Iâ€™m still recovering. Sasquatch kicked ass and kicked my ass. The lineup was impressive. The backdrop at the Gorge Amp is breathtaking.
Friday was my big day: I was most excited about Nine Inch Nails (NIN to the real fans) and Bauhaus. Forgetting to bring my black eyeliner, I settled for my I <3 KEXP t-shirt and multi-colored hair.
The Australian psych-rock trio, Wolfmother, took to the mainstage at 4pm. It was the beginning of â€œUpright Hairâ€ bands to come. A term Iâ€™ve coined specifically for Sasquatch and possibly for all the indie rock â€œhairâ€ bands going forward. Spread the word(s). Soon even my mom will throw the term as simple as referencing â€œGreyâ€™s Anatomy.â€
Andrew Stockdale, Wolfmotherâ€™s lead singer and guitarist, donned a cape at one point. I expected him to take flight, either via invisible suspension ropes or using his Upright Hair powers. A very entertaining set indeed. Iâ€™m addicted to their cd and have converted many former Black Sabbath listeners into loyal fans.
NIN. Flashback to 1991. My head was shaved up to the bone on the back of my head. I wore my black t-shirt with an embroidered NIN with pride and a short black mini. Pretty Hate Machine is still one of my all-time favorite cds.
Flashforward to 2006, I removed myself from the fastest, ever-growing pit within the first song. Guess I wasnâ€™t so diehard. The excitement ended when I saw a newly transformed Trent Reznor, who was now a long-lost, softcore twin of Henry Rollins. Never imagined him as a â€œbeefcake.â€ Where was the frail man (boy) I had grown to love? I believe heâ€™d been trampled on long ago.
Quick Friday roundup: Bauhaus. Peter Murphy and co. still have it. It was complete with Peter showing his flexibility, reminiscent to his solo release, â€œDeepâ€ album cover.
I missed TV on the Radio but last I saw, the lead singer, Tunde Adebimpe, he fell into the Upright Hair League.
The Trucks, an all-girl punk band from Bellingham/Seattle charmed the crowd. Stand out song: â€œMan Voiceâ€ — offset the singerâ€™s extremely sweet girlie voice with her alter-egoâ€™s rough, manly voice.
That night, I contemplated how much I enjoyed camping under the stars and breathing fresh air â€“ not surrounding by smoke-filled air past 25 feet. All was well until I woke up bitterly cold, soaked from head to toes (especially my toes) with a drenched sleeping bag. My friends and I thought weâ€™d peed ourselves. I was ready to go home. I was too old for this. Instead we battled the elements or they battled us.
Saturday (O Hail, MudFest!): Ben Bridwell and Mat Brooke, formerly of Carissaâ€™s Wierd (sic), are now reincarnated as Band of Horses. I love telling people â€œI remember when they were just â€˜Horsesâ€™â€ after theyâ€™d opened for Iron & Wine. First exposure.
My favorite local band performed a flawed set as usual. I believe restarting songs is very common as it happened practically every performance. Building up to more of a flawless version is so worth the wait.
You canâ€™t help but smile as Ben cheerfully plugs away song after song. Their last two songs slowly brought the rain. Maybe it was a sign from above how beautiful their music really is. Okay, thatâ€™s way too deep a sentiment for me to believe.
One question: Where is Mat? Did he just record the album?
Best song: â€œThe Funeralâ€ especially when restarted twice.
After moving the party inside for a drink, I didnâ€™t realize a Rockstar lounge could be my shelter. The hail started barreling down on concert-goers during my brave new friends, the Constantinesâ€™ set. Surprising how many people didnâ€™t take cover but instead continuously threw hard punches into the air. An inflatable Santa from Sufjanâ€™s set danced amongst the crowd. The dwindling crowd, massive hail and determined rock band created an explosive, driving energy. Wow! I was speechless for once and captured a video moment on my ever-present camera. Iâ€™m thinking about having the video feature built into my wrist permanently.
Quick Saturday roundup: As always entertaining, Rogue Wave (their drummer and sometimes guitarist belongs to the Upright Hair Club).
Publish My Love – (MP3)
Sufjan Stevens: He sang the â€œStar-Spangled Banner.â€ How patriotic can one be? He wins the yellow ribbon for patriotism and has my vote for his presidential race in 2008.
Gomez: One of the best harmonizing bands around.
The Shins: Provide yet another sassy sing-along.
Onsite fan conversion: I am a new fan of Architecture in Helsinki. Fun fun fun!
A weather and Ben Harper-delayed set from The Flaming Lips couldnâ€™t make me forget how freakinâ€™ cold I was. Theyâ€™re so much fun live, complete with dancing aliens and Santas but it was nothing new. A close-up camera shot of Wayneâ€™s face scared me, while his Jaws-teethed nun made me laugh so hard I snorted my expensive, fruity Jack Danielsâ€™ malt beverage.
Sunday: My attention span was dwindling. My warm bed called out to me from 2 Â½ hours away. My music reviews grew quicker, shorter. â€œBrevity is the soul of wit.â€
The Decemberists: Colin Meloy is the best lyricist and surpasses Morrissey. Definitely not as doom and gloom a theme as Mozâ€™s life. During the final song, â€œChimbley Sweep,â€ Colin lightly touched each band member on the shoulder, sending them into a sleep-like trance. He whispered â€œtheyâ€™re only sleeping.â€ I was fearful that their unconsciousness was the end to the Decemberists.
The Engine Driver – (MP3)
His sincere words put my fears at ease. They soon awoke and finished the song joyfully. All was well at the Gorge.
All quick reviews… Pretty Girls Make Graves: Lead singer, Andrea Zollo has an entrancing stage presence. Sad I missed â€œThe Nocturnalâ€ but life went on regardless.
The Nocturnal – (MP3)
We are Scientists: A very talented, and mind you â€“ cute, band. I could start a â€˜hole nother band list based on facial hair. Add it to my long list.
Iâ€™m never disappointed with Nada Surf and Death Cab for Cutie.
Official Blow-Me-Away Sasquatch performance: Jamie Lidell. A one-man laptop/mini Moog/mixinâ€™ soul singer originally from England. Heâ€™s touring with Beck and will return to Seattle for Bumbershoot. Please donâ€™t miss him. Donâ€™t do it.
Overall Sasquatch was very well organized. The campgrounds never ran out of toilet paper. The VIP lounge (AKA the VIPeeee) consistently had seat covers. Life was good. I was content. My wish list for next yearâ€™s festival: Sushi. Spicy tuna rolls would suffice. Hell, Iâ€™d even settle for edible food. High hopes I know.
Overheard at Sasquatch: From Ben of Band of Horses during soundcheck in reference to the windscreen – â€œIâ€™ll try not to â€˜psstâ€™ and â€˜tsstâ€™ too much.â€
Drunk guy, and oh so profound: â€œEnjoy the beauty. Expect the storm.â€
Random guy I passed on the way to the mainstage: â€œMaybe I shouldnâ€™t be so liberal.â€
The Mud Guy, covered from head to toe in slimey mud, while ordering a couple brewskis: â€œCan I have a napkin?â€
My friend: â€œWhat hill did you go down?â€
MG: The walkway. Only me and one other guy made it all the way down.â€
All Canadians in attendance: â€œLetâ€™s go Oilers.â€ (I did watch some of the game in my downtime.)
Feel free to email me your thoughts and experiences no matter how muddied your memories are: Shannon@kexp.org.