Saturday has turned out to be a spectacularly sunny day at the Gorge - not a rain cloud all day long! The line up Saturday of Sasquatch was absolutely stacked (as are the other 2 days, of course). But Saturday was chalk full of bands that lots of different people were excited about, bands from Seattle who are getting ground swell, bands from foreign countries that we rarely get to hear live, bands that are legends of past and legends of present. Everywhere you turned there was something wonderful playing. There really is too much going on to actually cover all of it, but we here at KEXP aim to please - check out our coverage below and some amazing photos of the day.
Those of us who headed in to the festival earlier enough were able to catch American Indie-Rock Group Augustines great set at the Sasquatch stage. Coming on to the stage lead singer Billy McCarthy growled “Sassqquuuaaatchhh!!” grinning the whole time before launching into a set of songs the crowds belted right along with him. The trio recently relocated to Seattle and judging by their warm embrace so early in the day, I think it’s safe to say that the city is welcoming them with open arms. Check out these photos below (Photos by Matthew B. Thompson).
Seattle rock band Dude York took the Narwhal stage a little later this afternoon, and like a big friendly magnet drew people to their crowd. Dude York recently released their debut full length album on Seattle based label Help Yourself. Together with their excellent songs and witty banter they successfully started a a mosh pit at 3 in the afternoon. Singing songs about Seattle’s potholes and that one time boats caught on fire last year in South Lake Union - it felt like they were bringing Seattle to the Gorge this afternoon. Altogether it was super chill and a solid time at the Narwhal stage during their set, I expect we will see much more of their music and charm in the near future. Definitely a band you should get familiar with. Here’s some photos of their set. (Photos by Sally Gray Mahon)
Violent Femmes played Saturday afternoon at the main stage. Back in 2013 from a hiatus they threw down without skipping a beat. The Wisconsin alt rock group known for hits like “Gone Daddy Gone”, “Kiss Off” and “Blister in the Sun” did not disappoint the crowd full of fans of old and also younger fans who maybe didn’t know more of their lesser known tracks but after their set, they were sure to have been more engaged with the band and who they are musically. Gordon Gano, Brian Ritchie, and Brian Viglione together with their backing band members for the show were dynamic and energetic on stage - building off each other’s energy transporting the crowd at the MainStage back to the early 90s for a brief moment enjoying such classic alt rock songs. Here are some photos of the band performing. (Photos by Matthew B. Thompson)
The San Francisco metal band Deafheaven drew a great crowd Saturday afternoon at the Yeti stage. The duo that is Deafheaven in studio, George Clarke and Kerry McCoy, took the stage with their backing band and shredded for an hour nonstop. Lead singer, Clarke, conducting both the audience and the band with clean hand movements - gesturing for cheers, signaling a pause - adding to the anticipation of his next blood-curling scream. Massive crowd surfing ensued, breaking only for the dreamy interludes Deafheaven integrates from their recorded albums to their live set which only adds to their draw. Deafheaven may have been the heaviest band to preform yet this weekend, Clarke stepped out of character for a moment between songs and said, “Thank you, we didn’t think you’d come.” It’s exciting to see so many different people stoked on a different type of band. Solidifying that festivals are a place of musical enjoyment and more importantly, of discovery. The photos summarize better than words what a Deafheaven set it like, check them out below. (Photos by Sally Gray Mahon)
Panda Bear is oftentimes just associated with Animal Collective - which he is a fourth of and a huge contributor to their music - but independently, Panda Bear aka Noah Lennox is able to zero in on a groovy type of experimental electronic. His music consists of mixing layers of vocals and psychedelic guitar in to his tracks to create something very unique. He played many songs from his solo discography. Here’s some photos of his set. (Photos by Sally Gray Mahon)
M.I.A. came out on the main stage wearing all gold and all smiles as a little bit of Kanye’s “Jesus Walks” beat got mixed in to Bucky Done Gone’s intro to huge cheers from the pit and the lawn of the Gorge. She brought 3 excellent back up dancers with her for this performance, one of whom did back up vocals for her on tracks instead of having it playing on a backup track by her DJ who was looping and working in the background to add to the fullness of M.I.A.’s performance. All of her back up dancers as well as her DJ were wearing items from her recent Versace line - together with Maya’s gold on gold AND all of the visuals that match her musical aesthetic that tend to combine her themes of political and cultural unrest to over saturate the screen it was absolute beauty.
M.I.A. is currently on album #4 - Mantangi. She mixed in singles from her previous albums with newer songs like “Only 1 U”, “Come Walk with Me”, “Bring the Noize”, and of course “Bad Girls” - for which she gave an open invitation to the girls in the audience to join her on stage and dance. Her new material, not surprisingly, translates live very well and was well received by the audience. She paused for a moment halfway through, her DJ playing Lorde’s “Royals” in the background as M.I.A. swayed with the beat. She smiled and then reapplied her lipstick getting ready for round two; as she launched into Paper Planes. A subtle reminder that M.I.A. is a force to be reckoned with, and if I may say so, fabulous and genius. If you were at Sasquatch! Saturday an you missed her set, well, you missed out. See what I mean below and look at some photos from her set. (Photos by Matthew B. Thompson)
Tyler, the Creator
Tyler, the Creator is one of those artists that people seem to either love or hate musically and personally (for his music) - Saturday night at the Bigfoot stage it seems safe to say, could be put in that first group. The crowd for Tyler was absolutely MASSIVE. After M.I.A.’s packed set at the Main stage about 2/3rds of the entire pit rushed out to go see Tyler’s set that started them moment M.I.A.’s ended. That combined with the fans who had staked out a spot for quite possibly hours made for a sweltering crowd. Tyler came on and laughed his deep laugh and after greeting Sasquatch! he said “I like white people and there’s a lot of you here,” after a brief pause he cut to the chase, “So, I’m just gonna rap for 48 minutes, that okay?” The crowd was overwhelmingly okay with Tyler rapping for 48 minutes. He played all the favorites from recent album Wolf as well as a few deeper cuts making sure to kept the night very lively. A super fun act and dynamic performance, Tyler’s music is only getting better. (Photos by Matthew B. Thompson)
Australian dance-punk electronic quartet Cut Copy combines acid house, new wave and classic rave culture to create magic. Closing out Saturday night at Bigfoot with a solid set, they had everyone with their hands in the air and raising a literal dust storm from all the jumping the crowd was doing. Cut Copy’s most recent album came out in 2013, it’s called “Free Your Mind” - this album is their mantra. Starting with a track from this album, “We are Explorers” they set the mood for the set. Together with the crowd Cut Copy set sail through their discography - playing songs from Bright Like Neon Love, In Ghost Colors and Zonoscope and even their one off single released earlier this year on vinyl for Record Store Day 2014 “These Arms of Love”! Towards the end of their set they played “Walking in the Sky” off of Free Your Mind - that’s essentially what it felt like, together the crowd was walking in the sky - freeing our minds together and and taking their advice “live life today because tomorrow is a world away and life is of our own design” - really is there any better way to end a saturday night? (Photos by Matthew B. Thompson)