Sasquatch! Saturday: Shabazz Palaces, and the Festival's First Seriously Disappointing Set

Renee McMahon
Shabazz Palaces played the Sasquatch! Music Festival on Saturday, May 29 at the Gorge. Check back with Reverb all weekend for news and notes from the festival.
Who: Shabazz Palaces

When: Noon(ish), Saturday, May 29

Where: Sasquatch! Mainstage

"The beat will always save us."

-- Shabazz Palaces

I really didn't expect to take a turn for the hate this early, but if you were one of the 20,000 or so people who did not make it to Shabazz Palaces much anticipated show opener on Saturday, don't beat yourself up.

Shabazz Palaces don't get out much, and they should. Their pulse-shaking beats mashed up with and African drums, maracas, congas and a mbira -- a plucky, melodic percussion instrument -- make some of the most exciting hip hop -- or any genre of music, for that matter -- coming out of Seattle right now. But at this point, Shabazz -- who perform sparingly -- know their way around the recording studio far better than a stage.

MC Ishmael Butler, of Digable Planets fame, spent the bulk of his noon(ish) set hunched over his laptop and synthesizer, only occasionally venturing out in front to engage the crowd. And far too many of the sounds coming off stage were ripped directly from the album, only to be augmented with rhymes and percussion. It was a surprisingly unimaginative set from a band who otherwise appears to have ideas and creativity in spades.

Check back all weekend long for Reverb's coverage of Sasquatch! 2010. And see how you can contribute to our coverage.

Renee McMahon

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