The sun was beating down on the Gorge and the wind was sweeping dangerously through the canyon- but walking into the Sasquatch! Music Festival this year was magical to say the very least. It was apparent that things were going to get crazy with this year's genre spanning lineup - including everybody from The Cure to Four Tet, from Mac Demarco to Major Lazer, Speedy Ortiz to A$ap Rocky.
Day 1 started out with Seattle group Grace Love & The True Loves, and from there on, the day got increasingly wild. Watching the sun set behind rapper Vince Staples left the whole Gorge in awe. "LIFT ME UP!" he chanted, intensely staring into the middle of the crowd. Vince Staples was easily one of the most unexpectedly bonkers sets of the weekend. The bar was set high - and the night was just beginning.
Later that evening, the main stage was abuzz with hungry rap fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the man who famously stated "I love bad bitches, that's my fuckin' problem." A$ap's set time came and went, and for a moment there was talk of him not showing up to perform. 45 minutes late - the lights went down and the rapper went absolutely wild. Cannons shot out mass amounts of confetti - in the form of $100 bills with the late rapper and friend of Rocky, A$ap Yams. The restless and angry masses were once again on his side - and the night went on without a hitch. (Although somebody might want to check and make sure that A$ap Rocky's clock isn't 45 minutes off... or something.)
On Day 2, everybody was in good shape, maybe some of us were a little sore (depending on how hard you headbanged and bounced around to Disclosure the night before). Saturday's must-see act was definitely La Luz, who took the stage and drew in every passerby like a surf punk magnet.
Just as the lack of sleep, body aches, and dehydration started to hit everybody like a ton of bricks, Ty Segall & The Muggers staggered to the stage. "ARE YOU GUYS PARTYING? OR WHAT??" Ty screamed, causing a tidal wave of applause and laughter. It was about halfway through their set that the alt rocker whipped out the infamous baby mask. "MAMA? MAMA?" he jeered at the audience. The confusing mix of terror and amazement is what made this quite possibly the performance of the weekend.
Next up, Shannon & The Clams basically ripped the tiny Yeti stage apart with Shannon's powerful vocals and thunderous guitar. If you were experiencing any semblance of exhaustion, seeing S&TC woke you right up. Later that night, M83 wasted no time pumping up the party. The duo were welcomed to the main stage by roars of applause, and they played an amazing set - which subsequently was the perfect leeway into the debaucherous rave that Major Lazer put on after them - and let us not forget about John C. Reilly's confusingly hilarious opening monologue as Dr. Steve Brule for the EDM powerhouse.
Day 3 went something like: wake up, stretch sore arms above your head and try to remember what it's like to have a mattress to sleep on. The wind was stronger than ever. Camping shades were being bent and manhandled by the wind left and right. There was nowhere to hide. The only option was to head to the festival and revel in the fact that today's lineup boasted Tacocat, Houndmouth, Saint Motel, Summer Cannibals, Frightened Rabbit, Yo La Tengo, Leon Bridges, Bully, Mac Demarco, Alabama Shakes, Purity Ring, The Cure, and Big Grams. Just to... name a few. A carefree walk down the hill towards the Sasquatch stage would unfortunately result in a security guard blocking off the entrance and learn that the the first few acts were cancelled due to high winds. Seattle rockers Tacocat were one of the bands that got shafted by this debacle. Thankfully they were able to be rescheduled for a different time on another stage. One of the main highlights of the day was Mac Demarco. The slow, delicate guitar calmed everybody down until Mac crowd surfed and started the party. The ear to ear smiles and laughter coming from the crowd made Mac possibly the best comedy act of the festival.
The wind was still causing acts to be cancelled. Leon Bridges was affected by the weather and cancelled. He got very crafty and soon every readerboard in the venue read "GO TO THE HILL AT 8:15." Hoards of curious twenty somethings dragged their dusty Vans to the hill and sat down waiting for something to happen. Leon Bridges arrived with raw determination and an acoustic guitar, and stood in the middle of a sea of bodies to play. As far as performances, it was hard to hear if you weren't one of the lucky people within touching distance of Leon. Though, it was absolutely one of the most beautiful sights to witness.
Shortly thereafter,the main stage was back in business in time for Alabama Shakes to tear down the house, and prepare the crowd for The Cure. The Cure were captivating from the moment they walked on. Their 2 and 1/2 hour long set seemed to fly by faster than you could think back to the days of eating lunch in your car, blasting Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. That night, nobody was ready for what Big Grams had in store for the festival. The set featured a mixture of original songs, as well as mashups of both Phantogram and Outkast songs.
Day 4. Monday. Extreme exhaustion and throbbing headaches really make last night's steady stream of Modelos and overpriced IPAs seem like a bad call. Monday's lineup boasted Thunderpussy, Childbirth, The Internet, Julia Holter, the queen of weird herself - Grimes, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Sufjan Stevens, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Florence & The Machine, and Jamie xx. All the pain of bad decisions past melted away as soon as Thunderpussy started ripping apart the stage. The day really began to take off when Grimes and her crew of eccentric ladies appeared. Hearing and seeing her scream to the sky over and over was somehow the very opposite of annoying and repetitive. It was intoxicating to say the least.
The extremely "out there" set by Grimes got out-weirded soon thereafter by Mr. Sufjan Stevens. Sufjan is known for having insanely great live shows and it isn't hard to see why. The screen behind him was an unpredictable mashup of nature scenes and colorful patterns. He put on wings and had his whole band in crazy costumes. An unforgettable night - and great build-up to the main event: Florence & The Machine. Florence looked like a woodland fairy the way she hopped around onstage - and she most definitely has one of the most powerful voices of all time. At one point, she leaped offstage and into the front row, holding hands with ravenous fans who clung to her like she was their closest friend. To close out the night, Jamie xx hyped everybody back up. He didn't say even one word - he was there to provide everybody with their last dance party of the weekend. Beer cans clinked and people wrapped their arms around one another in the somber last moments of his performance.
Sasquatch 2016 was one for the books, an unforgettably fun time for music fans of all kinds.
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With the sun about to set both literally and metaphorically at Sasquatch! Music Festival on Sunday, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard brought their electric sound to the Yeti stage, immediately riling the crowd into a massive mosh pit that wouldn’t subside until the band left the stage. The gr...