Sasquatch 2014, Day 1: Mary Lambert

Sasquatch, Local Music, Live Reviews
05/23/2014
Jacob Webb
photos by Matthew Thompson

Appropriately, the artist that opened Sasquatch 2014 was part of one of the key sets of Sasquatch 2013. When Mary Lambert made an appearance to sing the chorus of "Same Love", it was one of a number of peaks in Macklemore's triumphant headlining set last year. In her Friday afternoon mainstage set, she felt like a star of her own, carrying a confidence that prevented her from being labelled as merely "the 'Same Love; hook girl". It's been a big 12 months since she last stood on the Sasquatch stage, and she knows it: "Oh yeah. I just played at the White House," she nonchalantly remarked with a smile. "That was cool." Lambert's music is undoubtedly moving, both thematically and melodically, but there's a solemness to it that makes her an unexpected choice to start the weekend. However, Lambert knows this – "I know it's heavy, but this is some shit that needs to be talked about" – and her radiant, charming stage presence helps offset the gravity of her art. For every poetry reading or spoken word interlude, there was a smile, an off-hand comment referencing SNL sketches, or a Wheatus cover to keep her from becoming the dour musical counterpart to the afternoon's overcast weather. But that's the point – the festival could've picked a more directly crowdpleasing artist, but Lambert's performance had a depth that belied the relatively short length of her career, and experiencing that was the most fitting opening to a festival as well-rounded as Sasquatch.

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