Posts in Sasquatch! 2013
[Sasquatch! Interview] Odesza Discusses their Debut Album, Campground Games and More

Sure, we're a month removed from this year's memorable Sasquatch! Music Festival, but that doesn't mean what happened there is any less relevant. As the amount of free time I have available went up exponentially this week, I was finally able to finish editing the remainder of my Sasquatch! interviews. The first of those interviews was with Seattle-based duo Odesza, comprised of producers Catacombkid and BeachesBeaches. We've never covered them before here on SKOA, but it's never too late to get introduced to awesome new music.

After releasing their debut LP Summer's Gone last September, Odesza have been touring and feeling out the general reaction towards the project. I was very impressed, and I'm sure others were too. When I met up with them on the second day of the festival, they had just arrived. Nonetheless, they were eager to chat with bloggers and journalists. More than that, they were ready to perform in front of Sasquatch!'s dedicated music enthusiasts. Before hitting the stage, the laid-back duo and I sat down, along with my girlfriend Katherine, and chatted about their debut album, how Seattle and the Northwest have influenced their sound and the intricacies of camp games—specifically Laddergolf(ball) and the poorly named Cornhole. Stream the entire interview below.

[Sasquatch! Interview] Bloc Party's Kele Okereke Chats About the Band's Latest LP 'Four', Their Upcoming EP and Future Projects

Keeping the Sasquatch! festivities going is Kele Okereke of Bloc Party. During my time at The Gorge, I sat down with Kele before the band's great set on day two of the festival. The sun was shining through the sliding glass door of the backstage trailer we sat in. The couch had a simple design and was surprisingly comfortable. At ease with this setting, we talked. It was a brief chat, only fifteen minutes, but during that time we delved into Bloc Party's latest LP Four. I'm interested in how the band is now, after four albums and over a decade together. Beyond that, we discussed the future: the band plans to release a new EP this summer and are also working on their next full-length album. Check out that and more below.

[Sasquatch! Interview] P.O.S Talks Minneapolis Music, His Various Projects, Future Touring and More

Sasquatch! 2013 was a crazy experience. There were so many amazing performances, stunning vistas to bask in and tons of cool people to meet. One of those people was Minneapolis rapper P.O.S, a founding member of the hip-hop collective Doomtree.

After releasing his fourth album We Don't Even Live Here last October, P.O.S (real name Stefon Alexander) was unable to tour due to kidney complications. Now, he's slowly reentering the touring scene. If his performance at Sasquatch! was any indication, he seems ready to get back into it full swing. Before he hit the Honda Bigfoot stage on the final day of the festival, my friend Jon Riggs of MVRemix and I had the chance to sit down and chat with Stefon about a slew of topics. During the 12-minute interview, we discussed the Minneapolis music scene and Doomtree's place within it, the importance of embracing different genres and music styles, as well as P.O.S' numerous side projects and future touring plans. Stream the full interview below.

[Sasquatch! 2013] Recap: Day Four

Monday arrived, the final day of Sasquatch! 2013. Despite worsening weather conditions, the upbeat attitudes were still going strong. After a decent Friday and memorable performances on Saturday and Sunday, day four continued to impress. Seriously, who could complain with bands like CHVRCHES, Disclosure, Alt-J, Steve Aoki, Dirty Projectors, Toro Y Moi, P.O.S and The Postal Service? The final day proved a worthy close to the festival, solidifying the heartiness of attendees and the strong breadth of its lineup. It also revealed the downfalls of four days of continuous music and intoxicants. Read below for my take on the closing day of Sasquatch!.

Photo by Christopher Nelson.

We awoke on Monday morning to the sound of pattering rain on our tents, a disheartening thought but not enough to completely dampen our spirits. Pulling together all of our leftover breakfast food—mostly bacon and eggs—we enjoyed one last feast at The Gorge. There was little time for me to hang around in the campground, though, as I had media duties to attend to. With a joint in one hand and my iPod in the other I began my solo trek to the festival grounds, striding eagerly to the upbeat sounds of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros' "Man on Fire."

A while later I emerged from the media area, fully satisfied with the people I'd met and the interviews I had. Stoned, I made my way to Honda Bigfoot where CHVRCHES were throwing down a dynamic set on a rain-covered stage. Immediately impressive was lead singer Lauren Mayberry, a petite woman with a voice much more grand than expected. Whereas other bands had audio problems at this stage, Mayberry had no problem ensuring her vocals were the center of attention. Amidst fantastic electro pop production, she was able to completely command the surprisingly large crowd before them. There was no better example of this than the band's hit single "Recover," which had the whole crowd dancing in their rain jackets and ponchos. It was only once Mayberry took a step back that CHVRCHES started to falter. For one song, producer Martin Doherty decided to give an attempt at singing, but it really fell flat. He was honestly not good. It got me thinking about the other members of P.O.S in the crowd. Photo by Christopher Nelson.the band: Why hadn't they told him that his singing voice was... well, shit? Thankfully, it only lasted one song, with Mayberry returning to the mic for a few last closing tracks. Overall, it was a surprisingly good set.

As the CHVRCHES crowd diffused, it made room for fans of Doomtree collective's P.O.S to rush to the front barriers. Stefon Alexander made his way on stage, greeted by a mass of cheering admirers and an increasing downpour. The rain tooks its toll on him, as he slipped on the wet stage and fell onto his side. He quickly returned to his feet, joking that it was entirely "intentional." But that didn't affect him at all, as he began tearing into his new album We Don't Even Live Here. For the majority of the set Alexander was right up against the barriers, grabbing the hands of an excited audience as his verses and flows spewed out. The set was made even more energetic by the beats underlying his raps, some grimey, electronic production that got people dancing their asses off at three in the afternoon.

P.O.S left us in a great mood, such that all we wanted to do was party. Realizing our campsite was stocked with plentiful alcohol and good food, we headed back for some R&R. With rain pouring overhead, we happily ate spaghettti and smoked weed until everyone succumbed to the toll of a weekend's worth of drinking and lack of sleep. Unfortunately, while passed out in my tent, I missed a few shows I wanted to see—Dirty Projectors, Death Grips, Toro Y Moi, Twin Shadow and Odesza—but hey, sometimes there are sacrifices we need to make. Especially for the sakes of our bodies.

With food in my stomach and alcohol sifting through my liver, I gathered our group and we all headed to the festival grounds for one last night of music and partying. We had a very direct goal, to go directly to the El Chupacabra tent to see Disclosure. My girlfriend and I are huge fans of these guys and missed them while they were in Vancouver, so seeing them at Sasquatch! was a definite priority. The El Chupacabra tent was packed, but we edged our way around the outside straight to the left side of the stage. After one hour of body-jacking electronica, I just wanted Guy and Lawrence Howard to DJ the rest of the festival. I mean, holy shit, these brothers can really manipulate a crowd. The excitement felt when they began playing "Latch" and "White Noise" was electric, and every song played saw one brother plucking basslines on his guitar while the other triggered claps and high hats on his drum kit. It was a subtle inclusion that added a lot to the overall experience of seeing these guys live. It also helped that every song they played was fantastic.

Exiting the sweaty confines of the Chupacabra tent, we heard Alt-J plucking the first note of their set at the not-too-distant Bigfoot stage. Rushing over, our group found a good spot on the right side of the stage, just outside of the tightly-packed masses. I'm hoping it was Alt-J. Photo by Matthew Lamb.just because of our spot—it was at around a 170° angle facing out from the stage—but the band suffered from similar problems to others who performed at Bigfoot. You could hear the versatile talent of vocalist Joe Newman, but his voice lacked the punch it needed and was often overshadowed by a drum kick or bassline. Perhaps for the stage to sound perfect you had to be facing it directly, but it was still disappointing for these sound issues to appear again and again over the course of the weekend. Small gripes aside, I was still enthusiastic to hear Alt-J perform. Relying solely on their debut album An Awesome Wave, each song played was met with cheers from a crowd anxious to hear their favorites. "Tesselate," "Breezeblocks," "Taro," "Fitzpleasure," and "Matilda" were all there, and they were all great. I can't help but imagine how fantastic these guys would sound playing at a mid-to-large-sized indoor venue. Guess I'll have to wait till their fall tour.

As Alt-J's set drew to a close, the sounds of Steve Aoki at the El Chupacabra tent took over. We meandered over, lifted up the side of the tent and crawled under. When we emerged, it was to the sight of Steve Aoki popping champagne bottles all over the crowd, an inflatable boat with a girl in it skimming the tops of the audience. It was a raging party, and props to Aoki for his undeniable talent at partying, but it really emphasized an issue I have with a lot of producers. So many of them are great at making music, at using production programs to remix and create fantastic beats. But, and this is a big but, they rarely have a clue of how to be a live performer. Sure, Steve can blast his electronic stylings and revel in the drunken crowds ready to consume, but he's not really doing anything. He's mostly pressing play, fiddling with knobs when the song is about to drop and then crowd-surfing on an inflatable boat. It's fun, yeah, but it's not impressive from an artistic standpoint. There's no talent in pressing play.

I wasn't about to dedicate the rest of my time at Sasquatch! to Steve Aoki, so I opted for The Postal Service instead. A much better choice, I think. It's been ten years since I got hooked on their lone album Give Up, but I never got the chance to see Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello (aka Dntel) live. I jumped on the opportunity this time around. With ten minutes to go until the band's set time, the main floor of the Sasquatch stage still offered pockets of space ready to be occupied. My friends and I found one with ample view of the stage and held our place. Applause was overwhelming as the newly reunited outfit took to the stage, comprised of a svelte Gibbard, an upbeat Tamborello and the beautiful Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley).

They performed nearly all of Give Up's ten tracks, as well as a fantastic rendition of "A Tattered Line of String." I listened in excitement as Gibbard hopped on the drums for "This Place Is a Prison," or as Lewis and Gibbard exchanged playful looks as the sung a duet on "Nothing Better." The crowd's excitement elevated my elation, cheering wildly as "Brand New Colony" began with its echoing synthesizers or as "Clark Gable" shifts from soothing melodies to quick-tempoed synth pop. The sound during this show was simply outstanding, and each element—the bass, vocals, guitars, drums and synthesizers—came through crisp and clear. Even though the bass was loud it didn't take away from Gibbard's singing. It all resonated perfectly. Ten years later, I'm still a sucker for Gibbard and Tamborello.

The Postal Service. Photo by Matthew Lamb.Returning to Vancouver, we were exhausted, wet and hungover. Despite this, there was a definite sense of fulfillment. No matter how battered and bruised we were, we left The Gorge feeling more excited than when we arrived. All this thanks to so many incredible performances, (mostly) good weather, cheap alcohol and great friends. Sasquatch! 2013 was memorable in a lot ways, so many that it deserves a return visit. I will gladly return to The Gorge again soon.

By Adrian McCavour.

[Sasquatch! 2013] Recap: Day Three

Following a tired Friday and an outstanding Saturday at Sasquatch! 2013, Sunday kept the good vibes going. The sun continued to beam down, festival goers were in high spirits, and day three promised great things. The diverse lineup was really showcased this day, with such a great breadth of performers ready to get the Sasquatch crowds moving: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, El-P, Earl Sweatshirt, Mumford & Sons, Killer Mike, The Tallest Man On Earth, Dropkick Murphys, Grimes, Baths, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Primus and many more were ready to provide a continuous barrage of fantastic music. Not everyone was in top form, though. Sound problems ran rampant and drugs rattled performers' abilities. Read below for my high points and low points of the third day at Sasquatch!.

Photo by Christopher Nelson.

Starting the day off right, my friends and I heartily devoured breakfast, ready for drinking and debauchery. Ladder golf was played, beers were consumed, marijuana was smoked, and we continued making new friends around the campgrounds as well as running into old ones. The overall sense of friendliness was really great, and everyone was eager to offer a thoughtful "Hello." This was only apparent in the campgrounds, though. Once you began the journey to the festival grounds, people became focused on two things: which bands they were going to see and where their immediate group was. I'll admit, that was the mindset I fell into. It became stressful if you lost your friends, but in the end the buddy system always proved reliable.

Katherine and I made our way to the media area around 1:30pm, ate some snacks, gathered ourselves and got ready for the day. She had one goal that day, to see Mumford & Sons. That was the one concert we decided we would see from start to finish. Mumford and co. wouldn't be on for another eight hours, though, so we headed to the main stage for our first show of the day, Danny Brown. We arrived a bit early, enoughDanny Brown. Photo by Matthew Lamb. to see the end of Youngblood Hawke's set. We heard their hit single "We Came Running," but I wasn't overly impressed. This band wasn't for me, I decided. Then came time for Mr. Brown. Meeting up with my friend Nathan, we headed into the crowd, easily finding a good spot in the crossover. We had some time to wait for Danny Brown's set, and Nathan relayed how impressed he was with Capital Cities' performance earlier that day. He wasn't the first person we heard that from.

Danny Brown started at 3:15pm, exactly when he supposed to. Good sign. Clearly, though, he was pretty fucked up. My observations proved right as he jokingly admitted he smoked "...some of the best weed I ever had..." just before performing his first song, and repeatedly telling us how fucked up he was throughout. But that's just Danny Brown, right? Sure, he's charming in his weird, high-as-fuck kind of way, but it became annoying when almost every song consisted of him harshly rapping into the mic to the point of it being incomprehensible. That, and he would often forget lyrics and start over or just switch songs entirely. These are mistakes that a goofy, stoner laugh doesn't make up for.

Thankfully, the bro'd out, trap-loving crowd of Danny Brown quickly cleared and made way for The Tallest Man On Earth. I had never seen Kristian Matsson live, but his alias immediately proved to be very ironic. A short, thin man, you would think his stage presence to be lacking. He swiftly pushed that thinking out of my head. His lone presence on stage, armed only with an acoustic guitar and the shoes on his feet, is very unassuming, but he completely owns that environment. His limbs stretched and he never seemed able to sit still, with every guitar pluck garnering a reaction in Matsson's face. What he lacks in size, he surely makes up for in emotion and animation. That, and the simple combination of his voice and his guitar is mindbogglingly good. His vocals boomed outward from the main stage, drawing in a massive crowd. It was humbling seeing his reactions to the crowd, who reacted to his music with such great enthusiasm. "I’m not high or drunk or anything but I know I stare at you guys from time to time just to make sure you like what I’m doing. I’m a little weird but I try to do good by you cause I am so grateful that this is my job," he said to his fans as his set drew to a close. Keep doing what you're doing Matsson.

The Sasquatch stage saw such a drastic turnover this day. One minute, it was Danny Brown. One hour later, it was The Tallest Man On Earth. As that crowd dispersed, it cleared room for the energetic, wild crowd of Dropkick Murphys. I'd only ever heard of these Boston boys through their hit single "I'm Shipping Up to Boston," but I was thoroughly impressed at how proud and passionate they are. It really comes through in their music. They kicked things off with "The Boys Are Back," and the energy never let down till the band left the stage. Apparently this was their first show together in quite some time, but that was never apparent. Banjos, bagpipes, guitars, drums, bass, piano and accordions assualted my eardrums for an hour straight, and when it finished on a cover of ACDC's "TNT" I couldn't help but raise my voice in cheering applause. The boys delivered one hell of a show.

Snaking through the departing Dropkic Murphys crowds, we planted ourselves in front of the main stage ready for what Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros had to offer. I've had friends see them live and come away disappointed, but that was nowhere close to the experience I had here. I'm stating this now, this was easily one of the best shows of the festival. The energy that Alexander Ebert and co. brought to the stage was infectious and spread throughout the surrounding masses immediately. They lit up The Gorge with "Man on Fire," causing the whole crowd to joyously and passionately sing along. "40 Day Dream" really highlighted the charm of this mismatch musical collective, as they crowded the stage, jumping and playing with vigor and joy. "Home" really brought it all together, though. Every person in the crowd was clapping along, pleased as all hell to be here at The Gorge with the people they love and enjoy. It was a genuinely special moment. What was truly special was the breaking of the "crowd-musician" barrier, as Ebert and vocalist Jade Castrinos made their way down to the crowd and handed the mic off to fans eager to tell their stories. "You just heard our story, it’s time to hear yours," he said. While some of these stories were laughably cheesy, others were truly touching. It was amazing to see the band extend beyond the stage and bring fans into the experience.

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. Photo by Christopher Nelson.

Following Edward Sharpe's fantastic performance, we were left with a good deal of free time and numerous options to choose from. We decided we would quickly stop by the Bigfoot stage to check out Earl Sweatshirt. I previously mentioned the sound problems at this stage, and it definitely took away from my enjoyment of his show. The beats laid out beneath Earl's voice were really good, but there were times where the bass was cranked up way too high. As well, Earl's raps were too often drowned out by the overpowering bass. It sounded like his mic levels just weren't high enough to match everything else. After hearing a few songs, we didn't bother sticking around. Annoyed by audio issues we made our way to a beer tent and forgot all about it.

With liquor fueling our bodies, our group took off to the Yeti stage to see Killer Mike. His sixth LP R.A.P. Music was one of my top hip-hop releases of last year, so it was great to finally get the chance to hear him in Killer Mike. Photo by Christopher Nelson.the flesh. I was expecting great hip-hop, but not to the degree that Mike delivered. He began his set by cooly stating, "Two things: first, I'm fat, get over it, and second, my doctor says that performing on stage is cardio." It was a charming and hilarious start to a great performance. For a man his size, he moves nimbly across the stage, dancing and pouring his heart out on stage. The ATL rapper tore through his newest album, delivering high-octane raps like "Go!" and "R.A.P. Music" and "Reagan." Raps aside, Mike made the most of his time on stage to show his appreciation to his fans. He humbly thanked us for our support, how he feels redeemed and thankful for everyone around him. It was emotional and truly grounding to hear his words, a moment that, for me, set Killer Mike above any other rapper I've ever seen live. He thanks us for our support but I thank him for his music.

Next up was Grimes. She performed at the Honda Bigfoot stage, and the sound issues were never more apparent than her set. We listened to two or three songs at the rear of the crowd and Claire Boucher's voice was nearly non-existant, struggling to seep through the overpowering presence of bass. Every other aspect—the basslines, the synthesizers, etc.—sounded good if not great, but her voice never managed to find a place above the instrumentation. I've seen her live before and she excels in smaller spaces and enclosed venues, but she just couldn't find her footing here. After the problems with Earl's set, it was pretty disappointing to hear them persist.

Leaving Grimes early had its benefits. It gave us plenty of time to catch up on some drinking as well as the chance to get to the main stage and secure a decent spot for Mumford & Sons. We carved a path towards the main floor in front of the stage, finding a spot on the right with a good view of the stage. As 11pm approached, the crowd grew larger by the minute. Cheers exploded as Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane walked on stage but subsided as the band eased into the slow ballad "Lovers' Eyes." The calm didn't last for long, being completely replaced with roarous excitement as the band's hit single "I Will Wait" was ushered in by frantic banjo plucks. What is most apparent seeing these guys live is their unrelenting passion. Marcus Mumford tears apart his guitar with furious energy all the while his feet thump away peddles attached to a kick drum and a tambourine. Meanwhile, Lovett plays piano, Marshall's fingers pluck his banjo a mile a minute and Dwane drives the underlying bassline. On top of it all, every member raises their voice alongside Mumford, adding a great depth of harmony to every chorus line sung. It's truly impressive how energetic the four of them are, standing mere feet apart in front of thousands upon thousands of fans. "Little Lion Man," for instance, was a sight to behold, as every person in sight of stage was up on their feet dancing and cheering enthusiastically. The enthusiasm never left the amphitheatre. "Awake My Soul" was extended from four minutes to ten, with every voice in the crowd singing back to band to the point that it drowned out his own voice. That's what you get what when you cheekily ask, "Shall we have a sing-a-long now?," Marcus. Returning for an encore, the craziness continued to escalate. The band performed "Babel," the title track from their sophomore album. It was sheer excitement on stage and in the crowd. Excitement continued to build when they performed fan-favorite "The Cave," the second song that saw Marcus playing the drums. By the end of the song, everyone was in a state of euphoria, completely caught off guard by the arrival of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. The two bands, together in a moment of elation, delivered a loud, unexpected cover of Fleetwood Mac's classic song "The Chain." Holy crap, what an end it was.

Mumford & Sons. Photo by Christopher Nelson.

Day three ended on an incredible note, with Edward Sharpe and his Magnetic Zeros and Mumford and his Sons hightening the moods of thousands to an incredible high. There were a few disappointments throughout the day, but they were completely overshadowed by the plentiful awesome experiences that were had. What was most exciting was the diversity of these experiences, that at one moment I could be watching an amazing hip-hop show and the next be blown away by the energy of a group of Boston rockers. It really highlights what is so amazing about Sasquatch!, something that became even more apparent on the final day. The story concludes tomorrow with a recap of day four.

By Adrian McCavour.

[Sasquatch! 2013] Recap: Day Two

As the weekend of Sasquatch! festivities continued, the weather got better and so did the overall mood. The sun beamed down and the festival goers were waking up eager to party. The smell of bacon was met with the crack of beer cans opening, and campers were quick to set up ladder golf or throw a frisbee around. Day two was already off to a fantastic start and the nighttime was even better. The xx, Bloc Party, Holy Ghost!, Porcelain Raft, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, a hilarious stand up set by Nick Offerman and more, Saturday really impressed with some of the best performances of the festival. Check out the recap of day two below (and read our recap of day one here).

Photo by Christopher Nelson.

Much of Saturday was spent hanging out in the campgrounds, meeting our neighbours, drinking beer and enjoying the sun, putting us all in a good mood. Spirits were high as well as being consumed, and around two in the afternoon my girlfriend Katherine and I headed off to the festival grounds. Over the next couple of hours, we spent some time in the backstage and media areas doing interviews (these will be appearing on the blog over the next five days) with some fantastic musicians. Everyone we met was so interesting and fun to chat with and that's the feeling I got throughout the whole festival. There was always someone new to meet.

At around 6 o'clock, we made our way to the El Chubacabra tent to see Nick Offerman. For those unfamiliar, get familiar. Offerman is best known for playing Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation as well as being married to Megan Mullaly of Will & Grace fame. The guy is hilarious, with a very straightforward, dry Nick Offerman. Photo by Matthew Lamb.delivery, and it all works into his American everyman style. He strutted out without a shirt on, calmly stating, "You were warned that minor nudity was included." Putting on an American flag button-up, he offered attendees his "10 tips for prosperity." He encouraged the consumption of plentiful meat and bread, to practice romantic love and to do it often, as well as the safe use of drugs and intoxicants. He also dished out a few songs on his guitar, and at the end even brought his wife and actress Stephanie Hunt on stage. They did a mashup of Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man" and Cypress Hill's "Hits from a Bong" that was simply awesome. You can check out the mashup here, but be warned the sound quality isn't the best.

Next up was Holy Ghost!, who performed at the Honda Bigfoot stage right after Offerman's set. It was good timing and I was really excited to see these guys live again. Rest assured, they did not disappoint. The sun was still bright when Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser tore up their hour-long set. With a full touring band supporting them, they sounded great. Kicking it off with their new single "Dumb Disco Ideas," the New York duo then dished out loud, dancey renditions of "Hold On," "Wait & See," "Do It Again," "Hold My Breath" and pretty much their whole debut album. I didn't stop dancing that whole hour.

Still on a bit of an energy high from Holy Ghost!, we caught the second half of Bloc Party's set at the main stage. While we showed up late, what we did see was fantastic. I caught them last year at Outside Lands Bloc Party. Photo by Christopher Nelson.Festival in San Francisco, and they sounded as good if not better this time around. Sitting comfortably up on the hill, their set sounded so tight and it was a treat hearing songs from all four of their albums. While most of the set was material from Four, hearing old highlights like "Helicopter" was great. They even debuted a new song titled "Ratchet." Crowds were high-energy for this one.

With a bit of free time on our hands, we caught a short bit of Porcelain Raft at the Yeti stage. I had never seen Mauro Remiddi live but I really enjoyed his debut album Strange Weekend, so I was excited to find out what he sounded like in person. After hearing both "Drifting In And Out" and "Put Me To Sleep" I was very impressed. Remiddi's dreamy tunes sound great live, floating effortlessly through your eardrums. After what I heard, I was sad to leave, but The xx was waiting right around the corner.

Heading back to the Sasquatch stage, we prepared for The xx. Tucking into the left side of the stage, we made our way into the crowd and up to the front left. With a great, up-close view, we parked ourselves inRomy and Oliver of The xx. Photo by Christopher Nelson. place. As the band walked on stage the sun was giving us it's final minutes of light, giving way to the band's dark attire and stunning light show. All I can say is these three blew me away. Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie xx know how to build and atmosphere and completely own a crowd. Their stage presence is minimal and quietly charming, and for good reason. They let their instruments and sounds do the talking, using heavy bass kicks, explosive claps, rolling basslines and dazzling light arrangements to put you in a trance. It was so mesmerizing to see and hear "Reunion" live, being carefully strung along by the slowly-encompassing atmosphere. "VCR" was met with roaring applause, and then complete silence as the crowd gave way to the music. As was "Islands." As was "Swept Away." "Angels." "Crystalised." Seriously, it was like that with every song. I had no expectations going into it, but I left that stage in awe.

Walking away from the main stage, my mind was lost, still in a daze. We wandered to the El Chupacabra for a change of scenery. It was a drastic shift going from the minimalist beauty of The xx to the pulse-pounding electronic beats of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. That didn't matter. My excitement for TEED quickly took over. Easily securing a spot against the front barrier, our eardrums were met with a barrage of pulsating bass and synthesized sounds. Surrounded by flashing lights, he kept the crowd moving for an hour straight, never letting go. TEED assaulted the senses with a well-paced set, and fans responded with high-energy dancing. He threw down tracks both old and (mostly) new, including "Your Love," "American Dream Pt. II," "Garden," "Stronger" and more. This was my first taste of electronic music at the festival, and it was so good.

Following TEED's set I had a ton of energy, so my friends and I bounced around to different stages for a while. First, we headed to the main stage, reaching the crest of the hill overlooking the tail end of Sigur Rós' set. The view was beautiful. A clear black sky speckled by stars dominated while the band doled out their final songs. It was a brief visit to the main stage—only 10 minutes—but it was a mellowing follow-up to TEED. My attention was occupied by something else, though, as Sigur Rós' quieter presence lost out to Tame Impala's raucous sounds at the nearby Yeti stage. We brashly decided that the party should continue and headed in that direction.

Tame Impala were supposed to perform at the Honda Bigfoot stage at 10pm, but due to their gear arriving late they were moved to an 11:15 set at the much smaller Yeti stage. That didn't matter, though. By the time we arrived at Yeti, the crowd was massive. Thousands of dedicated fans amassed around the stage, and the band responded with a fuckin' rowdy set. They brought songs from both Innerspeaker and Lonerism and Empire of the Sun. Photo by Matthew Lamb.unleashed them in loud, blistering fashion upon us, enveloping vocalist Kevin Parker's fragile vocals in warm, psychedelic sounds. It was incredible to hear "Elephant" roar to life, causing the excitement level to explode, and to lose yourself in "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" as it drifts along in a dream-like manner. The highlight was easily the end of their set, as "Solitude Is Bliss" so very loudly echoed from the stage, leaving everyone with the words "You will never come close to how I feel" etched into their minds.

Still feeling the reverberation of Tame Impala course through my body, we set our sights on the final show of the night: Empire of the Sun. Gladly choosing this band over Laidback Luke's set at El Chupacabra, I prepared for the bright, colorful extravagance of Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore. That's exactly what we got. Booming explosions of light and smoke introduced the band, donned in absurd outfits and accompanied by bizarre dancers. Apparently, they needed over an hour to prepare the stage and costuming for the show, and it certainly showed. This is pure showmanship, with stage-wide visual wonderment. The music was fantastic too. It was great to finally hear "Standing on the Shore," "We Are The People," "Half Mast" and "Walking on a Dream" live, but it was the new material that really stood out. "Alive" was anthemic and the whole crowd was chanting along energetically, while brand new songs from their upcoming album Ice on the Dune really showcased a catchy '80s dance vibe. I did get the sense that their was a lot lip-syncing going on, but I admit I didn't care because it was so bright and theatrical and fun. Fuck... is that a bad thing? It was just so good!

Day two really showcased all of what Sasquatch! has to offer: amazing music diversity, stunning vistas and weather as well as tons of memorable experiences. It was a day full of continuous high notes, amazing performances and ridiculous fun, and the story continues tomorrow with a recap of day three.

By Adrian McCavour.

[Sasquatch! 2013] Recap: Day One

Sasquatch! 2013 came and went this past weekend, four days of incredible music, memorable friendships and drug addled debauchery. There is no better reason to navigate the beauty of eastern Washington state towards the gorgeous sights of The Gorge Amphitheatre. Graced with the winding currents of the Columbia River, the panoramic views are equalled only by the performances taking place there. Day one, Friday the 24th, saw a headlining performance from Seattle hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, representing their home state, as well as fantastic sets from Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend, Father John Misty, Japandroids and more. Kicking off the festival, there were memorable moments but also disappointing ones. See our recap of the first day below.

Photo by Matthew Lamb.

Day one of the festival was off to a rocky start. After trekking from Vancouver to The Gorge, our group arrived at the festival grounds at 2:30am to the sight of a lengthy lineup. Fast forward to 6am and we finally began setting up our tents, exhausted by the drive and lack of sleep, dizzy from the numerous beers consumed. As the rain began to pour down, we laid back for a much needed sleep. After six hours of rest, I wandered the campground, running into friends and soaking in the festival atmosphere. There was excitement in the air and I couldn't help but feel the same way. Sasquatch! had begun.

After hours of drinking, my girlfriend and I made our way to the festival grounds. Once our media bracelets were secured we headed in, ready to catch ScHoolboy Q & Ab-Soul at the main stage. The crowd was packed in front of the Sasquatch stage, but to our and everyone else's disappointment ScHoolboy and Ab-Soul never showed up. People in the crowd muttered things along the lines of, "Oh, they must have gotten too high," but that's no excuse. Kush coma or not, it was a disheartening start to the festival.

On a more positive note, the absence of ScHoolboy and Ab-Soul did give us the chance to see Japandroids at the Honda Bigfoot stage. Saying "fuck you" to scheduling conflicts, we made our way to an energetic View from the crowd of Japandroids. Photo by Christopher Nelson.crowd cheering for the Vancouver duo. Their performance brought to light one of the biggest issues I had throughout the festival: the sound at the Honda Bigfoot stage (more on this later). Despite this, Japandroids' loud sound overcame these problems and led to a rowdy crowd and a great performance. The crowd-surfing was already in full swing.

Father John Misty followed Japandroids at Honda Bigfoot, bringing his eclectic folk stylings to the The Gorge crowd. He and his band brought a colorful backdrop, complete with an overarching rainbow. J. Tillman and co. tore through their debut album Fear Fun, delivering fantastic performances of "Nancy From Now On" and more. Thankfully, the band's gospel folk sound was not victimized by any sound problems. Rather they gave fans an energetic and memorable set, continuing the tone that Japandroids set before them.

Father John Misty. Photo by Matthew Lamb.Making our way from Honda Bigfoot to the main stage, all I could do was bask in the beauty of the scenery. Sweeping vistas and carving river canyons, it's impossible not to feel lucky being at Sasquatch!.

Approaching the rising hill of the Sasquatch stage, it was clear that UK outfit Arctic Monkeys had amassed an incredibly eager crowd. Sitting comfortably atop the hill with a beer in hand, I watched impressed at every minute of their performance. Dressed in a dapper suit, frontman Alex Turner was in top form, driving forward with boming vocals backed by Jamie Cook on lead guitar, Nick O'Malley on bass and Matt Helders on drums. The Brit rockers have such a polished live sound, and it showed when they broke out renditions of "R U Mine?" and "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor." If the crowd on the hill was excited, then the people in front of the stage were going absolutely insane. Swaths of fans swayed and danced in unison, arms in the air ready to move or clap whenever called upon by Turner.

For a festival experience that started off with some disappointment, the three bands I did see more than made up for it. Japandroids were loud and energetic. Father John Misty was unique and put his all into hyping up festival goers. Arctic Monkeys simply killed it. Unfortunately, the cold weather and some poor clothing choices on my part, day one ended early. I missed Vampire Weekend, but it wasn't the end of the world. I heard Macklemore & Ryan Lewis gave an outstanding performance, appreciative of a headlining spot and such dedicated fans, but I wasn't torn by the thought of skipping it. In the end, turning in early turned into a night of drinking with friends and a delicious meal at our campsite. After all, Sasquatch is more than just a festival, it's camping, getting dirty, drinking, smoking, and generally enjoying the time you spend with those around you. While I didn't see a ton of bands the ones I did see were great, and overall Friday set the perfect tone for the days to come.

Sasquatch at night. Photo by Christopher Nelson.

Day two will be published on Monday, with thoughts on Nick Offerman, Holy Ghost!, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Bloc Party, The xx and more.

By Adrian McCavour

[Sasquatch! 2013] Our Most Anticipated Artists of the Festival (Day Three and Four)

Only one day left until Sasquatch! commences. Today and tomorrow will see thousands of avid music fans journeying to The Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA, prepping their campsites, stocking up on alcohol and drugs in anticipation of dozens of amazing performances. This year's lineup boasts some fantastic talent, such as The xx, Vampire Weekend, Sigur Rós, The Postal Service, Disclosure, Arctic Monkeys, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros and many, many more. It's a lineup worth salivating over.

As the festival quickly approaches, I've put together a list of some of the best acts playing each of the four nights. Each band comes with some recommended listening, because there is no better way to prepare for a festival than sampling what each band has to offer, whether you know them or not. Take a look at our most anticipated artists for days one and two here, and check out days three and four below.

Day Three (Sunday):

Danny Brown - 3:15-4:00pm @Sasquatch

Danny Brown is a crazy dude. Very crazy. His ridiculous presence on his albums and mixtapes should equal an incredibly energetic live show. Did I mention that he got a blowjob onstage during a recent performance and didn't miss a beat?

Recommended Listening:


El-P - 5:30-6:30 @Honda Bigfoot

Last year's Cancer 4 Cure marked El-P's return after five years of absence. It was an amazing album that showcased his talent at bringing humor, wit and dark themes together into a cohesive hip-hop sound. On top of that, if featured some incredible production. I can't imagine his live performance will disappoint.

Recommended Listening:


Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros - 7:10-8:10pm @Sasquatch

Have you ever seen live footage of Edward Sharpe and his hippy cohorts performing live? If you haven't, do it now. One thing you'll notice quickly is the unreal energy that this group has, and that is guaranteed to transfer straight to the crowd. If you make it to the main stage on Sunday night, expect the audience to be partying just as hard as Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros.

Recommended Listening:


Earl Sweatshirt - 8:15-9:00pm @Honda Bigfoot

Earl has made a huge return this year. After a long-rumored and now confirmed absence in Samoa, the Odd Future member is back working on a new album called Doris. He's already debuted new material during his ongoing festival circuit, so hopefully he offer up something new this weekend.

Recommended Listening:


Baths - 9:00-10:00pm @El Chupacabra

Baths has created some quirky electronic beats for years now. His debut album Cerulean was great from start to finish, an eclectic and refreshing collection of synthesizers and samples. With his sophomore album Obsidian set to release next week, what better time for the Los Angeles musician to unleash a swath of new tunes.

Recommended Listening:


Grimes - 10:00-11:00pm @Honda Bigfoot

Vancouver turn Montreal musician Clair Boucher has quickly garnered praise from across the music industry. She's a charming woman with a penchant for the oddities, and her music is a direct reflection of this. Her electronic productions are captivating and at the same time so very weird, but it's exactly this that makes her so intriguing. What better place to be won over by Grimes than the gorgeous vistas of the Gorge?

Recommended Listening:


Killer Mike - 9:10-9:45pm @Yeti

Killer Mike is poised to dominate over the next year or two. This year, he'll be releasing a collaborative album with El-P, who produced the excellent R.A.P. Music, and next year he'll release not one but two albums. With El-P performing at the festival and a ton of new material in the works, you can expect Killer Mike's show will be pretty memorable.

Recommended Listening:


The Presets - 12:00-1:15am @El Chupacabra

The Presets are fantastic live. I've seen them twice now and they do not disappoint. They tweak and expand beyond what is featured on their albums, and turn what could be a simple dancey live set into a body-jacking, floor-thumping experience. Let The Presets occupy your eardrums in the late hours of the night.

Recommended Listening:


 

Day Four (Monday):

P.O.S -2:25-3:10pm @Honda Bigfoot

P.O.S is representing the Doomtree collective at Sasquatch! this year, bringing the bluesy hip-hop sound of Minneapolis to Washington state. Hopefully we'll hear tracks from throughout his career, including last year's We Don't Even Live Here. Personally, I'm hoping for a bit o' "Sarah Silverman."

Recommended Listening:


Dirty Projectors - 4:30-5:30pm @Honda Bigfoot

Swing Lo Magellan was one of my favorite albums of last year, and I've heard great things of Dirty Projectors' live performance. Don't pass up the chance to hear David Longstreth and Amber Coffman's incredible and expansive vocal talents in person.

Recommended Listening:


Death Grips - 5:50-6:50pm @Honda Bigfoot

This is the show that'll be burned into your memory for a while. My roommate, who unfortunately can't make it to Sasquatch! this year, said this was his most anticipated artist, and for good reason. The duo of rapper Stefan Burnett and producers Zach Hill and Andy Morin are crazy sons of bitches, with the verses of the former equalling the insanity of the beats of the latter. This is intense rap, no question about it. If you go see Death Grips be warned, a most pit is inevitable.

Recommended Listening:


Toro Y Moi - 6:00-7:00pm @El Chupacabra

Chazwick Bundick has put out some amazing albums these past few years. This past January he gave us his third, Anything In Return, and while much of it crept into mindless pop (I'm mostly referring to the lyrics) there are plenty of gems to be found. He combines such an eclectic taste, drawing influence from pop, hip-hop, R&B and electronic. The result are incredible songs like "Rose Quartz," "Say That" and "Never Matter." Personally, I can't wait for Bundick to bring these to the Sasquatch grounds. Hopefully you're on board too.

Recommended Listening:


Twin Shadow - 7:10-8:10pm @Honda Bigfoot

Twin Shadow evokes the best of the '80s. Leather jackets, wild haircuts, and bringing confessional lyricism together with '80s guitar licks and glittering synthesizers. It's pretty fantastic, and if you're in the mood for an '80s throwback this is the show for you.

Recommended Listening:


Disclosure - 7:30-8:30pm @El Chupacabra

Guy and Howard Lawrence are a talented pair of brothers. Every song they put out is fantastic, whether it's "White Noise" with AlunaGeorge, "You & Me" with Eliza Doolittle or even the brand new track "When A Fire Starts To Burn" (which just debuted today). Even though their set is a bit earlier than I hoped—they would have been a perfect late-night set—it's one of my most anticipated performances of the festival. Get ready to get down and dirty at this one.

Recommended Listening:


Alt-J - 8:30-9:30pm @Honda Bigfoot

Alt-J is a strange band. Really, they are. But this strange aura around them they are incredibly accessible. Hell, they won the Mercury Prize for their debut album An Awesome Wave. It's their broad scope and diverse but fantastic sound that draws in a huge fanbase. You can expect their show at Sasquatch! to be just as diverse.

Recommended Listening:


The Postal Service - 10:00-11:30pm @Sasquatch

What better festival for The Postal Service to headline than Sasquatch!, taking place in Ben Gibbard's home state of Washington. Ten years after releasing their lone album Give Up, Gibbard and Dntel came together for a reunion tour and a re-release of the LP. When that album first came out I was still in middle school, and all that teenage angst found solace in the moody electronic stylings of The Postal Service. I have a nostalgia with the band, as do so many others, and I highly doubt they'll disappoint that nostalgia.

Recommended Listening: