Rocket Queen: Sasquatch! Bands Not to Miss ... After the Show

Recommendations for those heading to the Gorge, and those staying home.

This year's rich Sasquatch! lineup resulted in a record-setting sellout for promoter Adam Zacks' nationally recognized Memorial Day weekend festival. Consequently, a lot of locals are distraught about being shut out of the party at the Gorge. Thankfully, many of the big names will return to the area later this summer—if you don't have tickets, here are the acts you'll have a second chance at:

THE HOLD STEADY Saturday, 7 p.m. Bigfoot Stage. Next Local Show: Aug. 18, Showbox at the Market.

They may be treading water creatively on their latest, Heaven Is Whenever, but verbose, enigmatic band leader Craig Finn and guitarist Tad Kubler never fail to deliver stellar sets of Springsteen-esque proportions, and they shine particularly brightly in the context of outdoor festivals.

PAVEMENT Sunday, 8:30 p.m., Sasquatch Stage. Next Local Show: Sept. 5, the Paramount.

The last time many Seattleites saw Pavement was on this very stage during their 1994 Lollapalooza turn. Few bands from the '90s embody the now-mangled term "indie rock" with as much shambolic grace as Stephen Malkmus and company, so embrace your slacker nostalgia and watch everyone lose their minds when they bust out "Summer Babe."

THE HEAVY Monday, noon, Sasquatch Stage. Next Local Show: Opening for Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at Showbox at the Market on June 21.

This English soul band is kicking out some of the sexiest jams this side of Curtis Mayfield, but they're still relatively undiscovered on the West Coast. Frontman Kelvin Swaby's silken voice will be the perfect way to ease into the festival's final day.

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS Monday, 8:20 p.m., Bigfoot Stage. Next Local Shows: July 31 and Aug. 1, Showbox at the Market.

Witnessing a New Pornographers set is like watching a team of Olympic athletes onstage. Co-frontmen Carl Newman and Dan Bejar certainly know their way around a pop song, structurally speaking, but it's their invariably flawless execution that makes their live shows so riveting. Co-vocalist Neko Case also seems to cut loose here much more than she does in a solo capacity, and the whole spectacle feels like a sun-soaked dance party.

Other Sasquatch acts playing additional dates in Seattle include The National (Sept. 11 at Marymoor Park), Vampire Weekend (Aug. 29, Marymoor Theater), Caribou (playing Neumos two days prior to Sasquatch, on Thurs., May 27; see the Short List), and Minus the Bear (July 17, Showbox at the Market). The xx will also be announcing a fall Seattle date shortly. Also, if you're good with anagrams, a quick study of the Crocodile's calendar for Wed., May 26 (the Newton Girls), and Mon., May 31 (Rad Snafu) will reveal a couple of Sasquatch! bands who are playing under faux monikers.

If you are fortunate enough to be heading to Central Washington, here's whom you definitely don't want to miss, as they do not have future Seattle dates booked at this point:

Shabazz Palaces Saturday, 12:05 p.m., Sasquatch Stage. Shabazz frontman Ishmael Butler is as elusive as he is charismatic, and there's no doubt he's the reigning king of Seattle's hip-hop scene. It's unfortunate that his set time is so early in the day, because a lot of attendees will likely still be in their cars when he takes the stage. Considering how rarely Shabazz plays out, it's worth heading east early to watch him command the mainstage.

My Morning Jacket Saturday, 10 p.m., Sasquatch Stage. There really couldn't be a more idyllic setting to take in My Morning Jacket. Watching the sun set against the backdrop of the Gorge is always a highlight of seeing shows there, and in this case it'll make the perfect opening credits for a sure-to-be-epic performance of Jim James' psychedelia and country-tinged guitar rock.

LCD Soundsystem Sunday, 7 p.m., Sasquatch Stage. Whether it's the result of diminishing returns since electronica mastermind James Murphy hit his high-water mark with 2008's Sound of Silver, or simply a desire to move on to a new project, LCD Soundsystem's latest, This Is Happening, will be their last. "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" is probably one of the best dance-floor anthems of the 21st century, and Murphy has no other dates booked in the Northwest for the rest of 2010, so don't miss what is likely your only opportunity to hear him drop those iconic beats one last time.

Massive Attack Sunday, 10:15 p.m., Sasquatch Stage. The return of this aptly named electronic duo couldn't be more triumphant; Heligoland was well worth the seven-year wait after 2003's 100th Window. The Bristol, England–based trip-hop pioneers are getting rave reviews from the road thus far, and their elaborate stage show will no doubt zap you back awake if the day has started to take its toll.

rocketqueen@seattleweekly.com

 
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