The Sasquatch! Festival celebrated its 15th year over Memorial Day Weekend at the Gorge, packed with memorable performances. Even though Sunday was hit with high winds which closed the main stage until Alabama Shakes’ set at 9:00P.M., the festival-goers didn’t let that disrupt their spirits. The fire 3 miles away didn’t cause any problems at the festival, even though we all worried a little.
Leon Bridges found a way to save his cancelled set by inviting everyone to the top hill of the lawn to play an acoustic set during sunset, which made it very memorable and something I’d never witnessed. Against all the bumps in the road though and fear of cancellation, The Cure gracefully took the main stage and made us all so happy.
John C. Reilly was around, and helped introduce a few bands, but most notably Major Lazer as his new show character. They went on to have the largest and liveliest set of the weekend, as we all jumped around to our favorite beats. Big Grams entertained on Bigfoot, even bringing out Momma Grams for a quick tease. Grimes took the main stage on Monday, bringing the party with her, as she jumped between her soundboard, dancing and singing.
Disclosure played their massive hits, closing out the first night on the main stage. Florence of Florence + The Machine danced around the stage like a fairy, mesmerizing everyone around her on the final night. Jamie xx was the last DJ on Bigfoot, playing tunes that were more than beat drops. It was great to hear his selection, making it one of my favorite sets. 2016 was another great year for the festival, as it continued to bring not only larger mainstream acts, but also strong up-and-comers that have the potential to take over the music world.
Here were some of our favorite sets of the weekend:
The duo has taken the world by storm by releasing their debut album last September and playing sold-out shows on their first round touring. The soft harmonies, mellow sound, and shared lead vocals were a crowd favorite on the opening day.
The band took the Yeti stage for a ride on Friday evening as they played songs off their popular debut My Love Is Cool. Ellie Rowsell took advantage of the light wind, which added to the mystic vibe of their sound, blowing her hair softly over her face. This was probably my favorite new find on Friday, as it was my first time catching them.
Another act that I was happy to see on the bill, and when they took El Chupacabra, it was even better than expected. I was one of the lucky people that caught the duo at their sold-out show at the Crocodile last October. After their debut release Sway, they have become one of the most raved-about acts. Samantha Gongol is constantly moving on the stage and interacting with the audience as they move back and forth. Jeremy Lloyd controls the beats and gets so into it that you can’t help but be put in a good mood. Steve Davit, who is featured on the popular tracks playing the saxophone, also helps out with the bass from time to time. They are due to release Act One soon, and I can’t wait for it.
I had heard about Jehnny Beth’s rise as an amazing live performer, but witnessing it on Sunday was a different story. From the very start, she fiercely took the stage and owned it every single second. She walked around with confidence and swagger most performers could only crave. At several points, she jumped down into the pit, stood on the barricades, and even crowd-surfed. She is a force to be reckoned with, and I can’t wait to see their career take off. Adore Life is one of my favorite albums of 2016 so far, and seeing the band live only made me like it more.
We know them, we love them, and on the last day of the festival, our local favorites opened the main stage in what we all knew would be a must-watch show. Molly Sides, Whitney Petty, Leah Julius, and Ruby Dunphy fit right in the scene, making it clear that they have been doing this for a very long time together. They rocked out, and we cheered and screamed in one of the best sets of the weekend. At the end, they even brought their chambongs out, and took a drink as they finished their set.
The most direct and straight-to-the-point band of the festival. Can’t get any better than Julia Shapiro singing with what seems to be the best way apathy could sound. The Seattle supergroup, which also includes Bree McKenna and Stacy Peck, took the Yeti and “Nasty Grrls,” “I Only Fucked You as a Joke”, and “How Do Girls Even Do It,” made us dance and laugh all at the same time.
The high winds closed the main stage on Sunday without any hope in sight, and Saint Motel and Frightened Rabbit got cancelled. Then we heard the good news that at least Tacocat had been rescheduled to El Chubacabra later in the day. The band brought their A-game along with bubbles that they had no problem of relocating. A fun show, full of sarcastic lyrics we all enjoyed, while no sharks came out to dance.
I was very excited to finally catch this band on Friday night at Bigfoot. I always have had a tremendous amount of respect when singers find a way to marry their artistic vision with their sound. Yeasayer have found a way to do this through their carefully-crafted videos, which are original and fresh. I also like the fact that they have a unique lineup, as Chris Keating and Anand Wilder serve as lead singers and songwriters.
The awesome surf band took the Bigfoot stage for a ride on day two of Sasquatch! Singer Shana Cleveland interacted with the crowd as we enjoyed the sunny weather, which fit right in with their sound. Near the end, they passed a disposable camera to their fans and requested they took shots crowd-surfing. That became a very fun sight to watch, as fans grabbed the camera and got lifted in the air taking snaps.
The band played on Sunday as the wind was still very noticeable, but that only made their setup look cooler. Corin Roddick stood in the middle of the stage and used his drumsticks on lights that looked like crystals behind his setup. Vocalist Megan James stood in the front of the catwalk singing while her white coat blew in the wind. Then on each side of the stage were curtain lights that looked like crystals displaying different colors throughout the performance. It was a beautiful sight to behold, and the perfect representation of the colorfulness of Sasquatch! 2016 as a whole.