Sasquatch 2015 Preview
By Cameron Deuel
So, you really want to Sas the quatch, eh?
How Friday should go down:
You and your Sasquad calmly and diligently pack the biggest car with camping supplies, food, and plenty of water and sunscreen, which will be worth their weight in loonies to scavenging Canucks come 1 a.m. Saturday. Everyone in the group has their purpose: a crafty pal put together a campsite flag to spruce up your plot of land, another compiled a handful of mix CDs or a playlist for the journey, and someone…brought… Slurpees.
When you arrive at the Gorge, just after partaking in a nutritious late lunch, you’re calmly directed to the campgrounds where you park the car and depart for the remainder of the day.
You will start at Thunderpussy because they’re the best live rock ‘n roll band in Seattle. They sound like if a sailor’s pin-up girl tattoo came to life. You embrace it, and then ease into the weekend by blending in with the agreeable throwback disco funk from Jungle on the Sasquatch Stage.
After thoroughly hydrating, you seek wisdom from the ghost of boom-bap future, Action Bronson, before laying in the grass while Angel Olsen’s voice washes over you. When you brush off your shirt before heading to British pop duo, AlunaGeorge, you see several friends you totally meant to call before you lost service. What luck! You all dance to “White Noise” and into Little Dragon’s moonlit set. You end the night with a very emotional and classic performance from the reunited Sleater-Kinney and a quick cameo at Flume before you wander back to your site for the night.
What will actually happen:
Like every year, embarking for Sasquatch weekend is a dumpster-fire emergency. Much like Jesus, one member of your Sasquad will betray you. This is a test.
You will have to wait for one person to get off a shift that, for some reason, will go late. Nobody will remember their phone charger and you’ll only have The Eagles’ The Long Run for your journey.
Your lateness will cause you to become a semi-permanent fixture in the car-lot shanty town that forms when thousands of youths flock to the Gorge, as if part of a majestic, natural migration. Someone will play Kanye VERY loudly so best to just chill in quiet outrage. Tradition is tradition.
When you get into the festival, a tertiary member of the Sasquad will somehow force the group to see Gogol Bordello and, in the spirit of not splitting up, you have to attend. You eventually break off and do your own thing only to come back to find someone else in your sleeping bag.
Saturday should be a breeze:
You sleep in because you’ve earned it and you know your limits. You continue to wake up slowly to shoegaze phenoms, Nothing, and go see Cameron Esposito because she is hilarious national treasure and you both deserve it.
Your Sasquad do some light stretches before Diarrhea Planet, the most unabashedly riff-heavy band in human history, and then cool down to the actually perfect indie pop duo, Sylvan Esso. At this point, you are at a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style fork in the road. You’re either feeling introspective, in which case you see Perfume Genius, or ready to continue shaking your ass, which is best done to the keyboard-pop sleaze of Chromeo.
The Sasquad grows restless so you roam separately for the rest of the evening until meeting up for Father John Misty and then going separate ways again. (Honestly, if you’re from the area you’ve seen Modest Mouse several times by now but, if you haven’t already, you stand in their presence until they play something from The Moon & Antarctica and then you call it good.)
The stranger from your sleeping bag last night is Pierre from Ontario. Nobody laughs harder at his own jokes than Pierre! He’s a riot and he desperately needs to crash with you. It’s cool man, no worries.
You’ll pretty much see the same acts as above, except with Pierre needing to breakaway to find what he refers to as “DA GANJAH.” Also: he needs to borrow $10.
Sunday, the Day of the Lord:
You got plenty of rest and feel ready to take on the most voluptuous day of the weekend, which y starts with hometown Sasbby’s Kinski before moving to the lush folk stylings of Shakey Graves and the subsequently righteous set from classic rock worshipper, Strand of Oaks. Christ, you think to yourself, it’s not even 3 p.m. What a time to be alive!
After a brief snack siesta, you situate yourself on the grassy hill in front of the mainstage for the unique warmth of a Jenny Lewis performance before the alien intricacies of St. Vincent. You go irresponsibly buck to Rustie and catch the final minutes of the sentient Tumblr, Lana Del Rey, before James Blake brings out Chance The Rapper to “Life Round Here.” You see SBTRKT, who brings out Yukimi from Little Dragon for “Wildfire” and it’s historical.
You successfully ditch Pierre, but, without a working phone and dwindling resources, you start to plot. You hit about every third act from above and wind up shutting down the festival grounds because you dropped your car keys and can’t remember where.
Your mild headache from the night before starts to die down while Natalie Prass plays songs from one of the best albums of the year. The Sasquad meanders through the day passing by THEESatisfaction, local singer-songwriter keystone, S, and the slacker charm of Courtney Barnett.
The day picks up a bit when you dance like an idiot to Future Islands, but is frozen in time when you stand in total awe of Sharon Van Etten, who plays the most beautifully painful songs and it’s on a crystal clear Monday afternoon at the Gorge, and you feel a lot of things but mostly gratitude.
You bring the weekend to a very strong close by attending hip hop’s greatest current bromance, Run The Jewels, and Kendrick Lamar backing the most ambitious, timely, and impactful album of his career. Sasquatch 2015 ends after the soulful nerdiness brought on by Hot Chip is met with giddiness, when nobody can believe the weekend they just had.
Somehow, between the heat, the festival food, and lack of personal human connection, you oversleep until Tame Impala. By then, everyone is sunburnt and ornery, just hoping to go home to their comfortable bed and ample toilet.
You, committed to making the most out of the day, run to every set possible until Kendrick Lamar and he starts up “Blacker the Berry” and the place goes nuclear. Out of the corner of your eye, you notice a member of the crowd start to crowd-surf, flailing his way to the front. You realize it’s Pierre only after he’s apprehended a microphone from Kendrick’s band. Somehow he identifies you as he’s chased across the stage by security and, only after it’s over and the music starts again, do you breathe an outrageous sigh of relief.
Somehow the whole Sasquad reforms organically during Hot Chip, everyone filthy and broke and still kind of drunk, but laughing harder than anyone can remember. As you leave the festival grounds you have only one thought: Can’t wait for next year.