Welcome to The Gorge, y'all. Sasquatch 2008 is here and it's
overwhelming. So, in an effort to trim it down to something semi-manageable,
I'm going to be posting photos and blurbs of my experience in Washington this
Memorial Day Weekend. Enjoy...
Kathleen Edwards rocked with an immaculate band, spitting
bile at the sun, particularly on set closer "The Cheapest Key."
Edwards sang "B is for bullshit and you fed me some," but I'd argue
that "B" is actually for "badass." She is just that.
"We haven't had anything to drink today," the
be-hatted keyboardist of Destroyer uttered tentatively after the first song of
the band's set. "Unfortunately, that means we won't be talking to you
much." Indeed, Dan Bejar and his band kept the chatter to a minimum,
letting the music speak for itself. Meanwhile, a rapturous crowd responded
appropriately and members of the New Pornographers watched in the wings.
For the uninitiated, Sasquatch is made up of three stages:
the quaint Yeti! stage, the larger (with larger valley audience space) Wookie!
stage and the massive Sasquatch! stage with gigantic fan space. There is a
reason they call this place The Gorge. The beauty of the view throughout these grounds
is topped only by the cavernous amphitheatre area for sitting and standing in
front of the Sasquatch! stage. It's breathtaking.
The New Pornographers are probably the only band that can
challenge Broken Social Scene for all out supremacy and prolificacy. Shortly
after Destroyer's set, the Pornos kicked it off on the main stage. Bejar would
eventually join his comrades for a pop-perfect set.
It's times like these where you realize Modest Mouse has
come a long way. No longer is the band made up of a ragtag bunch of dudes
playing to half-filled clubs around the U.S. Rather, Modest Mouse
is now an ultra-tight seasoned rock outfit with the ability to completely fill
a massive outdoor venue (itself completely filled with crowd surfers screaming
along to every word) with its sound, one that features horns, banjo and an
experienced guitarist (Johnny Marr) who preens for the cameras in a way only a
former Smith could. And good on them for it, too. One can only wonder what's
next for the band.
Between the rain and the darkness, this is the closest thing
I got to what one might call a "good" photo of R.E.M. But for what
it's worth, this live R.E.M. newbie agrees with what he's heard over and over
again: Michael Stipe is one of the most intriguing frontmen alive.