A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.
Topic: Sasquatch 2013
You’ve found the destination for all things Sasquatch! by The Seattle Times. We’re out at the Gorge, transmitting words and images back to your screens. Welcome!
May 28, 2013 at 12:19 PM
by Joseph Sutton-Holcomb
“Ladies and gentleman, we are back from the dead.” That was the only introduction Ben Gibbard gave Monday night after The Postal Service played, “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight,” the first song of the last set of the festival.
Those nine words captured the sentiment of the evening perfectly. For longtime fans like me, the concert provided much-needed closure. 2013 was the 10-year anniversary of the band’s first and only album “Give Up,” and after nearly a decade of hiatus and unsubstantiated rumors about a second album that never materialized, I had given up hope of ever seeing them perform. That album meant everything to me during my teenage years, but I always thought of The Postal Service as an abandoned side project, and relegated it to the past.
But Gibbard and his band breathed new life into every track, helping me remember that sometimes the music you obsess over as a kid doesn’t always suck in retrospect.
Most impressive was how the band revamped their sound to suit the contemporary electronica-soaked music culture. The bass was spectacularly rich on every song, much more so than the album versions and they added interesting new synth lines to almost every track. The result was crisp and substantial, eschewing the chiptune vibe that defined the recorded sound.
Jenny Lewis, who sang the female backing vocals that gave several of the cuts on ”Give Up” a country-style duet quality, also performed. Hearing her and Gibbard trade verses on ”Nothing Better” was immensely satisfying. Great musical chemistry there.
After seeing Gibbard’s other band, Death Cab For Cutie, perform at festivals a handful of times, I never thought the word intense would describe any of his musical endeavors. But the band brought so much energy to cuts like ”This Place is a Prison” and the finale, “Brand New Colony,” that I couldn’t keep my head from bobbing. Definitely the most effort I’ve seen Gibbard give to a show.
The lights were the cherry on top, and probably the best stage production of the weekend, rivaled only by Sigur Ros the night before. A set of LED columns behind the band bathed the stage, the pit, and the hillside in vivid red, blue, green and purple strobing.
I walked over to the stage that night expecting a pleasant trip into the past. What I got was a forward-thinking show that made me long for another Postal Service Album all over again.
May 27, 2013 at 10:39 PM
With an official recognition from Governor Jay Inslee under its belt, Sasquatch! is now a Pacific Northwest institution and there was no shortage of sartorial love for the PNW in general, and Rain City specifically. Today we’re rounding up some of the most legit Seattle pride garments from Sunday at the Gorge. (more…)
May 27, 2013 at 10:09 PM
This seemed rare: comedian Tig Notaro told a really good double mastectomy joke Monday afternoon in the dance tent. (more…)
May 27, 2013 at 9:56 PM
Note: This is an overview of Sasquatch! 2013. Go here for detailed daily coverage and photos.
The crowd was a little bewildered Friday night at Sasquatch!, when, right in the middle of Macklemore’s set, the Seattle rapper left the stage and everything went dark. A man in coveralls came on, pushing a broom. But as soon as the man began to whistle the familiar hook to Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop,” the audience erupted.
The man turned out to be Wanz, who sings the super-catchy “I’m gonna pop some tags” chorus of the megahit. A moment later, Macklemore, donning a lavish fur coat, came coasting out on a scooter. The reaction was deafening.
The 29-year-old sounded like the happiest man in music as he addressed the sold-out Sasquatch! crowd thronging the mainstage amphitheater at the Gorge, saying there was no other place he’d rather be.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are now touring the world behind their certified-gold album, “The Heist.” (By the next day, he had tweeted, “Now on a plane to Dublin.”)
It was Macklemore’s moment, but there was plenty of love for the festival in general.
May 27, 2013 at 10:41 AM
It’s almost a wrap for Sasquatch! (one day left) — and gotdang my dogs are barking. I still love music though. Even while surrounded by party zombies who’ll dance to anything. After seeing hardcore Detroit rapper Danny Brown on the main stage (he ruled), I ping-ponged between side stages Bigfoot and Yeti Sunday evening, for music by Earl Sweatshirt, Killer Mike, and Grimes.
Earl really put the “sweatshirt” in “Earl Sweatshirt” for his set, wearing a hoodie with the hood up for the whole half hour, performing complicated raps to an audience that had his words memorized. (more…)
May 26, 2013 at 3:03 PM
In their own ways, both Devendra Banhart and Bloc Party are perfect festival acts. One jam-y and warm, the other snappy and rollicking.
As Sasquatch moved into day two, the partying got a little harder and the gazes got a little more glazed. But on Saturday afternoon, there was a nice mix. (more…)
May 26, 2013 at 12:12 PM
There is a saying when seeking the true festival experience: “Onesie is the loneliest number.” Nevertheless, one could make a case that the onesie is the ideal festival garb (as we hinted yesterday). It’s easy, to be sure: you just put it on and go (unless of course you want to accessorize, which you likely do). It’s versatile, in the way that pants and a shirt are versatile, except it’s both at once. And it’s fashionable. (Don’t argue on this last one, you’re not here at the Gorge. You don’t know what it’s like). So, in honor of the single-minded sartorialists of Sasquatch!, we are dedicating the day-two Squatch Watch to the Onesie Percenters. Behold: (more…)
May 26, 2013 at 11:27 AM
The xx seems like the worst festival band. But The xx is the best festival band. How can this be?
The young British trio made slow, quiet music with a big sound on the main stage — the quietness due to Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim’s barely used guitars, and vocals that hovered at whisper level. The bigness was due to deejay Jamie xx’s heavy dance beats and bass, which thundered into the open air. But even he restrained his section, so the dancier stretches never went on too long. The music was mostly slow and floaty.
Wouldn’t you expect the masses to need some more obvious climax at 9 p.m. on a Saturday night?
You would be wrong. (more…)
May 25, 2013 at 8:05 PM
Sasquatch! is great for music but don’t forget: there is comedy, too!
And this year everyone in the comedy tent on Saturday agreed, we all love the TV show “Parks and Recreation.” Cult hero status was bestowed upon deadpan libertarian hedonist comedian Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson on the show), who had about 3,000 people laughing to his 10 rules to being a prosperous person. He told jokes and then did music, and while he mainly played countryish comedy songs, he also rapped the Cypress Hill song “Hits From the Bong.” For the finale or “dessert” of the set as he called it, he was joined by his wife, actress/singer Megan Mullally, who plays his ex-wife on the show. (more…)
May 25, 2013 at 11:39 AM
After an afternoon of fervid performances by young Seattle hip-hop talent, the early evening hours listed more toward a rock n’ roll journeymen vibe with a main stage set by Northwest mainstay Built To Spill.
There was a sunshower just as the set began, and thunderclouds wafted down over the wind farm on the ridge behind the stage. In that peculiar light, the band played a solid and heartfelt set. To say it was low-key wouldn’t be exactly it, but it was together and right. (more…)
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