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Grandpa Goes to Sasquatch 2017 Preview: Bands that Won’t Suck

Posted by May 26th, 2017 No Comments »

Sasquatch Music Festival 2017
May 26-28 @ The Gorge in George, Washington
By Andy Bookwalter

Oh Sasquatch, you’re really pushing your luck. 21 Pilots? 21 Pilots?

For a festival that’s built it’s brand on highlighting forward-thinking artists, oftentimes before the reach crossover success, Saturday’s headliner  seems a bit odd, given 90 percent of their fans will need a ride from their Moms. The Gorge is a hell of a drive from the Power 93.3 (Seattle’s New #1 For Hit Music!) listening area, but who knows, maybe if I just give them a chance they’ll turn out to be geniuses? I’m paid to find out, and find out I will this weekend. (Note: I’m actually not paid to write for We’re a volunteer publication which is why I can say whatever I want!)

Fortunately, even with a three day schedule and a streamlined lineup, there’s still some groin-tingly good music to accompany what looks to be a gorgeous weekend at the Gorge, weather-wise. As such, Grandpa is heading to Sasquatch for the fifth year in a row, where I plan to camp out in shantytown, though safely encased in the aluminum embrace of “Camper Van Bookwalter,” aka the Mobile Media Command Center.

In between fits of semi-restful sleep, below is where I plan to spend my time. Follow my exploits, as well as those of photographer Maurice Harnsberry, on the Nada Twitter and Instagram thingies!


Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires

Even if you don’t know anything about Charles Bradley, don’t you wish you had your own cast of talented collaborators called “Extraordinaires?” Together, they make sweet, un-ironic funk and soul from the real deal. This is probably the act I’m most excited about.

Big Freedia

What’s not to love about an interior designer who’s equally comfortable being referred to as “he” or “she” and popularized “Bounce,” a subgenre of hip hop from New Orleans? I’ll be honest, I am not intimately familiar with Big Freedia’s music but I’m VERY excited to see what the fuss is about.

LCD Soundsystem

In what feels like a throwback to Sasquatches past, seminal NYC band LCD Soundsystem was a late booking, replacing Frank Ocean, who is apparently infamous for not showing up to concerts. I got on the James Murphy train a little late (a couple years ago, not last week), but I hear he and his band put on a heck of a show. They’ve just shared the first two songs from their forthcoming album, so hopefully we get to hear some additional tracks. Regardless, I predict a great time.


Bomba Estereo

I make fun of dance music quite frequently, but Grandpa likes a good time as much as the next guy. Columbia’s Bomba Estereo are on my list of approved dance music because A) They’re a hell of a lot of fun, and B) EVERYTHING sounds better in Spanish.  The downside is that they go on last on Saturday night. They follow 21 Pilots, so there ought to be a gorge full of people ready for something more sophisticated, but this old man’s probably going to have to put the kettle on.

Fred Armisen

I have to admit, Portlandia is wearing a little thin for me, but Fred Armisen is still a comic genius. Plus, he used to play drums in a pretty good punk band called Trenchmouth.


The Shins

The Shins might as well just be called “James Mercer and His Hired Goon”s after he fired the rest of the actual Shins in between Wincing the Night Away and Port of Morrow. That seems like kind of a dick move, but Goddammit, James Mercer makes such beautiful pop music he could probably strike gold with a bunch of monkeys shaking cans of pennies and flinging poo. I have a very short list of post-Beatles songs that are damn close to perfect, and “Phantom Limb” is close to the top of that list.

Car Seat Headrest

Car Seat Headrest serves up crashy, low fi, Matador-y pop with a hint of 60s throwback. As far as I know I just invented the word “Matador-y.” I’m pretty sure they are going to kill live. Even if they don’t, their songs are so strong it won’t matter.

White Lung

Full disclosure: I got White Lung confused with White Flag, who are to the best of my knowledge NOT playing Sasquatch. But, then I started investigating White Lung and now I’m pretty excited for some critically-acclaimed melodic Canadian hardcore.

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