The Tallest Man on Earth

Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Vampire Weekend, My Morning Jacket, Yim Yames, The Tallest Man on Earth, Dirty Projectors, Band of Horses, Dr. Dog, The New Pornographers, Pavement

Sasquatch! Festival, The Gorge, George, WA, June 29th, 2010

Jun 04, 2010 Web Exclusive Photography by Robin Bacior Bookmark and Share


Thousands of North Westerners packed the normally barren fields of George, WA with bare-bones camping gear and their most exotic festival apparel to witness the epic line-up of Sasquatch! 2010. The list was stacked, and showed why the festival had already sold out by early spring. I made the trek from New York, and arrived the night prior to the official Sasquatch! start, only to find the shenanigans were already knee-deep. Humans outnumbered ants, roaming through hundreds of already pitched tents-and-tarps, wide-eyed and hungry for new acquaintances, or booze, or both. I weaved through the bodies, hoping I could find a little elbowroom to set up, or a lap to camp in.
    
“You're lucky you're over here, it's crazy over there,” remarked the guy behind me in the bathroom line, pointing off into the distance. I could only imagine the kind of Jenga mess he was talking about.
    
As for music, my Sasquatch! started at the Solar Stage with Mumford and Sons, who delivered a flawless set of rich Americana and heavily stacked harmonies, seeming so rough but accidentally perfect, like coalminers randomly breaking into song during their lunch break.
    
The day progressed with such acts as Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros flustering the screaming spectators with their communal, uplifting jams like “Home,” involving the crowd in the performance, especially when frontman Alex Ebert himself threw his own body into hungry front-row hands.
    
As the sun dropped and the clouds laced with pink, Vampire Weekend moved through the well-received Contra, showcasing their pixie, spastic indie-pop, specifically with such songs as “White Sky” that had the neon-hoodies lining the main-stage hill dancing like it was a holiday in Oz.
    
As the first day of Sasquatch! reached its starry skied peak, strobing light flickered on the stage as My Morning Jacket came in and launched the crowd into a frenzy of adrenaline with an explosive intro of “One Big Holiday.” Lead singer Jim James, recently monikered ‘Yim Yames,’ kept in constant motion, crudely circling the front-stage piece, a small statue with an animal head and arms in the champion position. By the end of their roughly two-hour stacked set, when James’ voice still pierced the chilled air with his impressive range on such favorites as “Wordless Chorus,” I noticed the crowd had become sparse on the hill. I started to mosey back to the temporary tent-village, when I noticed that half the festival attendees had migrated to the eye-popping spectacle that runs under the name of Deadmau5. With meticulously layered beats, a mind-boggling light show, and his own futuristic rendition of a Mickey Mouse mask, the Canadian-native DJ had the crowd so transfixed they were moving like their bones were rubber.
    
As the days progressed the collective eyes got more puffy and hair got more stringy, but the troops threw on their wayfarers, pulled their locks back and hiked to the stages. I steered through a sea of painted-faces and floral prints to go back-and-forth between stages for sets from folks like Tallest Man On Earth, whose hands whirled over his guitar strings, making a thickly sewn quilt of sound from his one, solo axe.
    
The xx wooed ears with their unadulterated sultry sound of lonesomely haunting bass, minimal overall instrumentation, and beyond-sensual voices. Simultaneously on the competing stage were Bay dwellers Vetiver, who moved through gems from their 2009 release Tight Knit, emanating a beachy-clean feel over one of the more politely quiet crowds.
    
Dirty Projectors brought listeners along on a roller coaster of tricky instrumental transitions, wide-ranged three-part female harmonies and weighty lyrics, while on the main stage stood indie-rock heavy weights Pavement, who stirred nostalgia in thousands of twenty-somethings.

The last day the weather moved spastically between thick sunrays and light rain, depending on the mood of the grey, brooding clouds above. Haggard was the theme, but morale stayed high as acts like Band of Horses aurally displayed their shiny new songs off recent release, Infinite Arms, along with some well-known older gems such as “Detlef Schrempf” and “The Great Salt Lake.” Listeners swooned as frontman Ben Bridwell weaved together his notoriously allusive lyrics with soaring vocal interludes.
    
On the smaller stages, audiences were charmed by such groups as Dr. Dog, emitting their charismatic blend of ’60s-influenced harmonies, lo-fi washed pop-rock and goofy demeanor; and Mountain Goats with their endearingly awkward banter and such irresistibly catchy sing-alongs as “No Children.” Or even the Canadian all-star pop crew, The New Pornographers , who shared their stage frame with a rainbow. Really, there was an actual rainbow.

(www.sasquatchfestival.com)




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Phobbs
June 6th 2010
8:39am

My personal top five for sasquatch: band of horses, my morning jacket, local natives, dirty projectors, edward sharpe and the magnetic zeroes.

Matt
June 7th 2010
10:05pm

My Morning Jacket definitely lost a lot of the crowd to deadmau5. Our troupe left fourth song in though - not impressed live. Z-Trip killed it in the dance tent , which was a sweaty mess.

Read our review here:

http://thedependent.ca/featured/sasquatch-2010-festival-review/