dragon – Ridiculously fun, this group is another that practically exploded live. The Swedish-Japanese singer Yukimi Nagano is adorable and had the audience dancing like three-year-olds.

The Civil Wars – My awesome friend Emily took me with her to see the Civil Wars at the ACL taping a few months ago. I still owe her my first born for this. They were fantastic both in the Moody Theater and at the gorge. While I loved staring intently at them the first time around in an intimate setting, I equally enjoyed lying on my back in the grass with my eyes closed on the hill. She’s very pregnant and they won’t be playing any shows for a while, but when they’re back in business I highly, highly recommend that you check them out. Sadly, they aren’t married to each other and they won’t be popping out the most perfect baby ever. [Crushing dreams everywhere, I know]

Because not everything is perfect, there are a few bands that I need to pick on for just a minute. Please don’t tar and feather me if you love these groups, as we all have different tastes and we can all still be friends.

Metric – Yessh, y’all love Metric. Everyone does. I don’t find Metric all that fascinating, but because music festivals are about compromise and experiencing bands with your friends, I jumped right along with the audience of drunk 19-year-olds. My main peeve with Metric was that they came out all arrogant and haughty, acting like they were too good to be playing in such a fantastic venue. Almost all of the other performers were incredibly humble and seemed taken aback by how fortunate they were to play at the gorge. Not Metric. They screwed up their set, not once, but TWICE. Karma police, baby.

Jack White – Me: Who’s Jack White? Joe: You’re joking. Me: No, really, who is Jack White? Joe: Have you heard of the White Stripes? Seven Nation Army? Me: [Annoyed Look]

Anyways, I obviously didn’t know who Jack White was and once I heard him live, I could have done without his headache-inducing voice. I’m trying to be a hipster, y’all, and there isn’t any room for actual rock stars. (Kidding, totally kidding about that hipster thing. Kind of. Mostly).

Feed Me – WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET OVER THIS ELECTRONIC DANCE CRAP?

Now back to bands that I just loved.

The Staves – We all have an obsession with the Brits. If a British guy proposed to me tomorrow, I’d say yes. I’d hop on a boat (do they still take boats to England?) and suffer through the cold and the rain. Anyone know a handsomish British man they could set me up with? Teeth are normally my “thing,” but maybe we could work past that. So, yes – the Staves. Three adorable British sisters with sarcastic little jokes and the sweetest songs you’ll ever enjoy. They’re opening for Bon Iver right now and if you don’t trust my judgment, you should trust his.

Childish Gambino – As I quickly approach my 23rd birthday, I’m moving more toward card games and movie nights, but I can still appreciate a sweaty, crowded dance party for all that it has to offer. While we were standing in the giant pit of people, I made friends with some Canadian girls who then thought our new friendship meant they could stroke my hair and get their armpits all over me while we were dancing. I’m not going to make a generalization about Canadians based on this one experience, I’m sure deodorant is sold and used on a regular basis up there. Throw your own dance party in your room to Childish Gambino. While you won’t exactly feel super sexy, you’ll feel tough and sometimes that’s better.

A few others who deserve a shout out: Explosions in the Sky, Beirut, Grouplove, Gary Clark Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (I was at the Do512 party where he played during SXSW, but never made it to see him play. My friends M&M got me into a VIP room with free sushi and other delights and I just didn’t want to leave the fried rice), Bon Iver, Tycho, Pickwick, etc.

If you ever get the chance to go to Sasquatch, I think you’ll love it. Unless you’re over the age of 25. Then you’ll just feel old, but the music will still be good and the view will still be gorgeous (pun intended, I heard this joke 80,000,000 times over the weekend).

Who’s going to Free Press Summer Fest this weekend? Come find me!

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