The Ottawa Bluesfest has announced it lineup for the 2013 shindig. Over the course of 10 days (July 4th through the 14th), festival goers will have their chance to see acts like B.B. King, Weezer, Rush and fun. Other notables include Wu Tang Clan, Grace Potter And The Nocturnals, Tegan & Sara, The Joy Formidable, Killer Mike,Dixie Chicks, Belle & Sebastian, Flogging Molly, Sharon Van Etten and Atlas Genius.
If you’re into the “trance life”, then Skrillex gives you your fix, and other acts that don’t get first paragraph recognition are Passion Pit, Animal Collective, Zac Brown Band and Fitz & The Tantrums. Get the full list of acts announced so far below, and for ticketing information check out the festivals official website.
When the Heritage Hunter tour was announced, I knew I had to go. Opeth was the band on the tour that I was the least familiar with, and upon fully immersing myself in their challenging brand of progressive metal, I knew I’d be in for a fantastic show. Combining light, almost beautiful song structures with the louder, heavier sounds of common heavy metal (and a touch of dry, awkward humor from frontman Mikael Akerfeldt in between songs) the Swedes managed to put on a show that was set right in front of an amazing Atlanta sunset.
9. Umphrey’s McGee
With great jamming comes some great responsibility. Umphrey’s McGee are a jam band known for ridiculous song covers, odd stage presence, great lights, and insane guitar playing. Keep in mind, all this comes from six dudes who look like they could be working at a Best Buy or Target, and call themselves “Umphrey’s McGee.” They’re a cult act, no doubt, and this 2 AM – 6 AM concert at Bonnaroo showed that their fans will go where they go. I only stuck around for the first half of the show (I left right around the time Big Gigantic played their guest spot) but I got what I wanted. I got a “Bulls on Parade” tease, a “Stranglehold” tease, and some of the most intense jamming I’ve heard from any band. It was a rock and roll set, without a doubt, and it was one of the best rock and roll sets I’m sure Bonnaroo has ever seen.
The headlining act of the aforementioned Heritage Hunter tour is a force to be reckoned with. Mastodon is a band that is exactly what the name implies: A big hairy beast that could crush a thousand men with the stomp of its foot. They played mostly new material from their stellar 2011 album “The Hunter” during the hometown gig and barely addressed the audience, but the concert was full of the sheer force that the Atlanta boys are known for. The facial hair on these guys alone should be enough to make the average man cower in fear. I would’ve liked to hear more from “Crack the Skye,” but it’s hard to complain when you’re witnessing one of the most brutal sludge/doom/weird metal bands of the past decade play songs in front of you.
Dispatch make catchy summer music and Bonnaroo is a festival built for specifically that. After nearly a decade long break from touring and releasing new material, the jam/roots rock band with a massive cult following has returned to rock the faces off frat boys who graduated from Dave Matthews Band University. The trio are phenomenal instrumentalists and write a great catchy tune. Although I couldn’t see the whole show, I saw enough to know that Dispatch’s music translates very very well to a live setting, especially when you’ve got a bigger crowd then one would expect from a band with literally no mainstream help.
6. Flogging Molly
Celtic punk isn’t for the critics, and neither is Flogging Molly. Nothing about Flogging Molly is very original, but it is a lot of fun. The sand that lined the floor was in the air and in my lungs by the time these guys finished their high-energy set. This set included their most well-known song “Seven Deadly Sins” as well as a Bob Dylan cover. Flogging Molly didn’t show up to promote any new music, but they did have a blast, as did I and the many other people who witnessed them perform.
5. St. Vincent
Anyone who knows me knows about my year-long crush on Annie Clark, the brains behind St. Vincent. And when I finally got to witness her perform music live in front of my eyes, I was not at all disappointed. Everything about this performance was everything I could’ve wanted from a St. Vincent show and more. She played mostly songs from her amazing 3rd album Strange Mercy, but threw in a couple songs from her first two albums. The set was full of energy, as well as beauty and intensity. And the way she plays that guitar… I could go on forever about how great of a musician this woman is. Bottom line is, you need to see her live if you want a great show.
4. Childish Gambino
Anyone who knows me knows about my man crush on Donald Glover, a standup comedian, writer, actor on the greatest comedy on television “Community,” and rapper. The rapper part of this complicated equation, Childish Gambino, put on a monster of a set at Bonnaroo. He walked on stage with what I can only refer to as “swagger,” wearing a black tanktop that was purposely a bit too big. He led the audience through energetic versions of “Bonfire,” “Freaks and Geeks,” “Heartbeat,” “You See Me,” and plenty more that just turned into sing-a-longs, for lack of a better word. It’s the only real hip hop show I’ve ever been to, and it was a fantastic experience. Gambino isn’t the world’s greatest rapper, but he certainly knows how to handle himself on stage.
Radiohead release some of the most beloved music of the past 15 years. Almost every other album they put out is hailed as a classic: OK Computer, Kid A, In Rainbows, etc.; and if they aren’t hailed as a classic they’re almost always lauded by critics and fans alike. The reception for their most recent release, 2011’s The King of Limbs, wasn’t as positive as it was for some of their other albums, but it still gets better with each listen. Radiohead’s 2006 Bonnaroo performance is often hailed as one of their best, and they without a doubt topped that performance with their 2012 Bonnaroo performance. Although half the set was songs from In Rainbows and The King of Limbs, the 25-song set was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. They ended the first encore with Everything In Its Right Place and the second encore with Paranoid Android, two of their most incredible and ambitious works. And not only did they play with energy and emotion, but the lights and the screen display was one of the best of all time. Up there with Phish and Pink Floyd. Speaking of Phish…
I saw Phish twice this year. And from the very first song at Bonnaroo (Down With Disease) I knew that I was witnessing what might be the best touring band in America. The jamming is top-notch and the lights display is astonishing, especially since a good portion of the show is improvised. At Bonnaroo they brought out country music legend Kenny Rogers and performed his hit “The Gambler” with him, which proved to me that Phish can do a great cover. I also got to hear them perform their cover of TV On the Radio’s “Golden Age” the first time (I heard it again in Atlanta). Also in Atlanta I heard their cover of Ween’s “Roses Are Free” which was perhaps a tribute to the newly split group and they encored with a cover of The Beatles’ “A Day In the Life,” which would have made John Lennon proud. They’re not a band you’d expect to put on a great live performance since they hardly move from their spots while they play, but somehow they are able to reach these incredible crescendos that create this cloud of energy. Both shows I saw were amazing, and they’re a band you must see live at some point.
1. Flaming Lips
Has anyone ever seen Flaming Lips and been disappointed? Even if you’re not a big fan of their music the way they perform and the amount of effort they put into making the live experience perfect should earn them some respect. Lights, balloons, streamers, strings, explosions; all of this and more were a part of Flaming Lips’ Saturday night performance in Atlanta. They played some of their stranger songs like “See the Leaves” and “Pompeii am Götterdämmerung” as well as their more accessible hits like “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1” and “the Yeah Yeah Yeah Song.” They ended their beautiful and powerful live show with the all-out emotion-fest that is “Do You Realize??” which is probably their best song. It’s full of thought-provoking lyrics and is so powerful when performed live that it almost brought happy tears to my eyes. If you’ve lived this long without seeing Flaming Lips live, then I feel a bit of pity for you. But Flaming Lips tour very very often when they’re not busy paying tribute to King Crimson or Pink Floyd on record. So go out and see them. I did, and I have no complaints whatsoever. They’re the best band I saw this year, and probably the best band I’ve ever seen.
After three and a half hours of sleep, we woke up to the lovely sound of people chatting and cars driving on the road adjacent to our tent. Saturday would be definitely be our most exciting and energetic day, and it didn’t even start until 1:45 in the afternoon.
With that, we ate breakfast, hung around, and decided that it probably wouldn’t be a horrible idea to take a $7 shower. We got in line and spoke to the dudes behind us and prepared for the hour-long wait to take the legendary Bonnaroo $7 shower. And after a day spent literally walking around in clouds of dirt and dust, it felt ridiculously good. If you go to Bonnaroo, definitely take a shower. You never know how much dirt is collecting on your skin until you see it all wash off beneath you.
At around noon-ish or so, my dad and I headed into Centeroo to catch legendary punk act Bad Brains perform at That Tent, which would be followed immediately by Celtic-punk band Flogging Molly in the same tent.
Chapter 2: Bad Brains and Flogging Molly
Of the many legendary acts at this year’s Bonnaroo (Beach Boys, Alice Cooper, Danzig, Kenny Rogers) the one that I was excited about the most was Bad Brains. I have been listening to them for quite a while, and to finally be able to catch their brand of punk/reggae/metal is something that I absolutely was excited for.
Bad Brains certainly delivered. Lead singer H.R. isn’t as enthusiastic and energetic as he used to be and it seems as though he’s aged 15 years since 2006, but the crowd enjoyed it nonetheless.
Another impressive thing about Bad Brains is how they got away with shredding guitar solos, something that usually isn’t found in punk music. And guitarist Dr. Know still plays them incredibly well. Needless to say, I was stunned by how tight Bad Brains sound, even though they aren’t as young as they used to be.
Unfortunatley, H.R.’s microphone wasn’t loud enough so I couldn’t hear a word he said when he went to talk to the crowd. And if anyone at Bonnaroo had something interesting to say, it was H.R.
Bad Brains played a set that relied pretty heavily on their seminal 1982 debut Bad Brains, which was released 30 years ago. They played quite a few songs from that record including Sailin On, Attitude, Banned in D.C., and the encore performance of Pay to Cum. I was a bit disappointed that Big Takeover wasn’t a part of the setlist, but I survived.
After Bad Brains, the stage was being set up for Flogging Molly. And when they came on, the crowd went nuts. Flogging Molly played a great set with a combination of songs old and new, and they even through in a juiced up cover of Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changin’ which was a pleasant surprise.
Flogging Molly was a lot of fun. They put on a fantastic show. “Is it too early to start drinking?” asked singer Dave King. According to the inebriated crowd, it wasn’t. He also gave the one-finger salute (as did most of the audience) to the gentleman holding the Scottish flag.
Flogging Molly played an impressive setlist, featuring songs such as The Likes of You Again, Whistles the Wind, Drunken Lullabies, Saints & Sinners, Requiem For a Dying Song, and the set-closing smash hit Seven Deadly Sins.
Chapter 3: OK, It’s Childish Gambino
One of my favorite rappers to make it big within the last few years is definitely Childish Gambino. His rapid-fire delivery of arrogant jokes and insults should make him annoying, but some how he still comes off as an amazingly likable person. If you have any sort of taste in television, then you know him from NBC’s hidden gem Community, which many Gambino fans love. But he’s just as great on record as he is on screen, and I was thrilled to finally be able to catch him live, considering he’s playing literally every major festival this year.
One of the great things about Gambino live is that he plays his songs with a full band behind him. It really does give the songs more of a genuine feeling, like they’re actually being played, not just getting a dude with a laptop to play the backing tracks.
At around 6:15 or so, the opening vocal track of Outside played over the loudspeakers, thus kicking off a phenomenal 80 minutes of nonstop Gambino. Donald Glover graced the stage with his ominous yet cheerful presence and was greeted by thousands of adoring fans, possibly more than he’s ever seen at a festival. Outside was followed by the second song on his debut album Camp, Fire Fly. Then he played two tracks from his Culdesac mixtape: So Fly and Do Ya Like.
So far, I was having a great time. I was ready to see what Gambino would do next. Apparently the technicians were experiencing difficulties with the screen, so Gambino did the only logical thing: jump into a freestyle. Normally, I listen to a freestyle and think “Pff…that was totally planned.” But this time, it felt like he genuinely had nothing to do but freestyle and he came up with it on the spot. And he is pretty good at it. I’ve always had respect for rappers who can freestyle on a whim and with such confidence.
By the time he was done, everything was fixed and worked properly, so he jumped into Rolling in the Deep (remix) which was followed by one of his biggest hits Freaks and Geeks. And the show just got better and better. Childish Gambino is an amazing performer, and he even threw in a couple new tracks from his upcoming mixtape, including Tell Me, during which he invited Heems from Das Racist to perform with him.
If there is any rapper you catch in the future, let it be Childish Gambino. He is just amazing. And I find it crazy that he seems like he is egotistical, but he is still likable. Someone who Kanye wishes he could be. But yes. See Childish Gambino at some point. He slays.
Setlist: Outside, Fire Fly, So Fly, Do Ya Like, Freestyle, Rolling in the Deep (remix), Freaks and Geeks, Difference/I’m On It, I Be On That, All the Shine, L.E.S., Letter Home, Heartbeat, You See Me, Bonfire, Sunrise, Rack City (remix), We Ain’t Them, Make Amends (with Steve G. Lover), Freaks and Geeks (alternate version with Steve G. Lover), Unnecessary (with Steve G. Lover), Tell Me (with Heems), Lights Turned On
Chapter 4: Dispatch
One of my favorite discoveries of the last year is Dispatch. Yeah I know it’s stereotypical white people music, but they are talented musicians and write catchy songs. So shut up.
Dispatch played the same stage that Gambino played, so we didn’t have to do much moving after Gambino ended. Although I was a bit sad that we wouldn’t be able to catch the whole thing. We wanted a good spot for Red Hot Chili Peppers, so we would have to leave Dispatch 30 minutes early. Regardless, they were a great live band.
The three-piece came on at about 8:30 and kicked things off with Time Served which lead right into the one-two punch of Here We Go and Open Up, both of which I’m glad I got to hear.
Dispatch also broke into songs like Bang Bang, Two Coins, and Melon Bend as well as their most recent song (from their upcoming album Circles Around the Sun) Not Messin‘. Overall, they are a very fun band to watch, at the very least to see all their fans sing every word to every song. Seriously. Every word.
After they finished Melon Bend, we headed out to try and get a good spot for RHCP, a band I’d been listening to for over 10 years.
Chapter 5: They’re Red Hot!
Background info: My dad saw Red Hot Chili Peppers at Lollapalooza 1992, the same year that Pearl Jam, Ice Cube, and Soundgarden played. 20 years later, he takes his son to see Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now back to the story.
Red Hot Chili Peppers are a band that I’ve wanted to see for a long time. And even though they are no longer with John Frusciante, they still sound great and have insane amounts of energy and stage presence.
Chili Peppers kicked things off with a sloppy performance of Monarchy of Roses which didn’t really connect with the audience. I was a little worried that the whole performance would be like this, but they picked it up with Can’t Stop which was followed by their other hits Dani California and Scar Tissue. They went back to their new album I’m With You to play another recent single Look Around. It all sorta went downhilll from their until a little later when it all picked up again.
They went into Throw Away Your Television followed by Charlie, The Adventures of Raindance Maggie, and Right On Time. The energy level wasn’t really high and no one was really familiar with these lesser known songs from their albums. But it all picked up with a surprising performance of If You Have to Ask from their 1991 magnum opus Blood Sugar Sex Magik. After a semi-decent performance of Factory of Faith, they went into a four-song attack of hits: Under the Bridge, Higher Ground, Californication, and the set-closing By the Way.
After a few minutes they came back onstage with a drum/percussion jam that led right into Suck My Kiss followed by Ethiopia and then followed by Give It Away. Afterwards they did a jam that vaguely resembled a song (according to www.setlist.fm it was called Never Is a Long Time) and they left the stage, with a reminder from Flea to support all live music, no matter what genre.
Red Hot Chili Peppers played a pretty great set despite a few setbacks. They’re a fun band to catch and one of those bands where even if you hate them you know all the words to their songs.
Setlist: Monarchy of Roses, Can’t Stop, Dani California, Scar Tissue, Look Around, Throw Away Your Television, Charlie, The Adventures of Raindance Maggie, Right on Time, If You Have to Ask, Factory of Faith, Under the Bridge, Higher Ground, Californication, By the Way ENCORE: Chad & Mauro Jam, Suck My Kiss, Ethiopia, Give It Away, Final Jam (Never Is A Long Time)
Chapter 6: My… Name… Is…. Skrillex
One of the most notorious villains of the dubstep genre is Skrillex. Without a doubt. Everyone either loves him or hates him, and even many fans of dubstep hate him. Why? To be honest, I have no clue whatsoever. Perhaps because he took a genre that was underground and turned it into something popular? I don’t know. But I was ready to end my Saturday night with a late night rager.
We finally made it into the pit (it wasn’t as crowded as I expected) and at about 1:30 AM a 3 minute countdown appeared on the screen which was right behind the space ship DJ deck that Skrillex had used for the past year or so.
At the end of the countdown, the long-haired big-glasses-wearing vodka-drinker appeared and dropped the bass for the hungry ravers below.
As glowsticks rained from the sky and basses were graciously dropped, the crowd lost their collective minds for the reigning king of brostep. He threw in some of his popular songs like Bangarang, Cinema, First of the Year (Equinox), and the show-closing Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. He even threw in a remix of Sabotage by the Beastie Boys (probably his tribute to MCA) as well as a remix of Bassnectar’s Upside Down and a mashup of Sweet Shop by Doctor P and Bass Cannon by Flux Pavilion. Yeah, I know my stuff.
The crowd was obviously ready for the ruffneck bass, and Skrillex was more than happy to deliver. If you enjoy dubstep and you’re not a snobby douche about it, Skrillex is definitely a show you want to catch.
After Skrillex’s show ended, the sprinkling that washed off the dirty crowd throughout the show turned into pouring rain that lasted well into the morning. All in all, a great show, a great day, and I was ready for a relaxing Sunday to end a perfect weekend.
Click here to read part 1 of Jakob’s Bonnaroo Experience
Bonnaroo Preview: The Top 12 Must-See Acts to Catch at the Farm
If you know me in any way, then you probably know that I am attending this year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festivalin Manchester, Tennessee. It is repeatedly called “Best Festival of the Summer” by many music-based magazines and websites,and tens of thousands head out to Manchester every year to catch acts big and small. So here are my Top 12 acts of this year’s installment of Bonnaroo!
Honorable mentions: Skrillex, Superjam (feat ?uestlove of the Roots), Ben Folds Five, the Civil Wars
12. St. Vincent
St. Vincent, a.k.a. Annie Clark, has got to be one of the coolest women around these days. When she’s not making appearances in Top 100 Guitarists lists, she’s busy promoting her solid 2011 album Strange Mercy at festivals such as Coachella and Sasquatch. Her live show always gets rave reviews, therefore I am excited to catch her 7:45 set on Friday night.
Dispatch are among the many bands who have reunited within the past year. The indie/roots jam band with a devoted following released a couple albums throughout the 90s before breaking up in 2002, playing one-off gigs in 2004, 2007, and 2009. They officially reunited last year, releasing a 6-song EP of new material and co-headlined the Dave Matthews Band Caravan touring festival. Their songs may not be very complex, but they are notorious for fun shows full of adoring fans. What more could a fan ask for?
10. Alabama Shakes
If any band deserves the title “Breakout Band of 2012,” it’s blues outfit Alabama Shakes, led by the phenomenal Ms. Brittany Howard. Based on videos I have seen from their live shows, they give energetic performances and wow the crowds every time. They’ve even got the honor of opening for Mr. Jack White on his solo tour. Their solid bluesy throwback with a soulful singer is perfect for the 100-degree Tennessee weather.
9. Gary Clark Jr.
Speaking of blues, here is a man who some have called “The Savior of Blues.” While that is debatable, I do know that Gary Clark Jr. is well on his way to becoming this year’s recipient of the Guitar God award, if one does exist. He is a slaying guitar player and his brand of blues tinged classic rock is always a crowd pleaser.
8. Bad Brains
Out of all the punk bands that came out of D.C. in the early 80s, Bad Brains were certainly the ballsiest. Their dreads were natty, their songs had the fierceness of Minor Threat (or the chill of Bob Marley, depending on which song you listen to) and they are the very reason the Beastie Boys existed. Now it’s just a matter of whether or not (lead singer) HR has what it takes to keep the energy going in That Tent.
7. Flogging Molly
For those who think The Pogues are too Irish and the Dropkick Murphys not Irish enough, there is Flogging Molly. Their last album came out a year ago, so it doesn’t seem like they’re playing to support it. They’re just playing for the hell of it, and I can’t wait to witness these guys for the first time ever. Will I lose my mind during “Seven Deadly Sins”, you ask? Does the Pope poop in the woods? (Yes.)
6. Umphrey’s McGee
To be honest, I am not too familiar with this band. With Dispatch and Phish on the bill, jam experts Umphrey’s McGee are almost overshadowed, with a late-night set that conflicts that of IDM/freak-raver Flying Lotus. I have heard on countless occasions that UM’s late night sets are ones that should not ever be missed, so I am letting curiosity get the best of me for this 2 A.M. set.
I know, it’s just a bit too obvious to put the headliners in the list, but I’m doing it anyway. If you asked me at the beginning of the year, I would’ve told you that I couldn’t care less about Radiohead and I didn’t care to see them, but things have changed. Radiohead (whose 2006 Roo performance has been hailed as one of their best) have really upped the ante with their 2012 live show. After watching—and being amazed by—their Coachella performance, I know that I have to see them, if only just to cross them off the bucket list.
4. Major Lazer
If you were to ask thenaturalstoner who his favorite act of Sasquatch 2011 was, he’ll more likely than not say Major Lazer. The reggae-infused electronic act (dynamic duo Diplo and Scratch) are known for astounding live shows, which is way better than anything you’ll hear on their debut album “Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do.” So I am hoping that the dudes do not disappoint me when I catch them in This Tent after Radiohead.
3. Red Hot Chili Peppers
Yes, I know. Another headliner. But bear with me. See I have been listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers since I was just a toddler. My parents tell me I even used to sing “Scar Tissue” as a young’n! I’m looking forward to catching these guys regardless of how Anthony sounds nowadays. I do know that Flea is one of the baddest bass players of all time, and the new guy, Josh Klinghoffer, ain’t half bad either. So whether I’m singing along to “Under the Bridge” or jamming out to “By the Way”, I am going to see Red Hot Chili Peppers and have a fantastic time.
We here at Concert Confessions love Donald GloverTroy BarnesChildish Gambino, a semi-joking semi-serious rapper who has been hitting the festival and touring circuit since the beginning of the year to support his debut album Camp. He is a fantastic lyricist, an energetic performer, and an all-around cool guy. Whether you’ve seen his stand-up specials on Comedy Central or his role on NBC’s cult favorite Community, you know that Donald Glover is one cool dude. Gambino is a mastermind.
I have been wanting to see jam-band Phish since their reunion in 2009. My dad is a long time fan (he’s seen them twice already) and most writers for the site have seen them numerous times. Now I am not a religious follower of Phish’s live bootlegs; I don’t know what songs they play and which songs they don’t play and I don’t know which versions of their songs are good and which versions are bad. I do know that Phish are a great band who I am excited to see more than anyone else. From 8:00 to 12:00, I get to enjoy a delicious Phish Philet before heading home from my first ever camping festival. And that’s what’s up.
As always the lineup for the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester Tennessee is nothing short of impressive. Headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead and Phish, the festival is set to take place June 7th-10th, 2012. Other highlights on the bill include Alice Cooper, St. Vincent and a reunited Ben Folds Five.
With the first two price levels already sold out, you best get your tickets soon as this annual event almost always sells out. If you have a little bit of extra cash after buying your ticket, perhaps you can send some to our youngest Concert Confessions family member Jakob who is trying to make it to his first Bonaroo. Click here to help him out.
For more information on everything Bonnaroo, please check out the official site by clicking here. Check out some past footage of Bonnaroo from our pal BeeZnutZbelow.
As of 03/12/2012 Bands added to the Festival’s lineup include: Danzig Legacy, Puscifer, Santigold, The Temper Trap, fun., and The Cave Singers
Why: Hangout 2011 featured a diverse lineup including Paul Simon, The Foo Fighters, Primus, The Black Keys, Girl Talk, Avett Brothers, Widespread Panic, and The Flaming Lips.
Well the folks planning the only festival featuring white sandy beaches and palm trees out there have done it again with a fantastic early 2012 lineup coming out in waves via Facebook this evening.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dave Matthews Band •Jack White
String Cheese Incident (performing two sets)
Wilco •Skrillex •The Flaming Lips perform Dark Side of the Moon
Dispatch •Steve Winwood •CHRIS CORNELL •STS9
Gogol Bordello •Michael Franti & Spearhead •Mac Miller •Flogging Molly
Coheed & Cambria •Paul Oakenfold •G. Love and Special Sauce
Randy Newman •Dr. Dog •Young The Giant •Cage the Elephant •Dawes •Alabama Shakes
M. Ward •YelaWolf •Switchfoot •Julian Marley •Zeds Dead •Mavis Staples •Shpongle •Gary Clark JR •Rebelution Allen Stone •Big Freedia •The Devil Makes Three •Paper Diamond •Futurebirds •Hey Rosetta! •Sleeper Agent THE LUMINEERS •ARCHNEMESIS •Tribal Seeds •Rich Aucoin •Jamie Bergeron & the Kickin’ Cajuns
Sasquatch! Festival – Sunday 5/29/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre
Review, pictures and video from thenaturalstoner and Phishbeard
Sunday morning started off much like Saturday, with a whiskey and coke. We battled wind the night before and made it through unscathed, but Sunday night would be an entirely different beast. The shows Sunday were great, possibly the best day musically, but the aftermath was about as lame as it gets. Read on….
We had a tough decision to make in the afternoon, and it was unfortunate, but we decided to stay in the campground, rest-up (much needed!) and then prefunk of course, instead of checking out Reggie Watts in the comedy stage early in the day. The sound issues the day before for the Trailer Park Boys had an affect on this decision as well, as did not wanting to pay $9 for beers all night.
Cold War Kids was the first act we were able to see, and they were decent. They had a pretty perfect time slot for them, before the big three Sunday night, and had many of the crowd on their feet. They played the one song of theirs I know, Hang Me Up to Dry, so that is all I really needed. A decent, fun little set. After the Kids we saw a couple Das Racist and Archers of Loaf tunes on the side stages, on our way to get ready for Flogging Mollys set to really kick off the night.
I just want to say that I thought Flogging Molly was amazing. We started the set up on the hill which we quickly discovered was a bad decision. Instead, we made our way down to the floor to get much closer to the action. Upon running into our Calgary campground neighbor friends, we watched the rest of the set with big grins on our faces. Not even when I was informed puke was running on my bag, which I have on video (check it out!), did I have a bad time. This set was one of the more fun ones with a rowdy crowd adding to the show. Once the set was over we decided to get a little closer on the floor for the next act, one I was pumped for, The Flaming Lips.
Wayne Coyne and company are a bunch of weirdos! The backdrop videos and the face camera and all the antics are just bizarre, but I like em! The Gorge got one of the Lips’ “Soft Bulletin” shows, and also a fun rendition of Happy Birthday for the 10th Anniversary of the Festival. A birthday cake made from the TV crew Ace of Cakes was brought our during the song, but it didn’t take long for Wayne to break it apart and throw it into the crowd. The only problem is this was all done mid set, a seemingly very odd placement. Wayne talks a lot too, and I left this set thinking that if Wayne would just shut up and play we could’ve seen a few more songs. A nice tribute to Elliott Smith brought the tears out of Wayne, and a few in the crowd (Phishbeard!! Hahaha). They ended the show with Feeling Yourself Disintegrate.
After the Lips we were in for what I think could be the single best set of the weekend, at least for me. I loved the Foo Fighters and J. Mascis sets, and Chromeo is a major ‘Best of’ contender, but to me Modest Mouse made me feel different from the others. I had EXPECTED to have a good time at the Foo, Chromeo etc. I had ZERO expectations for Modest Mouse and they were one of the few bands over the weekend that turned me into a fan. Opening with Shit Luck was a treat and after that we were in store for almost 2 hours of great. I remember This Devils Workday, Here it Comes, Bukowski, Lampshades on Fire (new song I think) and more all being top notch. Like I said, I was waiting for a band all weekend to turn me into a fan and this is the best example of that.
I left Modest Mouse feeling great. It can take awhile to get from the venue to the campground, so we were able to feel great for about an hour before we got back “home” and saw the damage. Some complete fucking asshole(s?) decided to vandalize or area of the campground, breaking into cars and tents and causing all kinds of damage. Phishbeards tent was cut open and his cooler dumped out inside. Others around us had their ipods and cell phones stolen, among other things. Why some dicks want to ruin the times of others at something as fun as Sasquatch! is something that I will never understand.
We still had some post show beers, but the party certainly wasn’t the same as the couple of nights before.
One last day of fun awaits.
Flogging Molly > The Flaming Lips > Modest Mouse was one of the funnest 1-2-3 combos I have seen.
Really bummed about missing Reggie Watts, sigh.
Lots of people were talking about how good the smaller stage acts were. Some I heard were great but missed were MSTRKRFT, Yeasayer, Flying Lotus, Ratatat, Sam Roberts Band.
Not very much hiphop here at this fest, but Das Racist was pretty sweet!
The wind up on that Gorge hill can be brutal…
Sunday Video of the Day:
3:13 into the video “Vomits running down onto your bag”!
It’s hard to believe that out of over 100 bands performing at this years Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre, I have only seen two. I go to a lot of concerts, and like a lot of these bands, so it’s really freaking odd to me that I have only seen the Old 97’s (at an old Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, approx. 10 years ago) and Sharon Jones, although I didn’t see her with the Dap-Kings, only as a backup performer to Phish at their legendary Festival 8. With that said there are some amazing acts this year, and as always, Sasquatch! is plum full of up and coming bands we will all love in 2-3 years. This preview will look at my favorite acts I am looking forward to, and why. There are lots of different reasons that these bands appear on this list, and after the Festival I am sure some of my favorite sets from the event won’t be any of these listed, but these are the top bands I am most looking forward to seeing perform live (ALL for the first time!).
10. Flogging Molly: While “celtic punk rock” isn’t my favorite genre, it certainly jumps up big on the list after a few cold beers. So Sunday night’s Flogging Molly set on the Main Stage at the Gorge should be epic (so should The Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse to follow on the Main Stage-what a way to start the night!).
9. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: As mentioned above, I have seen Sharon Jones once before, backing up Phish at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio. This will be a nice treat seeing her with her own band. Sharons throwback funk/soul sound gets me going every time and her voice is amazing.
8. The Decembrists: I will admit, an ex-girlfriend got me into this band. Usually the kiss of death, but I have always kind of liked their sound (their 2011 album The King is Dead is a lot of fun) and these guys will be great at the Gorge.
7. Chromeo: When the initial Sasquatch! lineup was announced, I asked concertconfessions own Rev. Justito to give me some names of bands to check out that I might not be familiar with. I’m pretty sure Chromeo was on his list because they made it onto my iPod, but after a couple listens it really wasn’t for me. However, I decided to give their recent Coachella Festival webcast a chance, and after watching the ENTIRE set, this Prince-meets-Devo funky pop band is something I am really excited about seeing. I can only imagine the dance party that awaits.
6. Modest Mouse: The great Northwests own Modest Mouse, returning to Sasquatch! for a night for the ages. Sunday nights headliner is a band that I like (not love), but maybe that will change as this will be my first Modest Mouse show. I have heard their concerts can be hit or miss, especially these days, but I have to think the Sunday night magic of Sasquatch! will leave the Gorge Amphitheatre in awe.
5. Bassnectar: Dubstep, a genre I am a total noob about, is intriguing to me. And Bassnectar is one of the best blowing up right now. After hearing about the legendary glow stick wars (that supposedly put my band Phish’s to shame) and seeing some YouTube clips, I have a sneaking suspicion that this late night set could be one of the best of the entire Festival.
4. Iron & Wine: Another ex-girlfriend introduction for me, but I thank her greatly for it. Iron & Wine (traditionally a one man band, but I have heard he sometimes tours with a group) is one of my favorite mellow “rock” acts. The Main State of the Gorge will be a perfect setting for a Saturday night dusk time set and the new album is super, so the tunes should be great.
3. J. Mascis: The front man for legendary alternative band Dinosaur Jr. will be at Sasquatch! performing a solo set. J.’s past solo performances are great and his latest all-acoustic album “Several Shades of Why” is fantastic. This will be a small side stage act not to be missed! I think I just pee’d my pants a little thinking about it.
2. The Flaming Lips: Not sure how I have not seen this band before, but am SUPER excited for this set. The Lips will be performing their 1999 epic “The Soft Bulletin” in its entirety, plus other additional songs to follow. I’ve been told a Flaming Lips show can be life changing, so Sunday May 29th may be my last “normal” day as thenaturalstoner.
1. Foo Fighters: The first band announced for this years Festival is the one I am looking forward to the most. Nirvana was always my favorite band growing up, and to have the opportunity to see Dave Grohl and Pat Smear play together will rock my mind and soul. Nirvana Bassist Krist Novoselic performed on the Foos new album “Wasting Light” (as did Huskur Du’s own Bob Mould, also at the Sasquatch! Fest), so who knows, maybe a Nirvana reunion will rock Central Washington in May. Regardless, this is one set I have been looking forward to for months on end. I had the chance to see the Foos only one other time, also at the Gorge with Kool Keith and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and some mishaps along the way caused me to miss the show. That will NOT happen this time.
Just missing the cut: Death Cab for Cutie, Death From Above 1979, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Washington state hip-hop represent!), Bob Mould, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Trailer Park Boys, Reggie Watts, Wilco.
Things I am pissed about: J. Mascis and Chromeo only scheduled for 45 minutes; The Decemberists, Iron and Wine and Bassnectar only scheduled for an hour; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis/Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings scheduling conflict.
So that’s my list. The best part about Festivals, especially 4 day long ones, is that your list will differ greatly from mine. I can’t wait to check these bands out (plus 90 others!) and report back on who was amazing and who failed to live up to expectations. George, Washington, here we come!!!
For those who can’t make it – NPR will be broadcasting live from the festival all weekend long.
Wow, what can I say….this was my first coverage of a festival. This was put on by local radio station X96(KXRK, www.x96.com) to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The line-up included headliners Flogging Molly and Hollywood Undead. Being that I shot photos for each performer, I wasn’t able to catch full sets of anyone. BUT, needless to say, Flogging Molly showed up and took possession of the indoor stage like they always do-large, loud, and proud. Lead singer Dave King commanded the stage, which when surrounded by a rather large band of six other members, is a feat in itself. The band opened up with crowd-favorite “The Likes of You Again”, and immediately the audience surged to the front of the stage.
Flogging Molly continued on with two more songs, Swagger and Speed of Darkness(title track from the new album) before I exited the photo pit. The lighting for the show was perfect, the crowd-unruly and amped as usual, and good times were had by all.
Also headlining Cinco de X was Hollywood Undead. I had the pleasure of meeting the Undead gentlemen before the show for a little fan BBQ. Winners of a contest were granted a meet and greet with the band, including a little taste of Mexican fare. The gents were kind, and signed items for the eager fans, ate, and mingled with us. Later when they took the stage, masks and all, I was blown away. These fellows really know how to perform. Masks, equipped with lights from these monolithic figures on stage, and the power of the vocals really got my attention. The band opened with their hit “Undead”, which I found myself singing along to as I shot photos of the boys, doing what they do best. They also played at the same time Flogging Molly was on, so I had to bounce back and forth. I grabbed some shots of them on the outdoor stage.
The festival also had seven other performers, including Middle Class Rut, 10 Years, New Medicine, and Drive A. Other mentionables were gypsy-style group Drowning Men, local act Brogan Kelby, and Drive A. Some shots of each are included. All in all, this festival had a great mix of artists and a pleasant crowd. Great venue and a great time!
As we reported late last year, the Sasquatch Music Festival is set to return to the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA. As we already reported, Foo Fighters will be headlining one of the four nights. Also on the bill are Modest Mouse, Death Cab For Cutie, The Flaming Lips and a lot more. Four day passes are on sale now and single day tickets will go on sale on Feb 14th.. For all the details on this festival (which we hope to have our very own Thenaturalstoner attend) please click here.