The Hunting Grounds

This past Memorial Day weekend was the 11th annual Sasquatch! Music Festival. It’s hard to put into words the experience of Sasquatch! for those who have not gone before. The Gorge Amphitheater is the best outdoor venue anywhere, it’s every adjective you can use all at once. There are thousands and thousands of people all looking out for each other. The party doesn’t stop unless you want to go to sleep. And of course the music is always top notch. So let me go over some highlights for you all.
Friday was sitting in line to get into the venue, then Starfucker was killing it at the huge Banana Shack now equipped with lasers and lights. After Starfucker we went to the Sasquatch stage to see some Girl Talk to kill some time before getting wrecked at Explosions In The Sky. Explosions was one of my favorite acts all weekend, people were throwing glow sticks for them and just generally rocking out.

Saturday we caught Reptar, who put on a great show followed by Starfucker again since I Break Horses couldn’t make it. Alabama Shakes had a fantastic show as well. Purity Ring and Dum Dum Girls were my favorite shows on Saturday though Kurt Vile had a great show too. We also caught The Helio Sequence (really good live) and Tune-Yards before heading over to see the headliners, The Shins and Jack White.

Sunday came and we went in early to catch Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. who put on a great show playing all their good songs and a couple of new ones. After DEJrJr we saw Hospitality who were a new act for me, they played really well and have a cute rock ‘n’ roll sound. Then it was on to folk quintuple Trampled By Turtles and Here We Go Magic. Trampled By Turtles had a great set while Here We Go Magic had a much weirder sound than I thought they would. We caught the end of Blind Pilot which was awesome followed by The War On Drugs who were amazing! Then after a brief refueling at the campsite we proceeded back to the music for the night with Wild Flag, Star Slinger, The Head & Heart, The Walkmen, Beirut, Little Dragon, and Bon Iver. Little Dragon was really strange but the rest of the shows were absolutely beautiful.

Monday was finally upon us before we knew it. Feeling run down before the music began made me feel old so I decided to try and stay cool and take it easy. But it’s hard to take it easy when Gary Clark Jr., Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Joy Formidable rock so hard that the lead singer for Joy Formidable kicks a monitor off the stage. Though I had been standing in the shade all day I still felt really sunburned, but I trooped on catching Feist, Shabazz Palaces, and The Cave Singers. All of them had a fantastic show. We left during the end of Cave Singers to go catch Siversun Pickups, Tenacious D, and Beck. Though Mogwai couldn’t make it we did end up catching a little bit of Nero on the way out. Tenacious D was probably my favorite show the entire weekend, though all performances have their own unique aspect. The D put on a rock opera, playing out their songs in a theatrical matter. At one point Sasquatch came out, killed the guitar player, picked up the guitar then proceeded to shred, making everyone in the audience go crazy. “Um… did Sasquatch just kill our guitar player?” asks Kyle Gas, then the guitar player gets possessed by Satan and challenges Jack and Kyle to a guitar duel. Quite an amazing performance from them. And oh yeah, they had a giant Phoulix a.k.a Penix on stage as well. After seeing that show rock is not dead.

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