Sasquatch! Festival – Saturday 5/28/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre
Review, pictures and video from thenaturalstoner and Phishbeard
Waking up on a Saturday at the Gorge Campground is about as great of a feeling as one can possibly imagine. If it weren’t for the hangover from the night before and a tent in shambles, I would have been feeling great! So of course as soon as I got up it was time for the Gorge breakfast of champions AKA whiskey and coke! Drinks were plentiful and everyone was having a blast all day in anticipation of the full day ahead (compared to the night before where there were many less bands).
I will be honest, I think Saturday was my least favorite day of the four. Mechanical problems and mellow vibes (when I wanted to party) brought an interesting atmosphere to this day. Of course there were some awesome points as well, and we will touch on those, but as a whole Saturday fell a little short in my opinion.
We made it into the Gorge in time to catch the Trailer Park Boys up in the Banana Shack, a tent that doubled as a comedy stage during the day and a dance tent at night. The Boys weren’t performing a standup act though, it was more of a performance of a Trailer Park Boys episode. From where we were in the tent the sound was pretty terrible, so we bailed in time to check out souvenirs and get some $9 beers.
We headed over to the Yeti Stage to see J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. at 4:35. This was a set that I was extremely looking forward to, and we got to about 4th row in the crowd. As mentioned above there were mechanical problems on Saturday during a couple sets, and this one had a few. The music was great, but there were some big pauses and tunings between songs and some loudness/feedback that wasn’t supposed to be there. Also during this set, the kid on the rail three people in front of me was hunched over, apparently asleep/way too wasted on whatever drugs he was on. Security came over a few times, doing nothing of course, and then eventually they got the kid to wake up and head off to the side. It was an interesting and funny sight watching these big security guards confused.
After Mascis we went over to the huge lawn of the Gorge and watched Pink Martini. This was one of the surprises of my weekend, as they were unexpectedly excellent! I really enjoyed what they played and wished I could have seen more of their set-I think we got about half of it.
Phishbeard and I then took the long walk down to the floor and got close for Iron and Wine. Sam Beam and backup crew played for an hour and brought a cool vibe to the crowd. I like Iron and Wine a lot and thought they played great. They opened with Boy with a Coin and closed with Tree by the River, a fitting song as we watched the Columbia River flow behind the stage. Walking Far From Home and Summer in Savannah seem like highlights, memory is a little foggy here. After Iron and Wine we walked up to the Bigfoot stage and caught a few songs from Matt and Kim. I liked these two a lot and this is another band that I wish I could have seen more of. Instead we made a bad decision and went over to the hill and watched the start of Bright Eyes, which I absolutely could not get into at all, and then went over to see Robyn party it up.
Robyn cancelled her fan meet and greet earlier in the day and came out over 25 minutes late for her set. I am not sure what the deal was, but she was the artist I would consider the least timely of the weekend. We watched a few songs and then went to watch Death Cab for Cutie. This is where the possible worst decision of the weekend was made.
Instead of going to see Sleigh Bells we decided to give Death Cab a shot for about 30 minutes. Like Bright Eyes, Death Cab was another band I just couldn’t find an appreciation for. It was too quiet of set for what I wanted. Eventually we went over to see the end of Sleigh Bells and that was possibly my favorite part of the day. We only got 3 songs but they were a freaking blast and I really wish I could’ve seen more. I will definitely put Sleigh Bells on my concert watch list.
The night ended when we went over to see the late night set of Bassnectar. Another party I was looking forward to for a long time had an up and down go of it. The power went out three separate times, including immediately after announcing “We are back!” and Bassnectar could only keep going (even though no one could hear anything) and pray to the Bass Gods (which he actually did) and hope the power would stay on for the remainder. The glowstick war I was promised was nice, but I have seen better; see Phish performing Loving Cup on 10/31/09 in Indio. The last hour of Bassnectars set went off without a hitch and I can see why the kids these days like to dance. I had a pretty good amount of fun standing near the back of the crowd watching the crazies get their groove on.
The concerts ended at 12:30, but of course there is the long trek back to the Campground and then the party that awaits there. Like I said, there were some great moments Saturday, but if I had to throw one of the days back in the water it would have been this one. Maybe if I had seen all of Sleigh Bells I would think differently??
Getting four people from the stage at J. Mascis was the closest we got all weekend, except for future ConcertConfessions contributor Mr. Sparkly who got two people from Death From Above 1979 and the Foo Fighters the night before.
Choosing Death Cab for Cutie over Sleigh Bells goes down as the weekends most epic fail. Unlike Sunday with Major Lazer and Wilco (which I feel I managed almost perfect), I should have balanced Death Cab and Sleigh Bells much better.
Pink Martini goes down as possible surprise of the weekend. A really fun set that seemed to come out of nowhere!
Shoulda saw more Matt and Kim.
Saturday Video of the Day:
Saturday Video list: