With an undercard worth the price of admission alone - Sasquatch 2015 will go down as one of the best in recent memory. Read on for some of AudioHammock's favorite sights and sounds.
These guys are either The Bryds reincarnated or they just stepped out of a time machine. Psychedelic '60s at it's best. Their 2014 album Sun Structures is one of our favorite releases of last year. In addition to "Shelter Song" and "Keep in the Dark" fans were treated to two new songs from the lads from Kettering so hopefully that means a new album is in the works. At any rate, these guys deserve a break as they've been touring non stop over the past year and a half. There were no signs of fatigue here however as singer James Bagshaw belted out the kaleidoscope gems in fine form.
Possibly my favorite performance of the weekend just because I'm at an intimate place with Courtney's lyrics and albums right now. Courtney, Bones, and Dave had a great set on a cool Monday afternoon. Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit is quite possibly our album of the year so far.
An energetic crowd that even included Jose Gonzalez was present for my surprise discovery of the weekend. Featuring Ty Segall on drums, Fuzz is a mixture of Blue Cheer and Cream on steroids. Classic rock riffage with serious teeth.
A definite highlight on an evening that included Robert Plant, James Blake, and Lana Del Rey, Sweedish based acoustic singer and songwriter Jose Gonzalez was not to be outdone. With improved acoustics this year, the Bigfoot Stage became a contemplative reprieve as Jose and the boys from Junip showcased some of the more beautiful tracks of the weekend including covers of "Crosses" (Massive Attack), and "Heartbeats" (The Knife). Not to give the impression that Jose is a covers performer, his latest Vestiges & Claws is a globally conscious spin that will leave you in a mindful trance for days.
Issac and company had a strong setlist this year yet unfortunately it was marred by feedback on what appeared to be Issac's vocal mic. Still, hearing indie classics such as "Dramamine" and "Doin' the Cockroach" are always pleasant and "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" and "The Ground Walks, With Time in a Box" were instrumentally sound.
What else can I say about Run the Jewels? They continue to be the best live hip hop act on the planet.
With every track an essential banger, Killer Mike and El-P do a great job of keeping the crowd amped up without
the need for talentless flamboyant hypemen that seem to the so prevalent in the genre.
Kendrick Lamar headlined later in the evening and although some fans were disappointed by the setlist (only 1 track from To Pimp a Butterfly ), fans were still met with a high energy show that was designed for the arena. When the two fans were brought on stage to be given their 15 minutes of fame 20,000 people held their collective breath and roared when both fans delivered tight verses. It could've went badly and that risk made the payout even sweeter.
Tough choices were made at Sasquatch this year as there were overlapping performances from brilliant artists and bands all weekend. The War on Drugs, Sylvan Esso, or Woods? Temples or Quilt? King Tuff or Real Estate? Chances are whatever decision was made was soundly rewarded. Yet for every great band you saw over the weekend it was just as easy to miss another just as talented. Here are a few bands that we recommend checking out just in case you were preoccupied elsewhere:
The best dance moves all weekend didn't in fact come from the techno tent but instead from the Bigfoot stage Friday and the Main stage Monday as the trophies go to Sylan Esso's Amelia Meath and Future Islands lead vocalist Samuel T. Herring. Both have fantastic offerings in 2014 and are on our Top Albums of 2014 list.
The Main stage was a bit emptier than usual after 8:15 as waves of people headed to Bigfoot for powerhouse performances by Action Bronson and Little Dragon. Flume rounded out the night in spectacular fashion with a plethora of remixes that will soon hit the charts. Fans of Of Monsters and Men and Sleater-Kinney were treated to intimate seating as the majority of attendees found the Friday night headliners on the main stage to be questionable selections at best.
In just one year's time Shakey Graves went from the Yeti Stage (underrated) to the Main stage while psychedelic rockers Tame Impala were properly slotted at the latter stage this time.
Shakey (real name Alejandro Rose-Garcia) has an excellent rapport with his drummer/producer/best friend Chris Chris Boosahda and while many miss the pure
solo acpect of his peformances it's nice to see Shakey continue to emerge and evolve as a fine artist.
Tame Impala is exactly what you'd expect; a mind altering journey of extreme satisfaction amplified even farther by the surreal backdrop of the Gorge Amphitheater. There was a lot of "atmospheric smoke" at this one...
All in all Sasquatch 2015 was an immense success. The AudioHammock team had a blast making new friends and discovering new music and we hope to see everyone next year!
Who did you see at Sasquatch? Let us know! Non-watermark photos are available for free upon request from firstname.lastname@example.org