At nearly every day of any festival, there’s an artist who’s set time becomes a casualty to equipment changeover delays, and on Friday, that artist was Phosphorescent. But maybe it was a blessing in disguise, because those who waited through the nearly 20-minute delay at Sasquatch were rewarded with one of the day’s best sets from the charismatic Matt Houck and his bandmates. Of course, it helps when you’ve got an album as terrific as last year’s standout Muchacho, but Houck and co. made those songs feel more even more vital when performing them in more organic, often more muscular arrangements. Playing a Muchacho-heavy set, the band loosely followed the studio versions of those songs, augmenting lengthier songs like “The Quotidian Beasts” or “Terror in the Canyons” with extended instrumental movements and solos. Pulling a play from the metal playbook and sporting a Phosphorescent t-shirt, Houck served more as a bandleader than a proper frontman, often ceding the spotlight to his bandmates to stay back and keep the rhythm in between verses. There was one exception to that pattern though, and that was “Song For Zula”, brilliantly (if unintentionally) played against the evening sun and the climax of the band’s set. For six blissful minutes, Houck’s rich voice led “Song For Zula” to sweep over the Bigfoot stage, forming one of the weekend’s “you had to be there” moments and part of a highly rewarding set from one of the hardest touring bands of the moment.
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