Sasquatch Day 2 Wrap Up

May 28, 2011
If one thing can be said about Sasquatch it's that it proves camaraderie isn't dead. If you commit to the full four days of the fest, don't do it alone, though you might make friends with random canadians and wasted college kids along the way, you'll miss out on some valuable bonding time with friends (and even in some rare cases, coworkers) Because without a doubt I can say the highlight of day 2 wasn't any one band, but hanging out at this cool little campsite Redhook had set up, complete with games, free beer, barbecue and a whole lot of ridiculousness. The sun decided to make an appearance and cook us as Harms threw some burgers on the grill and after an impressive display at Flip Cup proved that his UW degree wasn't for nothing (4 years of practice makes you a pro for life I hear). The whole thing was so much fun in fact that we didn't even make it into the gates until 1 (if you do the math I think that puts us at 2 hours of drinking before noon, another Sasquatch must being that sleeping past 8am seems to be absolutely impossible).

Today seemed to start a little earlier for everyone as The Head and the Heart took the stage and played to a surprisingly filled out and completely excited crowd. It's a pretty cool thing when a band can get onstge and talk about how a year ago they were camping with the rest of us douche bags and here they are now, playing to (according to singer Josiah) the biggest crowd they've ever played to. And to put that in quite the context for them immediately after, they joined us in the Redlaser acoustic tent for another killer End Session. Something that will undoubtedly go down as one of the more intimate moments for the group as the continue on their meteoric rise to indie stardom.

Unfortunately one of the acts I was looking forward to the most fell flat, a victim to bad sound and just the wrong atmosphere, Wye Oak didn't feel to me like they delivered with anywhere near the same potency they could have in a small club setting. Which brings to light something important to realize about any festival. In all honesty, festivals aren't the best place to see music at all. A few bands, like the Foo Fighters who were meant to rock enormous stages late in the night to a crowd of thousands bask in the glory of "the music festival" but a lot of the acts who play earlier in the day are great bands who weren't meant to be seen in a sweaty tent in the sunshine, or a food court stage. Festivals are great because it's a way where all the bands who tour year round come together in one place and rather than blowing your weekly food budget on shows, you can just save up for an event like this. But really, if you're a true lover of music. It's worth the extra couple bucks to check out these bands in their natural element when they hit Seattle again, because just cuz a band like Wye Oak didn't connect out here, doesn't mean they aren't heart breakers in the right setting.

The winner of day 2 by far however was recent Sub Pop signet's Washed Out who swooped in and delivered the perfect evening set over at the Banana Shack (which, note to Sasquatch: You gotta make the thing bigger, people love to dance and that thing gets packed). Executing their mastery of the Chill-wave genre they helped pioneer with ease, the band strolled casually through a set of what was (to my knowledge) the Washington debut of their new live band as well as the actual debut of a number of songs from their forthcoming record (which after this it's obvious is clearly going to be awesome). Which also brings to light the important factor to note that a successful set at any festival isn't just about playing a good show and not playing against a far bigger band. It's also about the mood of the sounds and the time of day you're playing. Because after a night of camping and a long day in the sun, there is nothing more perfect to keep the smile on your face than a beautifully timed laid back band to let you recharge your batteries.

The day wound down with a wait for the finish and Death Cab's triumphant return to the Sasquatch mainstage, their first time headlining (they came close a few years ago playing direct support for The Cure). However, we couldn't reach the finish line without sitting through the massive pile of flaming bullsh-t that was Bright Eyes. Normally I try to steer clear of band bashing, and to tell you the truth, the band themselves were pretty good, the musicality of the project is fantastic. But I'll be damned if Conor Oberst couldn't open his mouth without saying the stupidest f-cking sh-t you've ever heard in your life. Whether it was calling the internet "The Pig" and asking if we were all squirming from being disconnected, to talking about being a pacifist and bashing on the whole Osama situation that went down a few weeks ago. The guy could not have been more of a pretentious douche. Not to mention he spent the duration of the set parading around the stage with his hood on, looking more like Eminem than the singer of an indie rock band. Hey buddy, 2004 called, they want Emo back.

Death Cab arrived in classic form. Solid as hell with a brilliantly elegant yet simple light show. Showing up the Foo's who poured truckloads of cash into theirs, and proving that money doesn't buy everything. Kicking things off with "I Will Possess Your Heart" and and weaving through a well thought out mix of old, new, unreleased, and hits. Highlights including "What Sarah Said", "Doors Unlocked and Open" off the new record Codes and Keys (which comes out Tuesday) and of course, without fail, closed out the night with "Transatlanticism". Coming off seeing the band play that intimate Showbox warm-up show, I can definitely say they were much tighter, more focused, and seemed to truly bask in what is obviously a momentous occasion for a Local band to go from a fan to a Headliner in just a little over ten years. Though by the end of the night it was ri-goddamn-diculously freezing, waiting it out till the end was worth it. The perfect note to end the night on before the long trek back to the campgrounds.

Also, I'd still really like my laptop back. Thanks.