Author: Haley Parsons
Almost all photos by Haley Parsons
My two goals for Sasquatch were to see Modest Mouse and get some experience with concert photography. That’s all I was really looking for but once I actually went, I came back with so much more. I saw so many fantastic acts, met some wonderful people, and took in the beauty of Eastern Washington. For your reading pleasure, I’m going to do my best to recreate the highlights of this life-changing little fest.
The Garden was a band I had looked forward to seeing for a long time. Twins Wyatt and Fletcher Shears alternated between different instruments and singing/rapping. Their performance was super in-your-face, but I was really impressed by their ability to break the mold of what an “Indie Rock” band is supposed to sound like or act like. They rocked their time slot on the Yeti stage in a winter coat and an eyepatch. I left their set understanding the hype that my California classmates have built around them.
Another Friday band I had been excited to see was Seattle super girl group, Thunderpussy. They embodied the spirit of classic rock elegantly and even did it better than the male icons who line the halls of rock history. From their backup dancers to their killer outfits and the command they have over their instruments, Thunderpussy were well put together and played an enthralling show.
I went to David Byrne’s set to hear some Talking Heads throwbacks and to get a good spot for Bon Iver, but his performance was more than I was expecting. His set included Talking Heads favorites like “Burning Down The House” along with Byrne originals like “Everybody’s Coming To my House”. He also took the opportunity to urge people to register to vote and comment on police violence by performing an updated version of Janelle Monáe’s “Hell You Talmbout”.
The very last set of Friday night was the MAN, Tyler, The Creator. His stage set up with beautiful and kept with the motif in his music of summer camps and time spent in nature. The crowd went absolutely wild as he rocked, rolled, bloomed, and glowed in the middle of George, Washington. A majority of his set was off of Flower Boy, but he did play some oldies like “IFHY”.
Early Saturday, Minnesota rapper, Lizzolit up the main stage with her fantastic flow and dope hooks. Her set drew a big crowd for being so early in the day and Lizzo took the opportunity to ask the crowd to turn their backs to the stage and shake their booties, which will go down in history as the largest twerk fest ever. After that, I was filled with confidence and self-love.
Another one of my favorite performances of the weekend was Shakey Graves. This one-man band from Texas played to the cameras and interacted well with his audience while bumping some fan favorites and new songs off his recently release album. My heart was bursting with joy when he ended his set with my favorite, “Late July”.
Saturday night semi-local headliner Modest Mouse put on a stellar show for diehard fans. It was special for me because the other time I saw them, they didn’t play “Float On”, but they did this time! They played the hits from almost all of their albums with a spectacularly raw version of “Night on the Sun” as the cherry on top.
Day three was perhaps the busiest day of the whole festival, but the most worth it. Especially because I saw (Sandy) Alex G! I believe he is one of the better kept secrets in indie rock/indie folk right now because he played to a smaller, but immensely dedicated crowd at the Bigfoot stage. The singer sang the tender “Bobby”. Then screamed through his teeth the lyrics to the more aggressive, “Brick”. He played a little bit of something for everyone, including one of my favorites, “Soaker”.
As the day went on, I grew more and more stoked for Japanese Breakfast’s set. Frontwoman Michelle Zauner drew a HUGE crowd at the Yeti stage and the native northwestern gal fed off the energy the crowd was sending her. She was fired up as she flew through well-known tunes like “Everybody Wants to Love You” and “Road Head” One special highlight of the set was her cover of “Dreams” by the Cranberries.
Perfume Genius as another shining star on this jam-packed lineup. I had never listened to the band but immediately fell in love with Seattle-based artist, Mike Hadreas’s full voice and powerful stage presence. He practically filled the entire Gorge with his sound. No one there could ignore the greatness that took place.
The perfect sunset band, Big Thief rapped up my time at the Yeti stage. Adrianne Lenker’s warm voice soothed everyone as the sun began to set in the desert. In the same vein as Perfume Genius, the beautiful sound of vulnerability was hard to ignore. Passersby were drawn in as the band covered most of Capacity and a bit of their first album, Masterpiece.
I had a really hard time writing this because I desperately wanted to do my Sasquatch experience justice. I wanted to make anyone who reads this feel like they were really there. But, truthfully, I can’t describe the thing that keeps people coming back year after year, it’s just something you have to experience. It seemed that ticket sales and patron satisfaction increased enough this year to hopefully keep the fest alive for years to come. I know that if I have the chance, I’ll be back next year!
HALEY PARSONS | I don’t miss sleeping in a tent though | KXSU Music Reporter