Unless you were sleeping under a rock, you are well aware that Sasquatch was this past weekend at the Gorge. Thousands of people flooded through Ellensburg and those heading out to a weekend of epic music included a handful of DJs from 88.1 The ‘Burg. Highlights of the festival included M.I.A., Band of Skulls, Chance the Rapper, really the list could go on and on. Here’s our DJs favorite acts of the weekend.
The Mountain Man - I am still experiencing reverberating feelings of shock and awe from the epic-ness that was the Sasquatch weekend. Last weekend was my first time both at The Gorge and attending a music festival of such magnitude. My expectations were completely blown away in so many different ways, which makes choosing just one performance as the best of the weekend so difficult. While I had an amazing time seeing a bunch of different artists, some I never even heard of, I got to say that Queens of the Stone Age stole the show.
After waiting for over an hour I managed to secure a front row, dead-center spot at the main stage and it proved to be the best seat in the house. When Queens came out, they opened with, “You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar But I Feel Like A Millionaire,” getting the crowd energized and pumped up! I am so glad their set-list contained a lot of songs from their Songs For The Deaf album. During the entire show I had the biggest smile and just rocked out in the mosh pit. To cap off an already stellar performance, they ended with an extended version of my favorite song that I was waiting and hoping for the whole time: “Song For The Dead”… Words cannot describe how incredible it truly was; it’s something you just have to experience for yourself. In short, Queens of the Stone Age: simply amazing.
P-Lo - Outkast was by far my favorite performance of the Sasquatch trip. They played all of the hits Outkast has to offer which brought me back to my childhood. In the beginning of the show the duo came out on stage in a cube which projected different images on all sides of it. Andre 3000 was outfitted in a jump suit that said “everything is temporary” and had a “for sale” tag hanging off of the side of him. Big Boi wore his usual flashy big chain attire and still was talking about how much he loves Cadillac’s. This was the first time I had ever seen Outkast and I did not know what to expect but they did not disappoint. My favorite part of the show had to be when they performed “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” one. They only performed a little of the song with Sleepy Brown but that song really brought me back to high school when my friends and I would listen to Outkast and in particular, that song all the time. Overall the energy was high, the expectations were high and they did not fall short of anything in their performance!
Gracie-Lou – I was already stoked to see HAIM, one of my favorite up and coming bands but the three sisters blew me away. The opening of their act was pure gold. The first six seconds of “Falling,” repeated over and over again until I couldn’t stand it any more and was screaming for the trio to get the eff on the stage. Este, the bass playing sister, had bass face the whole time, Danielle shredded like no other and Alana, the youngest sis, was the most diverse instrumentalist, switched between drums, guitar and keyboard while stomping around the stage. The sisters had potty mouths, sass, and flare while not appearing to be cocky or overly into themselves. The whole time they were performing I wanted to be them…so bad. At one point, Este stopped the show and asked the crowd to pretend we were at a BBQ with them in their backyard and that they were going to jam with us like they do at home. And boy did they. I was not ready for that kind of soloing. The sisters weren’t afraid to bang on their drums and get down and dirty on the guitars. HAIM ended the show with all three sisters wailing on turned over bass drums. That sort of finale was the perfect climax that left myself and the crowd begging for more. HAIM rocked harder than any other group I saw at Sasquatch, and that says a lot.
Collin the Office Guy – In all honesty, I had some doubts about the Sasquatch Music Festival. I am a wimp, I predicated I would be miserably sunburnt and delirious. I was completely and unequivocally incorrect. If anything justified the money I spent on the wristband it was Banks. Banks I often describe as “an edgier older Lorde.” I was determined to make it to the front. I left behind my companions and caught the tail end of Demetri Martin just for that sweet stage spot. And oh it was so sweet! And out she came. In all black ensemble of black tank and wrap around skirt she entered and let it out. I learned later she had some audio mixing issues, but from where I was it was absolutely flawless. Her live singing had a delicate tremble to it which only increased the emotional vulnerability. The vibes at her show were the best of the festival.
Banks’s music is about accepting your emotional trauma and feeling every emotion to its fullest and forgiving yourself. It is a success when an artist gets the audience on the same page. She did. Everyone around me was just swaying and linking arms. The best part was during her performance of “Change.” Change is a song of hers, up until that point, I had liked but was not one I visited often. The live version changed that definitively. It was a rapturous moment for myself. I did not know I was crying until the girl next to me reached up to wipe a tear off my check. “don’t cry, it’s ok,” she said. I was not crying because I was sad, well, I was so sad at how beautiful the song and performance was. It was the highlight of the Sasquatch Music Festival for moi.
The Sparrow – Asking someone to pick their favorite show this weekend would be like choosing a favorite child; and yet, one show stood out to me as being the most fun I’d had at a concert in years. On Sunday I happened upon a modest crowd that had gathered around the Bigfoot stage. Black Joe Lewis, a blues-rock guitarist from Austin, Texas, stood with his sleek black-on-red guitar and a fierce look in his eyes. He was backed by a small brass band and a phenomenal blues drummer, who helped lock in the groove tight. As Black Joe Lewis shredded some seriously bluesy guitar riffs, I was reminded of past guitar idols like Jimi Hendrix or Lenny Kravitz, who commanded your full attention with their swaggering charisma. As the show heated up, I felt an uncontrollable urge to dance like a maniac. Near the front of the crowd was a growing mosh pit of revelry, kicking up plenty of dust ( though no one seemed to mind). It felt as if the entire crowd was moving as one, stricken by the undeniable glee brought on by the band’s unique blend of blues, soul and jam rock. When it was finally over, I felt as if I’d gone back to a time to when a band’s success came solely from their ability to get your body moving. It was an incredible feeling, and I will never forget it.
Chuck Taylor – One part weird, two parts obscene, and a dash of dance party. Die Antwoord became the best non-rock act I’ve ever seen, this last weekend at Sasquatch. DJ Hi-Tek, Yolandi, and the Ninja make up the South African electronic hip-hop group known for intense live performances. With high anticipation, I left the Friday headliner Outkast early and was lucky enough to be front and center for the entire show. They not only scared me, but made me dance my ass off. The beats were incredible, the sound quality and raps from Ninja were flawless, and Yolandi was spectacular in every way.
Their high intensity raps, along with enough bass to kill a child, was more than enough to get everybody moving. Dancers, lazers, and hilarious crowd work kept me entertained from midnight to almost 2 a.m. At one point Ninja jumped over my head into the crowd catching maybe 40 people off guard, sending them all onto the floor in a mess of bodies. Later he did a front flip into the crowd, but we caught him.The lights, the obscenity, and Yolandi make up for an act that is impossible to forget.
Sasquatch 2014 did not disappoint. We’re already looking forward to the 2015 line-up. Will there be four days again? Will ticket prices continue to rise? Whatever does happen, you can bet there will be a few Burgers there to tell you all about it.