Leading up to festival date, Sasquatch 2018 looked promising, and boy did it deliver. Amongst some notable changes in festival budgeting, this year’s Sasquatch shook things up by choosing to allocate a greater deal of funds to a concentrated supply of PNW-inspired indie rock. While Sasquatch didn’t include the usual concentration of electronic artists and comedians, the days still seemed packed and generally more geared toward attracting a wider range of patrons, from the all-day goer to night-only audience members. During the hot peaks of the day, families and early-risers could be seen lounging on the hill listening to talented and, notably quite emotional acts such as Benjamin Clementine, Julien Baker, (Sandy) Alex G, and many more.
For those in the day-crowd who still had the energy to party, they were joined by the classic Sasquatch night-goers to acts both emotional and dancy alike. While headlining acts Modest Mouse, Bon Iver and The National played the mid-late night sets, acts more akin to an active crowd like Vince Staples, Tyler, the Creator, and Anderson .Paak and the Nationals sandwiched their sets to keep spirits high. While this year had MANY festival highlights, read about a few top picks of mine below.
The Garden, day one: this duo from Orange County, California brought an awe-inspiring level of energy to the sluggish heat of day one, (while wearing winter coats?) While their recorded music is complex and loud, this twin brother band recreated the energy and fullness of their recorded tracks with an added flair for live performance. One hell of a show.
David Byrne, day one: perhaps my favorite set of the weekend, David Byrne and his ‘marching band’ played a variety of Talking Heads greatest hits and crowd pleasers in a way that was both involved and tasteful. David Byrne ended his set with a cover of the Janelle Monáe song “Hell You Talmbout” in which the band shouted and repeated the names of those lost to police and state violence in our country.
Thuderpussy, day one: local favorites Thunderpussy celebrated the release of their debut self-titled (out via Columbia Records) last Saturday with a performance at Sasquatch. Filled with their regular sexy bass licks and vocal wowing, Thunderpussy is a dependable highlight at any festival at which they’re performing.
Tyler, the Creator, day one: to top off a very full first day of music, Tyler the Creator brought a wildly excited crowd to hysterics with an energy-provoking and elaborate set appearing to be inspired by the outdoors. Before asking the crowd why they weren’t in bed yet, Tyler proceeded to wake up even those lost in deep Justin Vernon-provoked reverie.
(Sandy) Alex G, day three: Alex played a good variety of his sadboi (the proper spelling) folk tunes to a surprisingly small, albeit committed crowd of fans. While there were less people at his set than one might expect, almost every fan could be seen singing along to every song from the louder and more aggressive “Brick” to the crowd requested “Mary.” If you were looking out for him on Sunday, Alex could be found roaming the grounds and listening to his fellow Sunday performers.
Japanese Breakfast, day three: a natural performer, Michelle Zauner combines a unique charisma with a genuine personal appeal and unfathomable talent. Michelle exudes the attitude of genuine gratefulness for her fans and those willing to check out her show. She played a variety of songs off Soft Sounds from Another Planet and her 2015 release Psychopomp, even throwing in a Cranberries cover.
Sasquatch organizers took a different direction this year; and although some fans may have been disappointed in the lack of comedy and electronic acts, the lineup seemed much more planned to fit the weather and attract a more well-rounded crowd. I’m sunburnt and tired, so I guess ‘Squatch did its job.