Friday, May 30, 2008

Sasquatch Festival Band Performance Review

After an incredibly eventful first weekend back camping and grooving I got a chance to settle into some new activities. Before I go there, I should probably say something about the bands I saw at Sasquatch.

Saturday: The least powerful of the three days of the fest. Here were my highlights.

Modest Mouse:
They were happy (they normally fight a lot), excited, hard working and played songs from 4 albums back! I've seen them before and this was the best one yet and my favorite band of the weekend.

This little Brittish rapper and her dance crew and dj whipped the gorge into an epileptic dance frenzy faster than I've ever seen. I thought her performance was really good and she was the pleasant surprise of the day with original visuals and a really bizarre style.

I thought The New Pornographers were disappointing and I didn't stay for REM because I don't really like them and it was raining.
Sunday: This was by far the most well rounded day of consistent good performances.

Blue Scholars:
This MC/DJ team of Geologic and Sabsi (spelling) were incredible. They got the whole crowd involved in the hip hop, played some classics of theirs, and pumped people up about the NORTHWEST life and music scene. Geologic later came on and freestyled with Franti!

Tegan and Sara:
Surprisingly they put on a really solid show, they had some funny intersong banter, and they truly rocked out, I was impressed by these two peculiar women. I'm sorry I left to go watch Rogue Wave because they were awful.

The Presidents of the United States of America:
They freakin' kicked butt, I couldn't believe it. They played new stuff, old songs and said some funny crap, well done.

Michael Franti and Spearhead:
Even though I just saw him it was still good to hear the bass super lowdy on the big speakers. They were energetic, on point, and very very enthusiastic. Franti's crowd presence got every person in the entire Gorge up on their feet jumping up and down! I've never seen that before. His new songs are great too.

Death Cab for Cutie:
I have to apologize for talking so much crap about them leading up to their show. Not only did they not suck, they rocked really hard. They played a bunch of really old songs from my high school years, and gave a ton of shout outs to other bands. I wish they would have closed the night instead of the DISEASE...I mean the Cure.

The Cure:
I was so excited to see them. But, as each song they played was worse and worse than the one before it I realized music has a shelf life. They were old, unenthusiastic, freaky looking and every song sounded the same. They were the biggest disappointment of the weekend in my opinion and I think they need to reconsider how the do their shows.

Monday: This was the most powerful day of the festival, solid, surprising and full of good music.

The Hives:
Mega energy, good showmanship and a really really good set.

Built To Spill:
These guys are not an indi rock band in my head any more, after seeing them melt objects with their mind I can say that they are a Jam Band. They freaking destroyed shit. Amazing songs, amazingly fun to listen to, and despite their half assed appearance, I thought they were going to be tough to beat for the day.

Rodrigo y Gabriela:
This Latin American boy girl combo of major fury handed out a jumbo burrito sized ass whooping on the concert goers. Their exciting, unconventional guitar sounds blew peoples minds and redefined what could/should be done with an acoustic guitar.

Flight of the Conchords:
I have to admit that I was laughing so hard at this comedy duo at times, that I had to plug my ears so that I wouldn't hear them so that I could stop laughin long enough to breath. They played almost all their songs from the show and their on stage banter was comic gold. Although I never saw them later, I suspect they were in a suit dancing on stage with the Flaming Lips.

Jamie Lidell:
This guy was like a safe haven of sound after the Mars Volta chased us out of the mainstage with their death rock of hell. As we crested the top of the gorge hill the music changed from baby killing music to a funky doowop James Brown type thing. The closer we got to the Wookie Stage the more we realized that this soulful voice was coming from a tiny white Brittish guy. Not only that they were pumping out some technologic robot sounds and deep deep reggae bass lines. They were my biggest surprise of the weekend and I'm so grateful I got to see them kick ass.

It is my humble opinion that this band is out to destroy every other band on planet earth. Let me just say that they landed a freaking space ship on stage, and then the lead singer came out of the top in a bubble and walked out into the crowd! They blasted so much confetti that it reigned from the sky like a blizzard of glowing colors. The movable light up space ship of mirrors and lazers was incredible but the giant half circle tv behind them was amazing too. They put on the most incredible live musical/visual spectacle I've ever seen with giant costumed aliens, naked girls, a robot and something resembling the michelin man. Oh yeah, they rocked out too. The lead singer made some really great political points about why I should register to vote. I would do anything this guy says.

WHEW! Music reviewing a whole festival is hard. So there you go.

The rest of the week has been a lot of errand running, hanging with friends and family and getting used to life with out work. I still wake up every day at 7 without an alarm. I still think about my students. I still am glad I'm not in Nunivak but I'm also scared because this certainly feels like being homeless. I think I realize right now that after a couple years up north I really need to find a place I WANT to live and be with people I WANT to be with. Maybe all this hard work and saving up will pay off someday.

Tomorrow morning I go to Pullman, Washington to Washington State University to help my brother move and hang out in the sun/fish for a c0uple weeks. I should have a steady internet connection over there so hopefully I'll be able to write about what its like to go back to college for the first time in a long time.

Hope all is well my internet friends! Peace!


Reese-E said...

Flight of the Concords was there?! I can't believe that! So jealous!!

Have fun in Pullman! And yay! You bought your ticket! It's gonna be fun, fun! :)

Erin said...

Tegan and Sarah rule! I'm glad you got to see them and that they put on a good show. I'd love to see them live. Yes, we are back...well, in Fairbanks at least. The trip was awesome. We're going to write a huge blog today or tomorrow and post it on each of our blogs. Look for it. Pretty amazing trip. I'll give you a shout when I'm in WI.

thankyouthankyou said...

Rogue Wave ruled. and how could you forget about Ghostland. The set with the absolute most energy!! :) P.S. My name is Denis.

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