It’s been a week since our return from Washington, and we’re still reeling over an unforgettable Memorial Day that was this year’s Sasquatch Festival. If you couldn’t forfeit your weekend BBQ plans, we can only assume it’s because you haven’t witnessed the picturesque glory of The Gorge amphitheater.
To sum it up, Sasquatch Festival is a 4-day eargasm hosted by mother nature. A weekend where 25,000 dedicated music lovers come out to the Columbia River Gorge to share intimate musical performances, and an astonishing amount of peanut butter sandwiches. If that’s not enough to convince you, just consider the overwhelmingly talented lineup. We did our best to catch as many artists as possible…but if you had to twist our arms for some favorites, here they are:
Yellow Ostrich The man builds songs right in front of you. Yellow Ostrich is led by frontman Alex Shaaf who loops his vocals and percussion into intricate, driving indie-rock. We were lucky to catch him with his drummer Michael at Glasslands, during CMJ 2010. To say we’re blown-away by the new album is an understatement. These guys have made strides. Can’t wait to see what’s next.
An explosion of funk & soul that we couldn’t take your eyes off of. Bradley channeled James Brown in all the right ways. He busted out wrenching songs like “Lovin you Baby” and “Can’t get Enough of You” and on the upbeat tunes he busted moves out like a 20 year old. You could could tell he was feelin’ it by the expression on his face. We now know that real soul is worn on your forehead.
Refreshingly explosive southern rock that SXSW went crazy for. Their resounding performance on the Bigfoot stage took over the amphitheater, including the airspace of the Civil War’s main stage set. Hopefully by now you’ve heard their single “Hold On,” but also check out “Rise to the Sun” and “Boys & Girls.”
The rock legend walked out looking like he’d emerged from the morgue, but armed and ready to as he says, “pick a fight with his guitar.” He ripped out songs from every project, particularly “Blunderbuss” and a bunch from his White Stripes days.His band tore it up just as well. Simply amazing…we’re still trying to process the “Ball & Biscuit” solo.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
We were set to catch the end of Graffiti 6 but these guys came out so strong we couldn’t bare to leave. Armed with an equally talented drummer the Detroit duo showed serious instrumental chops, both alternating on guitar, synth, drums & vocals. We were sold after the songs “Simple Girl” & “Nothing But Our Love.” Their voices complement each other perfectly, and the harmonies were more than apparent when they busted out an amazing cover of the Beach Boys “God Only Knows.”
We’re fairly sure all the women, and even possibly some of the men in the crowd went into some estrogen-induced trance during his show. It was overwhelming to hear thousands of people chant back “What might have been lost.” Phenomenal. Grammys well earned.
Heavy rock/soul straight from Detroit. Since their single “Rock & Roll Circus” we’ve been waiting to catch them ilive.They’re even better than we imagined! Each member had their own moment. The frontman Eddie Baranek throws his whole body into every song and the tenor sax solos killed! Apparently Tenacious D agrees, because the Sights are opening for them for the rest of the tour.
An emotional acoustic performance for those who appreciate powerful harmonies, agile guitar picking, and raspy Damien Rice style vocals. The UK singer-songwriter is selling out shows all over the place. Check out the tracks “The Fear” & “Old Pine” Walk The Moon
A group guaranteed not to go under the radar for long...but we definitely had the most fun stumbling upon these guys. They have a young, energetic Foster The People type vibe. Take fleeting synth & guitar lines, add some heavy bass & face paint…you’ll have yourself a good time. Check out the songs “Tightrope” & “Anna Sun.”
Gary Clark Jr.
If you’ve ever felt like the Y Generation couldn’t hold a candle to the music genius of the 60’s/70’s, just sit through one of his shows. Gary Clark Jr jumped on everyone’s radar at Eric Clapton’s 2010 Crossroads Festival and has since stayed. We know you’ll be in awe too, especially during solos in “Don’t Owe You a Thing” and “Bright Lights.” His style of blues is like an unpredictable freight train of jazz, r&b, & even garage rock.
If you couldn’t make the trek up to Sasquatch this year…definitely make it a priority in 2013. Check out the rest of the lineup and more of the festival highlights here. (http://sasquatchfestival.com)