Something magical happened to me this weekend. I found Sasquatch (or as we like to call it in the Midwest, Bigfoot). However, I am not talking about the mythical (or extremely real and terrifying) creature. I am talking about this glorious stage located on the beautiful gorge in George, Washington.
I felt like the luckiest girl in the whole wide world getting to spend FOUR days checking out some old favorite bands, new favorite bands, and band I had never heard of/actually listened too. Here is a brief recap of SASSY 2013.
The day started at 7:30 AM and the music at 4PM. We got in with enough time to catch the tail end of ZZ Ward. She has a great voice and I actually just started listening to her a few days before the festival so I am going to throw her some love right now…
Reignwolf and Built to Spill were the next two up. I remember nothing of the former but was impressed by the latter. I had honestly never heard anything from BtS before but they reminded me of Sunny Day Real Estate and I can get down with that.
After BtS me mosied on over to see Father John Misty, aka old drummer for Fleet Foxes aka Joshua Tillman aka RICK GRIMES. Tell me he doesn’t look like good ole’ Rick…he was really good. Very chill and throughout this kind of festival you need chill at some points.
Back to the main stage we went for Arctic Monkeys. They were my jam in college and I had forgotten how much I liked them. I actually chanced the floor for this one and got on my dancing shoes. And yes, this is where I insert the song Dancing Shoes because they played it an it was awesome. I haven’t checked out any of their recent stuff but that is about to change.
The overlap on bands sucked but what can you do at a festival this size? We didn’t watch the whole AM set because Vampire Weekend started about halfway through. And let me tell you about that set. I danced. I danced a lot. Apparently I kept my dancing shoes (still funny) on from Arctic Monkeys. I made friends and we danced until it was time for Macklemore. And then guess what? WE ALL DANCED SOME MORE. Now I am not a big fan of Mack, but Thrift Shop and Can’t Hold Us were good and for those who love Same Love (not I) it apparently brought many a person to tears. But again, overlap on times and I had to go do something important…
Yep. The Harlem Shake. Dude only dropped it once though. Jerk. He was playing some good tracks though and I danced the night away. I didn’t check out Youth Lagoon or Red Fang but I heard marvelous things about both.
Preservation Jazz Hall was great (I loves me some jazz) but we wondered over to Bear Mountain and I was NOT a fan. Robert DeLong seemed to be a favorite of the group, however I also was not a fan of his. I don’t listen to a lot of DJs though so I probably just don’t know anything.
I was totes stoked for the next band. Atlas Genius was on my list of must sees. They were really laid back and not a lot of energy but I thought they sounded great. Also, the singer had a sweet hat. Sweet hats make everything cooler.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was my next stop and I remember thinking they were alright. That is all I can remember after the long weekend though so take that as you will. Devendra Banhart was really good, at least the few songs I heard! I can’t help but think of Natalie Portman when I hear his name or see his face but I guess that is a plus for him.
And then there was Nick Offerman with his 10 tips for being awesome at life. The best part of this was the end. The glorious end. When his wife aka Megan Mulally came out and sang this freakin’ gem of a tune:
And then he rapped. That was also great.
Bloc Party meh, okay. I have never been a fan of his voice but they put on a good show. And here we end the night with the XX and Sigur Ros, both of which I listen to in chill mode like while doing homework. They both put on great shows but seeing as I am not as familiar with their discographies I couldn’t tell you what the highlights were. Ash was most excited to see XX and she raved about how satisfying they were for the rest of the weekend. As for Sigur, they were brilliant. Beautiful lighting and just super soothing. Again, everyone who was stoked beforehand to see them only had great things to say.
Laidback Luke meh. He stopped the music too often and when you want to dance the last thing you want is to try to anticipate the beat…and then be wrong. It is like a sick joke. But probably actually really hilarious to watch. Empire of the Sun ended the night and I only watched a couple songs. The stage show was insane but if you were hoping they sang live then you would be disappointed.
For the record, we are 4 days into this trip and still no shower has been taken (and won’t be taken until Tuesday).
My girlfriend Jessica Dobson and her band Deep Sea Diver started off the day. So good. Her voice is fantastic. Youngblood Hawke was another meh. Not bad yet not super memorable. And here is the only blatantly bad review of the whole festival. Danny Brown was AWFUL. AWFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUULLLLL. He literally sounded like Fozzy Bear. I am listening to him now. Nah. If someone bought tickets just for him they would have been severely disappointed. We lost half the group at this point.
Tallest Man on Earth, Radical Face, and Dropkick Murphys were all pretty good. Radical Face told some weird stories about his songs. Like, weirrrrrrd stories. Dropkick really got the fans going, especially during Shipping off to Boston and they covered AC/DC which I guess AC/DC fans would like…
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros were phenomenal, until they handed the mic to the audience to tell stories and the 3 chicks they picked were higher than Starships that were meant to fly (thanks Nicki Minaj). We checked out a few songs of Baths and they were legit. Another band I need to check out more from. There were some troubles with the second stage, mainly it was hard to hear in some places. Grimes was the main victim of this. She did her thing on stage, which is not really my thing but it wasn’t bad so yep. That’s all I have for that. Except that she was really cute when she spoke to the crowd.
And then there was Mumford. Say what you will about them but those dudes put on a good show. I am pretty sure people bought passes just to see them because it was PACKED. The lights were great, the sound was great, the horns were great, the vocals were great. And they brought Edward Sharpe out for the last song, a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain, and here is a poor quality video of it:
I did not check out Earl Sweatshirt, Shovels and Rope, or Shout Out Louds but I heard great things about all of them.
And then it had to end. Wahhhh. Everyone was stoked on Chvrches so we went there first. I am going to be honest, I don’t remember them or POS and by the time we got to Ryan Bingham I was napping on the lawn in the rain clutching to my Lil Hottie hand warmer and finding the strength to survive. That came right before Imagine Dragons. I can honestly say that was the most effective nap in my life. ID was so high energy. Azalea Banks canceled so they got to play for longer. I think they could work on vocals more but they are so fun to watch and genuinely thrilled to be there. Then we went and got our groove on to Toro y Moi …DUG IT! Super fun.
Cake was disappointing. Not the delicious food, because that is rarely disappointing. Twin Shadow was aight. Nothing spectacular to make me run out and get their ish. And then their was the dilemma of the festival: alt-J or Lumineers. Not a smart scheduling decision. Alt played the Honda stage so it was quiet and hard to hear and PACKED. But they were so good. Love me some Breezeblocks and Bloodflood. I heard mixed things about Lumineers. Everyone seemed in agreement that Neyla’s voice was beautiful but underused. I heard they lacked energy and that they had great energy so I guess it depend on the person…and how many drugs they are on.
I missed out on Steve Aoki but heard that those beats were dope (Aziz as Kanye reference there). I also heard that Disclosure was great as well.
But now let us talk about the reason I went (aside from all the other awesome bands I mentioned). POSTAL SERVICE. This was something I thought I would never get to see and then it happened. I have seen Death Cab a few times and I know Ben Gibbard puts on a great show. Add Jenny Lewis to that and there could be nothing better. Nearly perfect harmonies, new songs, and Ben dancing. He usually has some instrument occupying his hands but not on PS duty. So he was dancing up a storm and it was kind of awkward and great at the same time. Lights were great. Sound was great. Ughhh, my heart. Here they are in Coachella, who was nice enough to stream their videos. My heart jumped into my stomach when this song came on. I don’t care how long it has been or how many times I hear it, it will always be one of my favorites despite memories it brings.
All in all, it was a damn good festival. I got to not shower for 5 days, meet a ton of cool people, road trip through beautiful scenery, see soooooo many good bands, drink a lot, not do any homework, and watch Ben Gibbard dance.
Favorites: Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend, Postal Service, Mumford and Sons, alt-J, Deep Sea Diver, Sigur Ros
New Discoveries: Ryan Bingham, Devendra Banhart, Baths, Father John Misty, and Toro Y Moi
Will Melon Ball My Eyes out if I Ever Have to See Again: Danny Brown
Who is in for next year?