Yesterday after a very long (but beautiful) drive I arrived at Sasquatch music festival. Surrounded by the beautiful Washington gorge I set up my chateaux sized tent and headed off to the concert stages. Surrounded by furries, hipsters, countless teenagers disrespected Native American culture by wearing headdresses, and parents grudgingly taking their kids to the festival (by the way, thanks dad!) I caught a few shows, including Poliça, Girl Talk, Starfucker, and Beats Antique.
For Poliça, I sadly arrived too late to go into the press area (by literally one song) and even after begging the security guard, I still couldn't get in. Besides that setback, the show was great. The setting sun provided a beautiful backdrop to Poliça’s music. Lead singer Channy Leaneagh's voice is soft and sultry- a strong contrast to the electronic sound of the two drums and a bass. While electronic music isn’t really my thing, a lot of the time I find it to be cold and emotionless, when combined with Leaneagh’s voice, the sounds meshed together perfectly.
I needed a quick break to reload some film in my camera and I thought why not a better place than at the Girl Talk show. The main stage at Sasquatch provides a brilliant view of the gorge. By the time I got to the show, the party had already started. Fans danced onstage while Girl Talk rapped to samples of songs ranging from “Blitzkrieg Pop” to “Tiny Dancer” to “A-Punk”. Sure, they're an obvious crowd pleaser, but it's still a must see show.
I was prepared after Poliça and got to the next show, Starfucker, quickly. Starfucker are one of the few Portland bands playing at Sasquatch, so I was excited to see some P-Town pride. Per usual, they came out dressed in costumes almost as extreme as that of their audience (think multi-colored capes). While there set was definitely fun ( I mean how could a set by Starfucker NOT be fun?), I never felt that crucial connection between them and the audience. I would have enjoyed myself just as much if I was listening to their recorded cd as I was seeing them live. The only time I really started getting into the music was when they started switching from their more electronic songs to their more rock songs. Of course their famous cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was a hit with the audience, and I myself couldn’t help but sing along.
For the last show of the evening I saw Beats Antique, an electronic group that features instruments ranging from a violin to a saxophone to a banjo (as to my knowledge they are the only electronic band to have a banjo). Zoe Jakes’s theatrics, which included a belly dancing routine during the opening song as well as playing a drum while wearing a cat suit, kept the show interesting.The audience, which was made up of the people NOT at Girl Talk, got down to all of the bands song, many which featured various world music influences. The highlight of the show was when they broke into a song with a Klezmer part. I had no clue that the music of my (Jewish) people could be so cool.
I ended the day, writing this while sitting outside as the temperature dropped, with drunk concert goers all around me, and the sound of a dj in the distance, all in all not a bad way to end the day.