Sasquatch 2014, Day 3: tUnE-yArDs

photos by Matthew B. Thompson

“Don’t tell any other festivals, but this miiiiiight be my favorite festival.” That’s how Merrill Garbus began her campaign to win over the Gorge on Sunday afternoon at Sasquatch, and it certainly worked. tUnE-yArDs‘ live show has always demanded a participatory audience, if only to dance to Garbus’ hyper-percussive, multi-genre tunes. Since her 2011 breakthrough though, tUnE-yArDs’ live incarnation has expanded from Garbus (and her loop pedals) and bassist Nate Brenner to something more communal, augmenting their partnership with two backup singers/dancers and an additional percussion player. (As well as retaining plenty of their trademark face paint.) As with her previous albums, Garbus continues to juxtapose playful sounds with social commentary on Nikki Nack, her latest full-length, but save for the throng of diehards in the front of the pit, most of the audience was content just to dance to the polyrhythmic sounds of the quintet. That’s not a bad thing though, as Garbus still seemed more than content with her songs reaching such a large audience. As she beamed in between songs, she slyly asked, “Danceable enough?”.

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