Sasquatch Music Festival Day 2: Tallest Man On Earth, Tune-Yards, PavementBy Seraphina L.
Day 2 of Sasquatch Music Festival was much colder but the lineup was obviously a lot more packed than the first day with big names such as The xx, Public Enemy, Kid Cudi, Tegan and Sara, LCD Soundsystem, Pavement, Massive Attack and more. Sleeping on the camp grounds was wearing us out a bit but it was worth it when we got to the entrance early on in the day.
The best part about gaining entrance ahead of usual schedule was that we actually got to see the very first act of the day – something many people miss out on from boozing too much or waking up late – and today we had the pleasure of hearing some Dinosaur Feathers at the Yeti stage. It’s a pretty good way to start out the day, if we do say so ourselves…
Dinosaur Feathers has slowly crept up under people’s radars – which we found out was for great reasons! Every song seemed to be a crowd pleaser as each musical offering we got from them had a different element from the last one. Texture, quirky pop melodies, and tropical elements infused with some Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors-esque arrangements were impressive for a first-slot act. The strong set definitely woke us up from our grogginess and there were definitely new fans that came out from that set including us.
Although we were bummed that Langhorne Slim had canceled their slot at the festival, we were stoked to see our Los Angeles boys, Local Natives, attack their first Sasquatch performance. The five-piece had everyone in tune within just the first song as they opened up with the upbeat “Camera Talk.” They slowed things down a bit for “Cubism” but picked it back up with “Airplanes” and closing song, “Sun Hands.” Taylor Rice thanked the group who was apparently doing some synchronized choreography, and dedicated “Who Cares” to the woman he loved. It was a sweet moment as he got the crowd to wish her a happy 30th birthday as well. We may get spoiled Local Natives shows in Los Angeles, but we certainly don’t take any of them for granted and were happy to be sharing a first Sasquatch experience with them.
Next, we just happened to catch some of Jet Overhead‘s set as we stood in line for food. The band from Victoria, British Columbia, CA had a nice blend of ambiance and rock. Although their crowd seemed to be mostly Canadians (there are a LOT of Canadians at Sasquatch), there were a lot of people around us commenting on how they were glad to have stumbled upon this band. However, the best people in their audience were the ones dressed in full Power Rangers costumes. There were even other fictional characters present (such as Skeletor). Nonetheless, it was a surprising set with or without Power Rangers in tow.
We returned to the Big Foot stage for the highly anticipated set from Tallest Man On Earth. If you’re not familiar with this artist yet, we recommend checking Kristian Mattson’s latest album, The Wild Hunt, out which was released back in April 2010. For his set at Sunday, it was basically just him and his guitar as usual but basic isn’t always bad; Mattson provided a great example of this. Although the stage seemed visually emptier, Tallest Man On Earth maintained his great turn-out crowd wise. There’s a greatness to his sound, even if he is a solo artist and this greatness refers to both the credible songwriting and his confidence on stage. He definitely knew how to work a crowd and keep them interested – again, a talent not many artists own.
There was no doubt that Tune-Yards attracted a crowd with the opening number which perfectly showcased her vocals. Almost everyone in the crowd seemed to be in shock after they realized all these different sounds were coming out of Merrill Garbus’ mouth. Sounding like a mix of R&B, folk and rock, she laid her experimental beats down on two small drums in a mesmerizing and peculiar way with her mic – which is saying a lot since so many musicians use pedals to make their music come together by looping. With white face paint underneath her eyes and across her nose along with a bass guitar player accompanying her on stage (also a saxophone on a couple of song), she had a humorous stage presence that made her even more amiable on top of her talent. If Tune-Yards isn’t one of your new favorite bands, well then you’re not on the same page as us. Tune-yards is one of the few new artists who sound even better than they do on album.
We were excited to have Avi Buffalo take the stage after Tune-Yards, however the adoration for the band didn’t seem to show as much in numbers as it looked like everyone was over at the main stage for rapper, Kid Cudi. Avi Buffalo knocked out some of their strong numbers such as “What’s It In For” and “Where’s Your Dirty Mind?” early in the set which kept everyone satisfied for a while. For such a young band playing their first Sasquatch, they did pretty well but Kid Cudi’s crowd was overpowering their sounds when they would stop and tune and those awkward breaks stopped them from having a cohesive set. However, they ended with “Remember The Last Time” which always pulls everyone back in.
Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band played a set over at the Big Foot stage in between the time Avi Buffalo and Freelance Whales were maintaining the crowds at the Yeti stage and for a band who replaced City and Colour last minute, they had a good-sized crowd. Those who may have gone to the stage expecting to see City and Colour seemed to be surprised at how much they liked what was in front of them instead. Of course, we dug it. Dramatic vocals, pop melodies, and upheaval in time signatures done well is always something to get behind.
After grabbing some food again and hearing Tegan and Sara talk about how they wouldn’t beat box but would play “Alligator” instead, we headed on back to the Yeti stage for Vetiver. It wasn’t a very large crowd at first since the twin sisters were still playing the main stage and The xx were just going into the middle of their set. However, we can say that no one was just there because of the hype. Every audience member at Vetiver was there because they enjoyed the music of Vetiver. The band played some of the more mellow tunes of the day that reminded us of the laid back sound of Los Angeles. It was nice to hear some of that all the way up at The Gorge and everyone seemed to be enjoying it since the crowd continued to grow thicker by the minute.
Halfway through Vetiver, we made sure we made it back to the main stage in time for LCD Soundsystem. Indie rock may be our first love here at BeatCrave but we were ready for some dance punk music. It was only 7:00 but in Sasquatch time, that’s pretty late and we weren’t about to stop partying. James Murphy and his band definitely did not disappoint a crowd who was already dancing their asses of in a drunken stupor or hazy state of mind. James Murphy came out looking dapper but also threw it down as usual. With opening songs such as the new single, “Drunk Girls,” the sea of festival goers turned into a surreal massive frenzy.
Looking back at the upper lawn section by the main stage is always something great to look at and realize you’re at an extraordinary event. The water and mountains may be behind the stage but behind the crowd on the ground is an incredibly massive sight. At one point, hundreds of people started throwing their hands up and down for uniform choreography. It caught on so quickly that the bottom portion of the crowd had begun to do it as well. LCD Soundsystem makes music that is dance but it’s also punk. If you’ve dismissed Murphy for either genre, we suggest you try going to one of his shows and see how you feel then. We bet you’ll catch the LCD bug and start getting down like we did, too.
After that ridiculously fun set with Murphy and his crew, we didn’t budge. We were staying right where we were for Pavement. They’ve already played a date in Los Angeles as well as Coachella but come on, it’s Pavement! With them, we go back and realize that it was okay for guitars to be play loud and this night’s set was an ear-splitter in the raddest way possible. Although they had started a little late, united Pavement fans didn’t seem to care. Plus, it was Stephen Malkmus’ birthday and Ice Cream Man’s Matt Allen came out to encourage us to sing Happy Birthday to the Pavement’s front man; we were glad to do it. He was spending his birthday at Sasquatch with us, after all.
The set started out great as kids began a ruckus during songs like “Cut Your Hair” and “Trigger Cut.” Unfortunately during the third or fourth song, they were having some technical difficulties and had to start a song twice. However, they ended the set with “Stereo,” “Range Life,” “Shady Lane” and “Stop Breathing.” There was also a mystery kid who came onto the stage to play keyboards. We weren’t sure where he came from but Bob Nastanovich seemed to be giving the kid the time of his life. Because they started late and had technical difficulties, the band went over their allotted time which they had never done before, according to Malkmus. The National may have slayed day one of Sasquatch but Pavement definitely owned day two.
As we walked back to over to the Big Foot stage, we were surprised to see and hear the Public Enemy set still going on (they had started late). Perhaps this was because all of us in front for Pavement saw Flava Fav in front of the barricade for Pavement. Yes – Flava Flav was at Pavement during Sasquatch 2010. Mark that down in your unusual 2010 pop culture happenings. So when we made it to the correct stage for Public Enemy, we had the pleasure of seeing more than a couple of hits. “Don’t Believe the Hype” was a fan favorite, of course, and we all got to see Flava Flav being obnoxious on stage just as expected when he would go around smacking Chuck D upside the head. (Apparently, this ended up with Chuck D pushing Flav to the ground – accidental or not – we’re still not sure). Although Kid Cudi may have owned the main stage earlier in the day, there’s nothing like some classic hip-hop at an outdoor festival.
To end our retro night (flashing back with Pavement and Public Enemy), we went to see one more spectacular set by Massive Attack. As one of the pioneers of trip-hop, the main stage’s atmosphere was nothing less than simultaneously epic and somber. This is what soothing rock music that touches on R&B should sound like. Massive Attack isn’t for everyone, but it definitely doesn’t bore us to tears much like many of their imitators do. (Insert hyped up band with two consecutive letters here.) 3D and Daddy G were mysterious as ever and their female guest vocalists did a fantastic job gliding in and out of the songs as well. (All vocalists from every album seemed to be there.) With the jumbo screens projecting the stage out for the massive late night crowd, it was especially breath-taking when Martina Topley-Bird came out in her signature red gown. As we listened to her angelic vocals, we didn’t blame everyone lying down and just taking it all in.
Check back for third day at Sasquatch Music Festival 2010! We’ll also have full photo galleries up with all the acts for you soon!
You can read our review of Day 1 at Sasquatch here!