The 10th annual Sasquatch! Music Festival opened with a half day on Friday, May 27, 2011. Here's what we learned. Check back for lessons learned the hard way all weekend.
Renee McMahon Kids doing kid things inside the Sasquatch! Banana Tent, which features DJs, hip-hop, and electronic music through Monday.
1. The price of cigarettes is climbing toward $9 a pack. This twice-a-year habit is getting expensive.
2. Yes, leaving your ID at the courtesy counter at North Bend's Safeway is just as inconvenient as it sounds.
3. Friday felt like the first day of summer camp: You come with some friends, see a few people you only see once a year, tell a few dirty jokes, and every tries to avoid getting gonorrhea (some more than others).
4. There are two types of Sasquatch! attendees: Those who dress for a trip to Miami Beach and those who pack for a day at Alki. The realistic set wins every time. It's cold even before the sun goes down.
5. That doesn't mean your lips won't burn before you pass through the gates. Guard your kisser during the hour wait between the exit for the Gorge and the turnstile.
Renee McMahon Doing kid things on the Gorge's lawn.
6. Packing Friday with the fest's most aggressive rock acts was a genius move on the part of Adam Zacks and the Sasquatch! crew. The crowd was positively electric at 7 p.m., and ready to party. Iron & Wine would not have gone over nearly as well as Death From Above 1979's punishing two-man synth-rock.
8. There was a general feeling of: Oh, hey, let's get there early and set up camp, drink the first case of High Life, and wander down and catch the Foo Fighters. It doesn't feel so much like day one of the festival, but like entertainment after the campers pitched their tents.
10. The garbage bag/tarp/eyesore that debuted in 2010 is back covering the stage.
11. That being said, when the sun starts to set behind the stage and the Columbia River, you couldn't imagine a more picturesque venue if you wanted to (and you don't).
12. Hipster headdresses are back, and they're just offensive and insensitive as they were last year. *My companion, however, contends that they're not hipsters, they're college kids ... OK, well, brown M&M, green M&M ...
13. Hipster headdresses are second to face paint as the most popular form of desecrating Native Americans' heritage. It's officially out of control.
14. Sasquatch! fans are easy to please. "Best fucking deign ever, man," said one man while admiring the portable trough/porta-potty. At least, I'm assuming he was admiring the trough.
15. Outdoor festivals are one of the last places in the state in which a person can smoke and drink at the same time while in public. But at $9 a pack and $12 a beer, it's an expensive hobby.
17. This purple, grape-margarita stain is never coming out of my jeans.
18. As bad as that sounds, it's nothing compared to the troubles afflicted to the man who thought it a good time in his life to buy a grape margarita. You know who you are.
19. Foo Fighers are the archetype for a smart, modern, arena-rock band: hedonism has never felt so vindicated.