I want to tell you about a small tree at the Gorge. I don't know what kind it is, but it's small, strong, and perfectly planted -- along with a row of others -- atop the Gorge lawn.
Renee McMahon The last should be first!!!
At Sasquatch! 2011, I got to know this tree well. Every evening during last year's festival, after several hours walking/running/huffing between stages, I caught a little relief, parked it under the tree, and allowed myself to take in a seated set of mainstage entertainment, relaxing my back against the unnaturally strong trunk of this up-and-comer.
What made this tree special from all the rest is that it was always vacant. It was all mine, all the time. Until Monday, the fourth day of Sasquatch! I arrived at the tree early that day, as the long weekend had taken its toll. I was shocked, and disappointed to discover that my tree had become the equivalent of some homeless hipster encampment.
Look, four-day festivals are great, but the laws of physics, pocketbooks, and PowerBars dictate that we, as humans -- even chemically-enhanced humans -- are more exhausted at the end of a long weekend in the sun than at its onset. This is why it's F^CKING INSANE that the best day of Sasquatch! is its last, and that Beck, its biggest headliner (Jack White's new album is a monument to meh; Beck's new cover of "I Only Have Eyes For You" is sublime), doesn't go on until 10 p.m. on the final night of the festival, while FRIDAY, the day when everyone has the most energy, is a tasteful disappointment (we want to see Mark Lanegan and Pretty Lights, but the day could use more ... BECK!).
Why is it that the best band -- OK, the biggest band, the one more people want to see than any other -- has to go on last? Why can't the band that the most people want to see go on at a time when most people want to be at the festival?!?!?!?!Alright, now, before you accuse me of BEING OLD AND LAMEFAO, take a look at yourself. It's not just those of us eager to get home to their 18-month-old babies that are eying an early exit. Monday at Sasquatch! is like some post-apocalyptic field of hangovers and diaper rash. Nobody is standing around thinking, "Oh, man, I'm so glad Beck's going on LAST! I'm so glad I DON'T HAVE TO DRIVE HOME AND GO TO WORK TOMORROW!"
Don't believe me? Remember the tree! Remember how many people left during Wilco last year? They didn't want to leave during Wilco. "Everyone" wanted to see Wilco. But they left because they'd been at the Gorge for three nights and were tired! People get tired. It happens every year. That's why there's an exodus before the last headliner EVERY YEAR.
Would it be so terrible for, say, Beck to go on at 7? And if people really wanted to see Silversun Pickups and Tenacious (seriously, what year is this?) D, they can hang around with the other half-lifes. Remember Sasquatch! Vol. 1? Ben Harper was the second-to-last act, and there was a massive exodus before The String Cheese Incident. FINE! The Cheeseheads wanted to be rid of the Harper fans anyway! It was a great set! People who wanted to see it, saw it. And those who came for the biggest name of the night got to head back to their campfires and wine coolers early. What's wrong with that!?!?!
I brought this up with Sasquatch! founder/booker/mother Adam Zacks a few weeks ago, and he gently told me to suck it up and not be so LAMEFAO.
Fine. But Pretty Lights' Friday-night set had been be really effing spectacular. And you'd better secure Sugar-Free Red Bull as your exclusive Monday-night partner so we can all stay awake for the drive home to Seattle -- or the rally back to the campground.
BTW, if you want to see the day-by-day, hour-by-hour Sasquatch! schedule, it's right here.