1. Pickwick’s Soulful Harmonies during “Hacienda Motel”
Seattle band Pickwick took to the main stage early Saturday morning, drawing a surprisingly strong yet sleepy crowd. The band was thrilled to be opening the day on such a majestic stage, and they only added to the glory of the scene. Frontman Galen Disston whipped around the stage during their cover of the Lou Reed song “The Ostrich.” It’s a fun, bouncy cover that features the singer shouting and the band members calling back to him, and it really gets the crowd going. Galen goes mental, shaking his head of bushy hair around and wailing. The band also played their well known hit, “Hacienda Motel,” in which Galen raises a tambourine to the sky and lets out a soulful note that sounds like it’s straight from a baptist church. The crowd followed along, raising their hands high and letting loose. It just might have been the largest secular saving The Gorge has ever seen!
2. Crazy Overflow at Sol’s Set
Another Seattle artist, Sol, was booked for the “Maine” stage, a very small side stage, later that day. Primarily used for local bands and a more intimate alternative to the larger shows, this stage didn’t even have proper barricades. The space allotted did not anticipate the raging crowds that Sol draws, and it was overwhelmed. Fans flowed up and over the makeshift stage which stood on a naturally higher outcropping than the grassy field, and bouncers had to physically hold fans back so that Sol could actually perform. Perhaps it’s time for this local artist to move on to the big stages!
3. St. Vincent’s Rage and Passion
On Saturday night, Annie Clark, alias St. Vincent, commanded the attention of the viewers at the Bigfoot Stage. She launched into a headstrong set of bone-crushing riffs like “Marrow,” “Cheerleader,” and “Actor Out of Work.” Not two minutes into her set, the guitar goddess shot furious looks at her guitar tech, jabbing her finger upwards for more volume. This continued a few songs into her set, and despite the technical issues, the sight of her furiously playing almost made the show more enticing. For one riff she even smacked repeatedly on her guitar body, bending its sound to her liking. After the sound issues had been worked out, furious solos in songs like “Surgeon” were even more rewarding.
4. Jack White & his Pianist’s Duet
Jack White headlined the main stage Saturday night, bringing along his all-male band. Rumor has it that he performs with either an all-female or all-male band, deciding on the fly each night which to bring on stage with him. The all-female band is featured in the single, “Love Interruption,” so the song was not included in his set, but powerful jams like “Sixteen Saltines” were. White included songs from various musical projects, including The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and of course The White Stripes, with songs like “Hello Operator,” “Hotel Yorba,” “Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground,” and “Steady as She Goes.” The show almost felt like a Jack White retrospective, but there was nothing cheesy about it at all. The crowd was ecstatic to see such songs live after The White Stripes’ split last year. At one point, White joined his keyboardist for a grueling double-piano solo, wowing the crowd.
5. Reignwolf’s Unbridled Energy
Jordan Cook, a.k.a. Reignwolf, hails from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Canadian guitar prodigy recently made his foray into America with a residence in Seattle, WA. His latest album, Seven Deadly Sins, features snarling guitar hooks and blues rock vocals. His stage presence is raw and energetic, ranging from him playing a guitar and kick drum, to a two-piece band joining him made up of Joseph Braley and Stitch (David T Rapaport) of Seattle band The Mother’s Anger. He wanders the stage lost in passionate riffs, hammering on notes on his guitar while he drums on either his kick drum or Braley’s set behind him. He even came out to join the crowd at one point, sitting on a bouncer’s shoulders to play to the front row. His is not a show to be missed!
6. Deer Tick’s Antics
Deer Tick of Providence, RI are known for their stage antics, and Sasquatch was no exception. Guitarist and singer John McCauley told the crowd he’d already been drinking all day, and he’d like to get the set over with so he can be done with responsibilities and come out and party with everyone. This sent the crowd into a roar, and set the tone for the band’s playful set. Highlights include McCauley humping his guitar while playing it like a giant phallus, then licking its neck a few songs later.
Early attendees to the festival’s last day were in for a treat. After Grouplove’s morning set at the main stage, while show goers lounged in the grass on the amphitheater’s slope and waited for Gary Clark Jr., a black object appeared in the sky in the distance. Everyone gasped as a black naval fighter plane got closer and closer, finally turning on its side and whizzing past the hill. The crowd let out a deafening roar and for one moment, everyone on the hill was one excited being. The glorious stunt had brought the sleepy and hungover crowd together, and Gary Clark Jr.’s exquisite set following was that much more exciting as a result.
8. SBTRKT’s DJ Set
SBTRKT (pronounced “subtract”) was the last artist to play the Banana Shack on Monday night. This tent is used for a variety of comedians and electronic acts. SBTRKT is the stage name for elusive artist Aaron Jerome from London, and the moniker can refer to either a live band of two who have toured recently, or in this case, the man himself doing a DJ set. One would never know, however, because the artist wears a tribal mask for performances. Fans may have been disappointed at first to realize it was a DJ set, but such feelings didn’t last long. Jerome delivered a well orchestrated mix of jams to finish the electronic side of the weekend with joy. Not one person was still during the entire set. To make matters even more beautiful, the set was at just the right time to catch the day’s last rays of sunlight. The stage was bathed in a yellow light for the first half, then plunged into sultry evening tones.
9. The Raccoon in the Rafters
The most bizarre moment of the whole weekend was undoubtedly a raccoon getting caught up in the rafters of the main stage in between Tenacious D and Beck on Monday night. The cameraman focused in on the little guy for a few minutes, and the crowd watched as he climbed first down, then back up one of the large supporting frames for the stage. This raised many questions as to how long the creature had been there, how it got up there, and why it might have strayed. The cameraman soon resumed his regular duties however, and the critter seemed to be left to find the way out himself.
Concluding the weekend with a fabulous set of many of his best tracks, Beck also found time for a few of his weirder ones. During his encore, Tenacious D came out to help him perform “Mutherfuker,” in which the chorus repeats, “Everyone’s out to get your motherf***er!” There’s nothing quite like Jack Black doing squats around the stage, growling those words as he stares down the audience. The sight was even funnier from the top of the amphitheater hill, where Black became a tiny squatting form, easily recognizable despite the distance. Black hammered on notes for a few of Beck’s solos against his guitar, and the two seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves. Black even performed a “shaker solo,” where he shook maracas intricately for a few minutes, and afterwards Beck exclaimed, “I bet you didn’t see that s*** all weekend!” The group performed “E-Pro” together for the final stretch, pulling the crowd into a raucous repetition of “Na-Na, Na Na Na Na Na-Na” which lasted long after the set and out into the lines filing out of the venue as people headed home or back to their campsites. And so ended another epic year at the Sasquatch Music Festival, with everyone in good spirits and singing a common tune.