Photo by Renee McMahon
It's become sometime of a tradition for Sasquatch! to book a local band whose had an exceptionally good year to open the main stage. Blue Scholars had the honors in 2006, The Saturday Knights last year. This, and the strong emphasis on Northwest acts (Throw Me the Statue, David Bazan, DCFC...) is what, on its face, sets the festival apart from acts like the new Pemberton Fest in B.C., Coachella in California, and Bonnaroo in Tennessee.
The problem with the set is that it's early. People are stumbling in. Waiting in line. Setting up their camp site. Noon is not the most opportune time to catch a band hours from town. And as much as I like The Saturday Knights and Blue Scholars, their music not meant for the early morning sun.
Fleet Foxes were more than up for the task this morning. In less than a year, Robin Pecknold and his boys have climbed from a little known club act to national buzz band, darlings of Pitchfork, and a SXSW hit.Their four-part harmonies, disheveled mops of hair, and '60s rock overtures, backed by clouded blue sky proved to be the finest opening Sasquatch! set in recent memory. The experience was not compromised by the overwhelming setting, rather it was enhanced by it. The crowd was small but ravenous. Pecknold's banter with the front rows gave the set an intimate feel.