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June 10, 2010

Sasquatch Music Festival 2010

Whew... finally back from vacation! Well, physically I've been back since Monday night, but mentally, I'm just now finally back from vacation!

I started my vacation off at the Sasquatch Music Festival over Memorial Day weekend, and wanted to capture a few thoughts on some of the highlights before it all fades from memory...

I'd never heard of Brother Ali before, but I'm glad I stuck around for this Minneapolis-based rapper's high energy, high positivity set. Normally when guys shout "put your hands in the air!" and "let me hear HELL YEAH" I just kind of tune out, but by the end of the set I was both a) putting my hands directly into the air, and b) shouting HELL YEAH with great enthusiasm. Danced my ass off too... Despite constant sound problems at the tiny Yeti stage, Patrick Watson put on a lovely performance, impressing upon me the fact that sometimes a real piano on stage makes all the difference... Broken Social Scene was outstanding, and apparently their tour extends to the entire solar system, so if they swing by your neighborhood, definitely check them out... I overheard several people commenting that their expectations for Vampire Weekend were low, but the band's set was so tight, fun, and self-deprecating that they won over quite a few people. I already kind of liked this band, but seeing them live definitely increased the likelihood I'll finally track down their new record... Z-Trip put on the most epic DJ set in the history of ever.

I'd seen Caribou before, but seeing them on the mainstage at the Gorge - even at noon on a Sunday - was thoroughly awesome. Their dense and swirling sound, built around a furious two-percussionist attack, got the crowd up on its feet right from the first track... They Might Be Giants were a welcome sight for an old-timer like me who remembers hearing the band's first album on cassette right when it came out. Their puppet interlude, the Avatars of They, seemed right at home on the giant jumbotron screens... I feel silly for not paying attention to Tegan and Sara sooner, but after seeing their set at Sasquatch, I'm sold on their clever, catchy indie pop... In case you hadn't heard, LCD Soundsystem completely owned this festival. One measure: the wings of the mainstage were completely packed with other artists from the festival crowding to see the action up close. This was one of the best sets I've seen in three years of attending this festival. Mind-blowing... Massive Attack were a mixed bag. Their "greatest hits" were awesome, and their new stuff paled by comparison. But it was lovely to hear a stripped down version of "Teardrop" with Martina Topley-Bird handling the vocals, and their performance of "Unfinished Sympathy" was a total triumph.

The Heavy kicked things off with a swank, funky set on the mainstage at noon. If they survive their current "one-hit wonder" status, they likely have a bright future... Phantogram were excellent, their two-person act a perfect fit for the Yeti stage. At one point, they joked, "Here's a song you can bounce to... although it's in 5/4, so you'll have to think about it." We didn't seem to have any problem bouncing to the entire set... Dr. Dog transcend the jam band aesthetic by busting out tight three-part harmony on a regular basis. I'm a sucker for that, no question... MGMT put on an uneven but largely entertaining set. I've had "Kids" in my head ever since the show - I have a feeling that song will linger as one of the great pop songs of the last decade.

That's it! New music starts up next post.

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Posted by Scotto at June 10, 2010 09:59 AM