Summer. Vancouver is having what seems to be a personality crisis lately. Our city’s rainy reputation hasn’t been so convincing the past few weeks. The weather is nice enough to tan even me! Donovan and I brought some of that sunshine with us as we traveled down south last week for the Pacific Northwest’s premier outdoor music festival, Sasquatch.
There were so many bands I was looking forward to, and so many new bands and people I ended up seeing. It was exhausting, but exhilarating. I want to do it again right now!
Sasquatch is something you have to experience. During the days, you reward your ears with dozens of bands, and treat your eyes to all the skin on display. During the night you grab some more alcohol, find the nearest campsite still awake, and meet some new friends.
The Gorge in Washington state is the most beautiful venue in North America, hands down. It accommodates so many people. There are 3 music stages and 1 dance/comedy tent, tonnes of sitting room, and various (overly priced) concession stands. The event does have some problems: No re-entry, once you’re in the concert you can’t leave and come back. That is just stupid in my opinion, but I guess logistically it makes sense for Live Nation. Also I would be doing the public a disservice if I didn’t mention this: $9 beer & $14 margaritas! AMERICAN! Fuck that. You’re not allowed to bring in outside alcohol, and they do check your bags upon entry, but I saw more than enough people drinking from paper bags and bottles when I was inside.
Click on the picture below to view our Sasquatch gallery
Also, I have to say, I was a little disappointed with the visibility of homosexuality during the weekend. Obviously there must have been a queer contingent there, but damned to me if I could find it. There were heteros all over the place, snuggling on blankets, making out during Explosions in the Sky, holding hands. Not once though did I see any man-on-man action or lesbo lovin’. I know Sasquatch isn’t a sex fest, that’s not what I’m talking about. I just assumed there should be a little more of a gay presence.
Nevertheless, the weekend was intense:
Trent Reznor is definitely still doable. He’s looking mighty beefy these days. The light & fog show, and the sun setting behind them made their performance incredibly engaging. They didn’t play Closer (even though I was continually screaming for it, I know you heard me Trent! What’s the deal?), but they did play March of the Pigs. Three cheers for the two stoner chicks standing in front of us and one of the more spastic dancers I saw all weekend who provided additional entertainment.
I’m not a previous fan of them. They’re very eclectic, and powerful. I made my way to the front of the main stage with friends to view these guys up close, and I wasn’t disappointed. Some bands just know how to work a crowd, G.B. being one of those.
Pop is dead, long live pop! I’ve seen Mr. Gillis three times now. This wasn’t the best set he’s ever done: A mid-way restart due to some tracks not matching up, and the sound was a little muted from where we were standing, but a Girl Talk performance is the epitome of fun for the generation with the short attention span. 1 man, 1 laptop, throw your hands up!
Honorable mentions: The incredible ‘rave for non-ravers’ dance tent, I swear if we had a venue like that in Vancouver I’d never go anywhere else. Santigold, was precious beyond belief. The 2 skinny boys who were just LOVING Grizzly Bear, I wish I would have gotten up and danced with you :) TV on the Radio, Animal Collective, Explosions in the Sky, Fences, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and King Kong!
Bands I unfortunately missed: The Decemberists, Death Vessel, of Montreal, Kings of Leon, Getting on the Stage for Girl Talk.
1. Meeting the great people from 230 Publicity and others in the media tent, Frank, Ashley and Chris. It was nice to get away from the festival for a bit and chill out.
2. Using our media passes to get onto the VIP stage during King Kong. Some bitch stole my pen, but it was still worth it.
3. Getting picked up by some American Monday night for a little tent-action’ :P
Honorable mentions: Hidden alcohol. Friendly Canadians. Elie, who said he was straight, but your eyes said different. And half naked men in all shapes and sizes. Not getting burnt, but still getting some sun.
How many days until next year? *sigh*.