Okkervil River, on the evening of Saturday, May 24, on the Sasquatch! Wookie Stage. Photo by Chris Kornelis. LOTS more photos and slideshows on the>"/>
Okkervil River, on the evening of Saturday, May 24, on the Sasquatch! Wookie Stage. Photo by Chris Kornelis. LOTS more photos and slideshows on the way.
All in all, today has got to be the most musically satisfying day of Sasquatch! I've ever experienced. Very well curated, and the performances (for the most part) were outstanding. Didn't catch as many sets as I would have liked, and I don't think I caught an ENTIRE set all day. But, fulfilling none the less.
Among the sets I saw that I have not already written about:
Vince Mira & the Roy Kay Trio
When skinny local teenager Vince Mira claimed his position on the Yeti! Stage, he needed only to sing one line from the Johnny Cash songbook to coax the crowd into a frenzy. The all-seated crowd bum-rushed the stage to get a closer look and listen to the kid who – when your eyes are closed -- is a dead ringer for the Man in Black. Very impressive stuff.
The New Pornographers
After a lackluster performance at last year's festival, Neko Case earned a few points back with a energetic set with A.C. Newman's super-geek outfit. Damn, they sounded good.
I've wanted to like Grand Archives since my first listen to their demos last year. We all wanted to. Mat Brooke's post-Band of Horses gig landed a deal with Sub Pop after one show, went on the road with Modest Mouse, and were the indie-rock talk of the town (well, at least in circles of indie rockers who wear their keys on the outside of their pants). Their Bumbershoot set was my first hint the Emperor wasn't wearing any clothes. Their LP should have sealed the deal. Fact is, until this afternoon I'd left a piece of my heart open to the idea that I could get behind a band that sounded like it was made up entirely of pre-pubescent boys. Sorry. Can't do it.
At one point in the set there were at least 50 people on stage. On orders, fans of England's M.I.A. Began crawling over the barricade and onto the stage, where they remained, asses shaking, for a pair of tracks from the artist homeland security determined too dangerous to enter the country for last year's festival. It could have been a stale, wax and mic routine, but M.I.A. worked the crowd into a frenzy the likes of which that dance floor has scarcely seen.
Hell of a show here. I'm relatively new to these guys, but witnessing this incredible performance has kicked my interest into high gear. Covering The Beach Boys' “Sloop John B" was a nice touch.
Modest Mouse & R.E.M.
The mass exodus just before the evening's headliner has been a Sasquatch! staple since the place EMPTIED after Ben Harper, before String Cheese Incident in the fest's inaugural event in 2002. Tonight was no exception. It may have been the drizzle of rain that chased the kids away before R.E.M. I was one of probably 12 people or so in attendance for Mouse's headlining set at Download Fest last August, and from what I could tell, this set was more of the same (plenty of “new” material off We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank; a crowd pleasing run through “Float On,” etc.).
When Michael Stipe wasn't preaching the brilliance of Barack Obama or the evils of George W Bush, R.E.M. Was pimping Accelerate, oft lauded as a comeback record of sorts for the band critics were desperate to resuscitate. (Funny how much quicker we members of the press are to declare a band “back,” than “dead.”) There were some radio-friendly moments too, like “What's the Frequency, Kenneth?,” “Losing My Religion,” and “Daysleeper” (off Up, which I consider the band's most underrated album, and one of the records the band has apparently overcome with Accelerate, which I don't think can even touch Up). As we watched the rain against the stage lights, minutes before the band took the stage, I asked my companion if he though the band would be primadonnas or muscle their way through. They certainly chose the latter. Stipe stripped his feet down to the skin, Peter Buck's scissor kicks were in fine form, and touring guitarist Scott McCaughey took a hard fall just as a walked on stage. Bravo.