Hiking on Twin Peaks and Sasquatch! ’10: A CoS Report

It’s hard to gauge expectations with an event like Sasquatch! Music Festival. Between its capacity (just over 20,000 people), its size and location (the rather engulfing Gorge amphitheater), its lineup (Pavement, Massive Attack, Ween, My Morning Jacket, LCD fucking Soundsystem, etc.), what should a person expect with this combination of ingredients, all of which would eventually be baked into a massive concert concoction? Within the first 12 hours at Sasquatch, it was easy to understand what this festival was all about. People migrated from places like Montana (a lot of people), British Columbia, California, Idaho, Indiana, and even some people from Ireland. The people who came to this festival were all buzzing about different bands that they had traveled great distances to see. And the energy of the music, good people, and environment kept everybody in high spirits. After all, this is what music festivals are all about. However, Sasquatch is a different breed, even over Bonnaroo or Coachella.

My newfound buddy obscurely stated one night, “Everyone is their own little Sasquatch.” This was easily the most accurate observation of the weekend. Everybody was partying their hardest, rocking out in an intimate location to some of the biggest bands of today, consuming vast quantities of alcohol, scouring the campgrounds for E, and just going all-out nuts. The vibes at this festival were rock out or go home. The Gorge was prepared for all of this, however, which is why Sasquatch has been able to maintain such success all these years. It’s thee Pacific Northwest festival, and they like it to run smoothly. If they keep bringing the same magnitude of artists back, keep the Gorge clean, and keep running this smaller operation in the same fashion, it won’t be long before blood is spilled over tickets.

But allow us to digress…

Saturday, May 29th

Laura Marling
Bigfoot Stage, 12:50 p.m.

This British youngster Laura Marling rocked the Bigfoot stage for an early afternoon mellow-fest with her stylish brand of folk. This was the perfect way for everyone at the Gorge to get into the spirit of listening to new and talented music, setting quite the bar for the remainder of the weekend. It was not hard to go into a trance while listening to her strong yet soft vocals, and coupled with the sunshine and a light breeze, it was the quintessential start to the festival. -Ted Maider

Brother Ali
Sasquatch Stage, 1:10 p.m.

Who else could spit truth with all of nature’s beauty looming in the background? Brother Ali’s furious brand of politically charged hip-hop ripped through the air for the daytime crowd at the main stage waving their hands in the air, like they actually did care about what he had to say. Aside from his down-to-Earth sociological observations, he and his DJ, Snuggles, did a beat-box tidbit about the kind of movies they watch on the tour bus, which seemed to include porn, Eddie Murphy, and the new Iron Man sequel. To finish it all off, Brother Ali spit the most honest verses about modern America, all without a beat to back him up. That’s as honest as it gets. -Ted Maider

Fool’s Gold
Yeti Stage: 1:20 p.m.

Afro-pop is one hell of a way to kick off Sasquatch 2010. Laura Marling offered a mellow welcoming as I passed by the Bigfoot stage, but as soon as I stepped around the corner to the Yeti state, I was blown away by the L.A hipster jam band. Fool’s Gold set the dance party standards at a high level for the rest of the festival with a beach ball flying, costume wearing, dance party, especially during the high-register guitar riffs in “Surprise Hotel”. You couldn’t help but join in. -Kacie McKinney

Mumford & Sons
Bigfoot Stage: 1:55 p.m.

Photo by Christopher Nelson

It was awesome to see such a large, well-deserved crowd for the British folk-rockers, Mumford & Sons. For a set full of ballads early in the day, there was a surprising amount of dancing and singing along with the tunes from Sigh No More. “Little Lion Man” was definitely a crowd favorite as everyone clapped and sang along and the banjo strumming by Winston Marshall and soulful vocals from Marcus Mumford during “Roll Away Your Stone” was a show highlight. -Kacie McKinney

Minus the Bear
Sasquatch Stage: 2:15 p.m.

The Seattle quintet shredded like nobody else as they tore through a set of fantastic songs. The only word to actually and accurately describe these guys was “relentless.” Each member of the band seemed to be in their own little musical world, and it seemed like between them, there was a lot going on. And nothing beat the “Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse” that got the crowd to pogo like it was 2002 again. It’s clear, after quite a few albums, that Minus the Bear has perfected its style to go down as one of the purest and leading members of the modern rock scene. -Ted Maider

Photo by Kyle Johnson

Portugal.The Man
Bigfoot Stage: 3:00 p.m.

When I reread my notes for the Portugal. The Man show, they said things like “totalchaos” and “gnar psychedelic rock.” This should give you an idea of where my mind was at as the group played their bizarre brand of trippy art rock, complete with insane noise jams and a quick MGMT cover. It was unlike anything I had ever seen, while members thrashed their instruments around in the blazing hot sun, and shocked audiences all over the grounds. Clearly these guys and girls were on some other mental plane, and by communicating it through their music, they were able to take us there too. -Ted Maider

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Bigfoot Stage: 4:05 p.m.

Photo by Kyle Johnson

Word travels pretty fucking fast in the modern age. When I saw this band at Coachella just a month ago, the crowd was big, but maybe about half as big as the crowd here (in Coachella to Sasquatch terms of course). You could hardly breathe as Edward Sharpe and company arrived late to play their six-song set of insanity. The band opened up with an uplifting rendition of “40”, as well as their newfound classic “Home”, which excited the crowd more than a trucker getting his Grand Slam at 4 am. This band is clearly killing it after just one album, and it will only be a matter of time before they become a stellar cult act. -Ted Maider

The Lonely Forest
Yeti Stage: 5:40 p.m.

Good to have a band playing in their home state and at their first Sasquatch ever. Up against Broken Social scene the crowd was small not even making it past the sound stage…but The Lonely Forest had a cult following that was shouting out song requests and soaking in every deeply personal love song. It was also fun to see John Van Deusen play the theme song to Intervention to a Sasquatch drinker at the Luke Burbank comedy show (not to mention, I got t0 help him look up some of the lyrics to the theme song when he stopped by the media area). -Kacie McKinney

Broken Social Scene
Sasquatch Stage: 5:45 p.m.

“We traveled 42 hours to play for you today,” Broken Social Scene informed us upon their arrival. And then the band proceeded to play like they had been waiting 42 hours to rip their hardest. The band’s unique style of guitar assault rock was perfect for the Gorge as the sun began to loom behind the clouds and the temperature dropped. But their music kept people alive as they hypnotized the crowd into an intellectually charged frenzy. Note: Three guitars are better than one. -Ted Maider

Photo by Kyle Johnson

I’m not sure how it’s possible to play an intimate set with 20,000+ people, but Broken Social Scene did it for the better part of an hour. Somehow they made a connection with everyone there, and they received the loudest cheers of the night. The lovely Lisa Lobsinger joined the band for the second half of the set, including her infectious Forgiveness Rock Record track “All To All”. They went on with the full band to play old hit after hit, “7/4 Shoreline”, “Stars and Sons”, and “Fire-Eyed Boy”. The best set at Sasquatch, hands down. -Winston Robbins

The National
Sasquatch Stage: 7:00 p.m.

You can refer to The National in one of two ways: The National or “the men of few words but great charisma.” A graying Mat Beringer and his supporting cast took the stage after a staggering performance by Broken Social Scene. A little to my dismay, I honestly believed that I had reached my Sasquatch climax during BSS’s earth-shattering set at 6 pm. I was a little sad that the night had peaked so quickly. I was so wrong.

The National restored my faith in the pending weekend only minutes after it had been shattered. They’re like a good wine, better with age. As anyone will tell you, the band’s latest installment, High Violet, is no joke. There seems to be no ceiling for just how high The National can go in the studio. Their live show is very much the same. Mat and his family and friends band took the stage and said very little, but kept us riveted throughout regardless. They moved through old hits from Alligator and Boxer seamlessly coupled with Violet hits. Highlight of the show: When Mat Beringer left the stage, jumped the fan restraining bar and trudged 30 yards into the crowd, all the while screaming the chorus of ”Abel”. Why this man is not consistently on the indie crush list for sheer awesome-ness is lost on me. -Winston Robbins

The Hold Steady
Bigfoot Stage: 7:30 p.m.

Photo by Christopher Nelson

Always have a drink in your hand and be ready to dance and you will be on the same energy level as Craig Finn when he belts out the party songs of The Hold Steady. I was expecting to hear more new material since Heaven is Whenever came out in early May but they played all the favorites including “Constructive Summer”, “Chips Ahoy”, and “Magazines”. They also slipped in a few from their latest effort. Up against The National, they had a small, but encapsulated crow. It was a good mix and a fun raging dance party – and an especially popular place for green man crowd surfing. -Kacie McKinney

Vampire Weekend
Sasquatch Stage: 8:30 p.m.

Photo by Christopher Nelson

The New York-based quartet walked out on stage to DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat”, which couldn’t have been a more humorous entry. The band, however, wasted no time whatsoever in cranking out the greats, as they launched into a high-strung version of “White Sky”. It was then that the whole crowd went ape shit and put out the most positive energy possible. Everyone jumped and sang out the words to songs like “Giving up the Gun”, ”Bryn”, and an electrically charged version of “A-Punk”. Not to mention they wove “Campus” and “Oxford Comma” together in a fashion that would make Jerry Garcia proud. It’s safe to say that Vampire Weekend ripped it Saturday night in a fashion that left everyone out of breath. -Ted Maider

Nada Surf
Bigfoot Stage: 9:00 p.m.

Many were still at Vampire Weekend, but Nada Surf was a fun alternative packed with nostalgic 90s hits like “Always Love” and “Blankest Year” and some from the new cover album If I had a hi-fi including Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silience” and Kate Bush’s “Love and Anger”. This was a performance I had been looking forward to for months and I was left satisfied, but not blown away. -Kacie McKinney

My Morning Jacket
Sasquatch Stage: 10:00 p.m.

The only people who were having more fun than the audience was the band. My Morning Jacket’s musicians never looked more triumphant in their headlining state, playing some of the best selections from their catalog (complete with a ferocious looking donkey on the stage front). Songs like “Dondante” tripped out the entire audience and eased them into a trance, while songs like “One Big Holiday” got the entire crowd into a moshing frenzy at the start of the show. As well as tracks like “Gideon”, “I’m Amazed”, and “Touch Me, I’m Going to Scream” to make this set list officially rad. In the time My Morning Jacket played, they assured the audience that they were one of the hardest working bands in America, and were clearly worthy of headlining a major music festival. This performance easily could have solidified their position as a contemporary music classic, and will be uttered around MMJ folklore for generations to come. -Ted Maider

Bigfoot Stage: 11:30 p.m.

If you weren’t a Deadmau5 fan before this show, you certainly would have been afterward. That’s not to say I haven’t heard Deadmau5, because I own his albums and find his simplistic style of less-is-more fascinating. His live show, though, goes to show that the more-is-awesome concept works just as well. With a light show that can’t be beat, a style of electronic music that is currently dominating the modern airwaves, and a mask that will forever be associated with the Toronto mix master, it was the show of the night. People furiously danced under the stars as he cut tracks like “Ghosts N’ Stuff” and “Brazil.” At the end, the talented genius waltzed toward the ground and gave some of his fans a high five. I quickly ran over and shouted, “You’re the fucking man!” and he turned back to give a wave. I presume it must be hard knowing that you and your music are this awesome. -Ted Maider

Sunday, May 30th

Martina Topley-Bird
Yeti Stage: 1:00 p.m.

A progenitor of the trip hop genre playing her solo work on the most intimate stage at Sasquatch? Yes, please. Martina Topley-Bird took the stage in a red wedding dress (which we would see later as she took the stage with Massive Attack), looking beyond gorgeous with her amber skin and golden brown curly locks. Things didn’t go exactly as she’d planned with her set, and there were some definite technical errors, but she didn’t let that get her down. In her charming British accent, she explained with a wry smile on her face, “I’m sure you understand. It’s festival vibes. Everything can and will go wrong. I just hope no one’s filming. Oh great. There’s a man with a camera. You bastard…” -Winston Robbins

Local Natives
Bigfoot Stage: 1:30 p.m.

Photo by Christopher Nelson

For reasons we may never understand, Pitchfork succeeds. If P4k’s Best New Music is for you, you’re in for at least the next six months. About half the time, they’re right, which means about half the time they’re wrong. Fortunately for us at Sasquatch, they were right in their recent love of Local Natives. Word spreads fast, and as a result this was one of the biggest crowds at the Honda’s Bigfoot Stage. The time they were allotted was nearly long enough for them to play their entire debut album, but the songs that really got the ultra-hip audience going were “Camera Talk”, their cover of Talking Heads’ “Warning Sign”, and the strained, shouting chorus of “Cubism Dream”, which, for the uninformed goes, “I did it for you, I did it for me!!!” Tell you what, Local Natives, your set at Sasquatch 2010 definitely “did it for me.” -Winston Robbins

Luke Burbank
Rumpus Room: 2:00 p.m.

After a little talk with The Lonely Forest I had to go see what all the fuss was about with Luke Burbank – host of Too Beautiful to Live. He taught us all the game of getting iced… keep those Smirnoffs handy at your campsite because next time you hand one to someone they have to get down on one knee and chug it – it’s the rule. Within five minutes of being at the festival, The Lonely Forest iced him. And John Van Deusen came up on stage and sang the Intervention theme song to a participant in the audience that told everyone in the crowd his most embarrassing puking drunk story. -Kacie McKinney

The Tallest Man on Earth
Bigfoot Stage: 2:35 p.m.

Photo by Kyle Johnson

He literally looks like the tallest man ever while standing up on that stage all by himself, but you got to give Kristian Matsson credit for confidence. The Tallest Man on Earth’s set was basically the calm before the storm that was day two of Sasquatch. Matsson’s well-thought out poetry over his mellow and melodic guitar tones smoothed the crowd over as the clouds rolled in. As he stood there, staring out over 10,000 people and belting out his most personal sentiments, it showed that the Tallest Man on Earth could weather any storm – personal, physical, or meteorological. -Ted Maider

They Might Be Giants
Sasquatch Stage: 3:20 p.m.

They Might Be Giants‘ breed of comedic and strangely composed indie rock is able to still hold water after the group’s 20 plus years of existence. By playing songs with titles like “Racist Friend” and “Upside Down Frown”, they were still able to resonate with the population of the Pacific Northwest. The band themselves were appreciative of all the people who came to see them, even the sleeping people (me) in the back. Not to mention, they busted out sock puppets halfway through their set, and introduced them to us as The Avatars of They, who then sang for the next few songs. It was definitely a strange performance, filled with comedic interludes and kooky songs, but if it’s not weird at a festival than what’s the point of checking it out? -Ted Maider

Kid Cudi
Sasquatch Stage: 4:25 p.m.

“We’re all grooving and we’re all friendly at a Kid Cudi show,” the new breed of MC told the crowd when he took the stage Sunday afternoon. He was certainly right, because everybody was feeling real good suddenly. Everybody was on their feet and everyone was dancing like there was no tomorrow. Meanwhile, Kid Cudi spit his rhymes in his Anthrax t-shirt as his DJ laid down tracks that spanned a vast influence of beat composition. Kid Cudi was cutting it up that afternoon, and if you slept through that, then I am truly sorry. -Ted Maider

Tegan & Sara
Sasquatch Stage: 5:35 p.m.

You know what I like most about Tegan & Sara? Nothing is recycled. I have seen them four times over the course of the past two years, and not once has there been a joke used twice, no signature gimmicks to get the crowd involved, and no uniform costuming — which means they are always flying by the seat of their pants, and that deserves some serious respect. There aren’t many bands out there, however musically talented, quite as capable of that organic interaction with the crowd as T&S.

Given the short time they were allotted, they weren’t given much time to fool around showing off songs from their latest, Sainthood. They played mostly fan favorites from previous records; songs such as: “Where Does The Good Go”, “Nineteen”, “The Con”, and “Walking With a Ghost.” These girls are pros and they know it, they’ve earned every scrap of their success, and it’s fun to see reap the benefits. -Winston Robbins

The xx
Bigfoot Stage: 5:55 p.m.

It suddenly got very creepy where I was standing as The xx took the Bigfoot stage towards the end of the day. The clouds were dark and the songs were eerie as the vocals lulled everyone in the crowd into a numb stupor. The xx’s brand of steezy beats, thumping bass, and cryptic vibe got everyone hypnotized as the darkness of the night crept in to a style of music that embraced the nightfall. It’s music like this, that when seen live, takes you to a new level of mentality that is only achievable in a scenario like Sasquatch. -Ted Maider

LCD Soundsystem
Sasquatch Stage: 7:00 p.m.

Photo by Christopher Nelson

Did you think you could mosh to LCD Soundsystem? Neither did I, until it happened. LCD Soundsystem had, what I considered, one of the best shows of the weekend. James Murphy arrived on stage and wasted no time blowing minds left and right. His energy was insane as he screamed out the lyrics to “Time Has Come” and “Us v. Them”. Shortly after that, the band launched into the rowdiest version of “Drunk Girls” that left the crowd breathless from dancing, as well as “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” which was nothing short of a roller coaster ride. I couldn’t imagine anybody trying to sit down during this show. He got the entire crowd at the Gorge to stand up, wave their hands in unison, and chant out “All My Friends” as the band closed their amazing, jaw-dropping, almost inspirational hour-long set. -Ted Maider

Fruit Bats
Yeti Stage: 7:30 p.m.

I left the LCD Soundsystem to check out the Fruit Bats. As much as I was having a good time down on the mainstage dance floor I didn’t mind the peaceful break that Fruit Bats offered. The passion Eric D. Johnson puts into the vocals is worth the show. The Ruminant Band has definitely been a good thing for The Fruit Bats and they would have had more attention if not up against the best dance party of the weekend – and quite possibly the best dance party Sasquatch has ever seen period. -Kacie McKinney

Sasquatch Stage: 8:30 p.m.

Photo by Christopher Nelson

Apparently, it was Stephen Malkmus’ birthday. Why didn’t I get a notification from Facebook? I clearly would have made a note to rock just that much harder, but it didn’t matter anyways, because Pavement came out with the full intention to have just as much fun as the crowd. It was possibly the most satisfying set Pavement could have possibly played, complete with shenanigans from Malkmus and Spiral Stairs. The band kicked it off with the most fast-paced version of “Cut Your Hair” which was followed by an epic “Trigger Cut”. The band played everything you could possibly have wanted to hear, including spectacular numbers like “Gold Soundz”, “Kennel District”, and “Shady Lane”, while the Pacific Northwest citizens lost their minds to seeing one of their favorite bands only mere feet in front of their eyes. -Ted Maider

Massive Attack
Sasquatch Stage: 10:30 p.m.

Massive Attack was by far the biggest name on the bill at Sasquatch 2010 and consequently garnered the biggest crowd. The masses came in throngs to see the trip hop legends perform for the first time ever at The Gorge, and few, if any, left underwhelmed. The theatrics were second to none as they took the stage on what was one of their last US dates. They came out soft starting with Heligoland bonus track “United Snakes”, while the screen behind them flashed 100 words a minute, all drug-related: melatonin, cocaine, mescaline, ketamine, THC, heroin, codeine, ecstasy, etc. And I firmly believe that over half the crowd in attendance was on one, if not more of the mentioned drugs, and I’m surprised they didn’t put the word “massive attack” on the drug list, because their music in itself can induce pleasurable highs. So in that sense, it was accurate of them to open with a list of drugs because everyone was high to a certain extent.

That same screen would become the backdrop of the ideas they wanted to express in words or numbers for the remainder of the two hour set. It went from a political rally, to a question of freedom using quotes and statistics (Arizona got shanked multiple times), to a full on quote fest fraught with thought provoking ideas. And while this may seem shameless and completely devoid of all subtlety, it worked given the atmosphere.

Photo by Kyle Johnson

Of course we saw appearances by Massive Attack regulars Martina Topley-Bird and Horace Andy, as well as the boys themselves, 3D and Daddy G, and as they ran through the set, they each provided such a unique spin to the MA sound. It almost felt like a stage production with the frequent coming and going of musicians and the constant costume changes of Martina Topley-Bird. The set was fairly Heligoland top-heavy, with tracks like “Babel”, “Girl I Love You”, “Psyche”, and “Splitting The Atom”, but their classics received pretty fair attention. From “Teardrop” to “Risingson” to “Angel”, Mezzanine was well represented, as was Blue Lines with tracks “Safe From Harm”, and “Unfinished Sympathy”. All in all, it played like an incredible greatest hits, and it blew the minds of all who were lucky enough to witness it. -Winston Robbins

Booka Shade
Bigfoot Stage: 11:30 p.m.

The house duo from Germany known as Booka Shade opened up their electronic doors of insanity to the world on Sunday night as the closed out the entire show. The band tore it down, while ravers danced under the stars for a solid hour and a half. Even when the band tried to get off stage, the audience screamed for more, until the band finally obliged playing for another 15 minutes. This pleased the crowd immensely as the synth and drums duo blazed up that stage some more, keeping everybody in full-on party mode for just a few more moments. Nobody, and I mean nobody, wanted it to end. -Ted Maider

Monday, May 31st

The Heavy
Sasquatch Stage: 12:00 p.m.

Nothing like some English soul to cure that Monday hangover. Kevin Swaby’s voice was the perfect thing to ease everyone into the last day of the festival as they were enjoying their $8 lattes and $11 hair-of-the dog beers. Rockers with some funky horns and a soulful voice, you never know what The Heavy will cook up next. Songs such as “How You Like Me Now” (Featured in a KIA commercial) and the horns in “No Time” set the funky mood for the morning. -Kacie McKinney

Mayer Hawthorne & The County
Sasquatch Stage: 12:55 p.m.

In his suit and high-tops, Mayer Hawthorne used his falsetto voice and thick-rimmed glasses to channel Motown soul music. Most notably he channeled his former role as DJ Haircut and had the crowd singing Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend.” While I’m still questioning why he took five minutes to poll the audience about what kind of music they liked,  it was good music to sit up on the hill and get ready for the day ahead. -Kacie McKinney

Seattle Rock Orchestra
Bigfoot Stage: 2:20 p.m.

This Aracade Fire cover band was a hidden gem during the solid Monday main stage set. As I was getting closer to the stage I actually heard a person say “OMG Arcade Fire is playing!” as they ran over to the Bigfoot stage to watch the band play songs from Funeral. But what they saw instead was around 30 of Seattle’s best freelance classical and pop musicians tearing it up. One girl was even playing a teakettle and played it so hard it broke. -Kacie McKinney

Drive-By Truckers
Sasquatch Stage: 3:00 p.m.

The cowboy boots were in prime form for Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers. But the crowd seemed to be a mixture of the alt-country enthusiasts for the day and hipsters waiting to rush the main floor for Passion Pit coming up next. There were a few hollers from the floor and a few snickers from the Passion Pit crowd as Patterson Hood dedicated  “18 Wheels of Love” to the 18 Wheeler Peterbilt in the sky. -Kacie McKinney

Passion Pit
Sasquatch Stage: 4:10 p.m.

Photo by Kyle Johnson

Many people around camp Sasquatch were chirping about the Boston group’s performance. Apparently, last year Passion Pit rocked the northwest while playing various tracks off their masterpiece LP, Manners, and this year they seemed to kick just as much, if not more, ass. “Make Light” at the beginning got the crowd into a dancing frenzy, and nobody was safe during their live rendition of “Sleepyhead”, as Passion Pit put all their energy into their keyboards. If you weren’t out of breath after the show, you clearly weren’t feeling it. -Ted Maider

Dr. Dog
Bigfoot Stage: 4:30 p.m.

Thank god Craig Robinson bombed it on the comedy stage because Dr. Dog got the crowd they deserved. I love watching people’s awe-shocked faces amidst a Dr. Dog performance. Working off of You may expect these guys to play a mellow little set, but you ain’t seen nothing until you see them live. -Kacie McKinney

She & Him
Sasquatch Stage: 5:20 p.m.

I’ve never been certain as to what exactly possessed M. Ward to collaborate with Zooey Deschanel. I had guessed that it must have had something to do with the never ending pools of blue water she calls eyes, but seeing She & Him live has changed my mind about that in a big way. It’s become very clear to me that it was their affinity for ’50s music is what brought them together.

Photo by Kyle Johnson

They busted out song after song teeming with nostalgic vibes and kept us all thoroughly entertained with their onstage antics and charisma. Zooey playfully introduced the band saying, “We’re She & Him, and him and him and him and her and her” referring to her backing band. And I must give credit where credit is due, Zooey’s got almost as much onstage swagger as the legendary M. Ward, who is known to drop jaws with his sheer coolness. Playing mostly songs from their newest installment, Volume 2, the highlights were “Don’t Look Back”, an elongated “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”, and their cover of “Roll Over Beethoven”. -Winston Robbins

Band of Horses
Sasquatch Stage: 6:40 p.m.

Some people are simply just born to front bands. Julian Casablancas, Wayne Coyne, and Thomas Mars, are all excellent examples of individuals who quarterback their respective bands with absolute professionalism and perfection. As of May 31, 2010, I am officially adding Ben Bridwell to that list. Despite their latest installment, Infinite Arms, being panned by most critics (somewhat undeservedly), Band of Horses took the stage with the utmost confidence in themselves. And why shouldn’t they? They’ve released three solid alt-country albums to massive success amongst the indie community and they’ve somehow maintained their dignity in doing so (that’s an intentional jab at you, MGMT).

Photo by Kyle Johnson

“This band started in Seattle in ’04 and now we’re bringin’ it home for Sasquatch 2010,” Bridwell exclaimed. True to his word, they played hit after hit, playing only two songs from their latest effort. I guess they got the message from the critics, however inaccurate it may have been. Highlight tracks: “Is There A Ghost”, “Detlef Schrempf”, “Ode To LRC” and “Great Salt Lake” got the crowd moving, and reminded us all about just how much we love Band of Horses deep down. -Winston Robbins

Sasquatch Stage: 8:00 p.m.

Photo by Kyle Johnson

I have never feared for my life more than I did while on the floor during MGMT (that says a lot). Between an eager and pushy crowd, untied shoes, a lack of air, gallons of alcohol sweat depleting from my body, and a face-melting show from the band, it was easily one of the best (and most anticipated) shows of the weekend. They dedicated their set to those who died in combat (it was Memorial Day after all) and then opened with their slow, and down-to-Earth number “Pieces of What”. However, they didn’t hesitate to shake it up with songs like “Brian Eno”, “Flash Delirium”, and “Time to Pretend”. To end it, the band played the most intense version of “Kids,” which the crowd sang the synth riff to accapella style as the band exited the glorious main stage. -Ted Maider

The New Pornographers
Bigfoot Stage: 8:20 p.m.

The best time slot The New Pornographers have seen (as Carl Newman pointed out “It’s weird to play in the dark”) proved to be well-deserved. And an engadged crowd was ready with an inflatable whale and glowsticks  that became part of the act throughout the show. This was the most engadged and talkative I had ever seen the band – and Neko Case was in prime form with her one-liners. Up against MGMT on the main stage,  Case jokingly told the audience that MGMT was sending a shuttle over soon to get us. And as soon as a large crowd left MGMT and booked it to the dance tent the band asked them “Hey, where are you going?” They played all the favorites including kicking it off with “Spanish Techno”and ending with an encore performance of “Letter from an Occupant”. -Kacie McKinney

Neon Indian
Rumpus Room: 8:40 p.m.

Alan Palomino has had a great year – that much is true. But it’s tough to realize why he’s had such a great year unless you’ve seen him do his thing onstage with Neon Indian. It’s simple, it’s catchy, and it’s fun to dance to, especially when you’ve poured all your energy into the past three days and this is the last act you will see. People went berserk for the Texan gone Brooklyn-ite’s hits. “Terminally Chill”, “Deadbeat Summer”, and “Should’ve Taken Acid With You” seemed to particularly get everyone rough and rowdy. And in a tent that is not very large, full to the brim with people, this can prove to be quite a fulfilling experience. -Winston Robbins

Sasquatch Stage: 9:30 p.m.

Photo by Kyle Johnson

Everyone was super excited for Ween (most of these people appeared to be Canadian). It made me somewhat jealous, as my knowledge of Ween is slightly limited (my roommate used to play Chocolate and Cheese constantly), but when they started, it didn’t matter. Ween jammed hard in a way that the dudes from Phish would be overtly envious. While blasting through tunes like “Spinal Meningitis”, “Bananas and Blow”, “Bare Hands”, and “Take Me Away”, it was clear why so many people were jacked up about Ween. They are simply just a great band, with quirky/memorable songs that their fans love and know every word to. Why wouldn’t a band like this headline a major music festival? As I departed from Ween’s extravagant closing set, I knew Sasquatch had done me just right with all the music, which is why any of us go to these festivals in the first place. -Ted Maider

Special thanks to photographers Kyle Johnson and Christopher Nelson.


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