I don’t think I need to brief anyone on the history of Sasquatch Festival, which now, 13 years running, has solidified itself as THE premier artist showcase of the Northwest, if not the west coast of N.A. This festival came to fame based on both it’s out-of-this-world — religious — setting, AKA one the world’s highest rated venues and possibly the best natural amphitheatres in the western hemisphere — AND on it’s thoughtful choices in creating a lineup that is both crowd pleasing while illuminating for music lovers on fresh and new artists from across the continent.
Although it has slowly become a pretty corporatized event, with bigger sponsorship, tighter security and a slew of buy-this, buy-that vendor-ship — the core of Sasquatch still remains as the definitive free-spirited, music-centred festival that deserves its annual tenure at The Gorge.
This year, despite an over zealous booking-scheme which wanted to see two separate weekends under the same name (taking lessons from the cash-cow Coachella) that ultimately failed, Sasquatch 2014 still boasts a serious array of talent big and small, with a diversity of acts that has become a staple of the Memorial Day long weekend.
Here is, if you’re interested, my top featured artists (excluding the headliners whom I’m certain you’re already well familiar with) for the upcoming festival.
If you don’t know, now you know…
Lucius- Sunday 4:10pm Yeti Stage
Lucius is a five-piece indie pop band from Brooklyn, New York. Described by the New York Times as creating “luscious, luminous, lilting lullabies” I can’t help but agree. Lucius are something up beat, fresh, and interesting with gorgeous female vocal harmonies with plenty of edge.
Listen to Lucius here
The Bright Light Social Hour- Saturday at 1:00pm Bigfoot Stage
This is psychedelic southern rock at its finest. This 4-piece from Austin, Texas are a powerful force of music to be reckoned with. Born out of a university art-rock collective, the band first gained attention in Austin for their incendiary live performances and innovative vision of rock and roll – melding southern rock, psychedelic, blues, and soul. Their Self-titled LP garnered the new band Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Band of the Year at 2011’s SxSW festival in Austin. This will be the sweat-stomping riot that will get you warmed up for the day, don’t miss these guys!
Listen to The Bright Light Social Hour here
La Luz- Sunday at 2:00pm Yeti Stage
Best described as “surf, doo-wop” from Seattle, WA, this all female four-piece are brand new in the Northwest music scene, their first full length album ‘It’s Alive’ was released on Hardly Art Records last fall. These girls have an element of danger in them, crafting classic surf-rock riffs that conjure up memories of Brigitte Bardot smoking on a beach in the south of France. Great listening for sunny days next the ocean.
Listen to La Luz here
The Growlers- Saturday at 5:15pm Yeti Stage
The Growlers are an American band formed in California in 2006, and are now based in Orange County. The band is known for its heavy use of effects, especially reverb, and mixes the sound of the Californian rock of the late ’60’s, with a heavy load of psychedelia giving birth to what they call “beach goth”. Rusty, smoky, trance inducing – this is rock for the brooding sway-and-shimmy crowd. It’s also a great time to get a little food in you; this stage is conveniently set in the main food court.
Listen to The Growlers here
Half Moon Run- Saturday at 2:00pm Bigfoot Stage
This Canadian quartet now based in Montreal are well known for their angelic three part harmonies and ability to fuse together elements of folk, rock, and electronic. Half Moon Run have something for everyone, and lots of potential for a big jam-out that will definitely be a memorable moment of the weekend.
Listen to Half Moon Run here
Papa- Sunday at 6:35pm Yeti Stage
Papa are a bit more tricky to describe, though there is something inherently familiar and sincerely genuine about this Californian duo. Fantastic song writing, and an eclectic mix of drums, keys and strings create something reflective, and addictive. This will most likely be The National’s main competition for euphoric high point of the weekend.
Listen to Papa here
Washed Out- Saturday at 7:55pm Bigfoot Stage
Chilled out, spaced out, beautiful and harmonious – this is electronic music at its best for me. Washed Out AKA producer/songwriter Ernest Greene has been blending chill-wave dreamy sounds with R&B and hip-hop inspired song structures since 2009. This will be that magic-hour sunset show that you should probably be peaking for.
Listen to Washed Out here
WORDS: The Lion-at-Large