Sasquatch 2014, Day 3: Elbow

photos by Matthew B. Thompson

Although they’re mostly critical darlings in the United States, Elbow have been headlining stadiums and festivals in their native UK for a few years now, so it’s no surprise that their Sunday evening set on the main stage at Sasquatch was a brilliant display of showmanship. Their latest album, March’s The Take Off and Landing Of Everything, is their most grandiose (and solemn) work in some time, but those songs aligned perfectly with the cloudy skies over the Gorge, conjuring the weather of their native Manchester. Frontman Guy Garvey was at the front of it all, requesting participation from the audience by demanding singing, clapping, and drinking from the group of Elbow diehards up front. Even his stage banter – “This song is about realizing far too late that you’ve fucked it all up”, he introduced “The Bones of You” with a smirk – took the dourness of his group’s music with a sardonic edge, and as the set climaxed with a rousing version of “One Day Like This”, they’d led the audience through heartbreak and back, only to fall in love once again.

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