Sasquatch 2015 Day 2 Journal
By Andy Bookwalter
After a healthy breakfast of stale donuts, protein bars and coffee I still had four hours to kill before gates opened for the second day of this year’s Sasquatch music festival. The line for the shower probably would have taken that long, but that’s what baby wipes are for. So I spent my time eavesdropping on the neighbors and planning the day instead.
Will Butler is from Arcade Fire, a fact he freely admits without shame. He was playing in front of my good sittin’ spot so I watched some of his set anyway, and I suppose it was OK. My subconscious tried to convince me that some Uncle Tupelo-ish sounds were coming from the Yeti stage where Bear on Fire was getting going. Closer listening revealed less twang, more soul. I really should have spent my time there. CURSE YOU, ARCADE FIRE GUY!
2 p.m. brought a conundrum: Acapulco Lips, with reverb laden garage rock, or the southern garage punk of Black Pistol Fire? I started with Acapulco Lips, who played love songs about Taco Bell, told yo’ mama jokes and were thoroughly funny and entertaining.
Black Pistol Fire, on the other hand, blew my freaking mind. Two guys, guitar and drums (why does this combination always seem to work so well?), performing blistering, blues-based garage rock, BPF are equal parts Canadian and Texan, which scientifically shouldn’t be possible. They were the only band I saw all weekend that got to play an encore. Sasquatch was too cheap to let me bring a photographer so here’s a little taste of the band for you instead:
A big thanks to Ryley Walker’s mom, who tweeted the NadaMucho central office suggesting we check out his set, which I did. I’m not about to start defying anyone’s mom, plus he was right there in front of me.
Ryley’s band featured the first upright bass I saw at Sasquatch, which made for a good first impression. He played quiet-ish folk sort of in the vein of Nick Drake, but a little more psychedelic and a little less troubadour. For some reason the set brought about an unfortunate display of arm-waving hippie dancing and footbaggery, but I don’t blame Ryley Walker for that. Mrs. Walker, your son done good.
The exact opposite of Ryley Walker is a four guitar attack. You think you hate the name Diarrhea Planet, but you can’t forget it and it is fun to say. The Nashville band plays good old fashioned hard rock, but with four guitars, bass and drums. Think Andrew W.K. with even more guitars and songs that aren’t exclusively about partying, how it’s time to party and when there will be more partying to be done. They were fantastic and funny and the crowd went wild.
I had planned on getting over to the comedy rave tent for Perfume Genius (who is neither funny nor ravey, that’s just where he played) because more than a few friends said “I usually hate that kind of stuff, but…” two great songs in I was rummaging through my giant man bag and realized I was wearing my sunglasses but hadn’t brought my regular glasses. Since I’ve been known to break bones on smooth grass on sunny days I sure as hell wasn’t going to make the treacherous two mile hike back to hooverville in the dark wearing sunglasses later that night, so I reluctantly left the tent and made the trek in daylight.
I made it back just in time for The Decemberists, who seemed to have attracted an older, beardier crowd. I’m not sure where these folks had been all day, but they came out in force for this particular set. Part sea chanteys and “belly of the whale” stories, part Edward Gorey set to music, font man Colin Meloy writes the kind of big sweeping songs that go well with the expansive scenic vistas at the Gorge.
Modest Mouse is from Issaquah. This is no surprise to anyone, but it’s still weird to me since I’m also from Issaquah and I haven’t even made ONE brilliant album of angular, somewhat melancholy rock, and they’ve made six. Weird, huh? The band played a great set. With lots of lasers. And card tricks!
No windstorms on Saturday night, but I had a dream that my camping neighbors became cannibals and cooked someone. I wasn’t really hungry but it was so nice of them to offer that I had a little bit as a snack.
- Grandpa Goes to Sasquatch 2015 (Day 3)
- Grandpa Goes to Sasquatch 2015 (Day 1)
- Perfume Genius: Delicate, but Standing his Ground