Sasquatch! Music Festival
May 25-27, 2018
The Gorge in Gorge, Wash.
By AJ Dent
I’m gonna cheat a bit on this rundown of my weekend and just play the cuts. You know? Like, if I’m making you a mixtape, I’m not putting on any songs that annoy me. (Don’t worry though; if you’re looking for salt, I’m sure the review by our resident, self-described Grandpa will deliver.)
My car and I came screeching into Sasquatch! Saturday afternoon after a wild ride involving almost everything that can go wrong on a 2.5-hour drive. But all was well as soon as I caught a couple acts, relaxed, and realized it was already time for Rostam. In his greetings from the El Chupacabra stage, he noted it was great to see us all there “in the half-light”—a reference to the superb title track of his 2017 LP. As a lovely string quartet played, Rostam’s signature cushy voice cradled us in his smile. The thick bisexual lighting, color-spectrum visuals, and his rainbow tie-dye shirt all made me appreciate what his first solo album shares with us about his queer identity. I could go on and on about this incredible son of Iranian immigrants, but I’d rather implore you to learn more about his journey in his own recent words.
TV On The Radio
Ack, they’re as emotive and high-energy as you could ever hope. All that could-burst-at-any-second constraint of Tunde Adebimpe’s voice. I’ve always felt sorrow strung through their songs like blinking Xmas lights. No matter how upbeat, TV On The Radio’s music still echoes with loneliness, and this set was no exception. I loved it. See them live if you have the chance, please.
Jai Wolf was just a lot of fun, ya dig? A dancing DJ, visuals of human silhouettes in space, and remixes swirling like duets. Hands were in the air and the El Chupacabra area was paaacked. Pretty sure even the usual “Hurrumph, it’s just a dude twisting buttons” onlookers were into it.
Yep. This ^ is how I was feeling inside the whole evening. Also caught parts of a heady set by Explosions in the Sky, and the solid-as-always Modest Mouse. Attendance-wise, the fest definitely felt smaller than previous years, but the fans there kept it full of costumes, kisses, and group dances on the famous hill. I sauntered off to sleep in my car at the end of Saturday night grateful that this Pacific Northwest staple is still hanging in there.