Tonight in Seattle:  

Sasquatch 2009 Wrap-Up: Day 1

23 May 2009 at The Gorge

Sasquatch was a doozy. I wrote a lil bit o' news about a few bands I saw each day via my check-in's for days 1, 2 and 3. There were people having sex during the Decemberists right out in front of {supreme being} and everyone, and I met a TON of Canadians "eh". I saw a kid wearing a fleece pajama jumpsuit all three days (shower? yeck) and my toes have never been as dirty as they were after three days of music and camping. Verdict: sunburned, dehydrated, jolly good time.

The itsy bitsy press trailer was anything but cush, so I kept my ass out and about amongst the common-folk gorging themselves on the sweet sweet sounds of Sasquatch. Here is what I heard:


SATURDAY

The Doves sound is produced. They aren't garage rock or ramshackled indie... they're anthemic and full. Swooping in and out of lyrics and instrumentation and their sound was abso-freaking-lutely perfect for the Gorge Ampitheatre. Beautiful, produced and consistent, the Doves soared (tee hee). A swift walk up that damned hill and over to the Wookie stage set me up for Passion Pit, who I've become slightly obsessed with over the coming weeks. Having garnered much attention as of late, Passion Pit commissioned a fairly large crowd for their set. All the half-clothedgirlies were screaming their heads off, and being in the back I couldn't tell why until I inspected a bit further. Michael Angelakos, the head honcho/lead singer, is one hell of a charismatic individual. Swishing his curly, not unlike Wayne Coyne , hair from side to side and swaggering his tight hipster-jean across the stage and back again was causing a fever to break out amongst the ladies (and a few men, admittedly). Angelakos' high notes and range seemed a bit stunted, like he was holding back in order to hit the notes, but his strutting ways and their quirk-pop sound invigorated the crowd.

King Khan & the Shrines are a spectacle. Adorned in a feather headdress, wooden staff, gold cape, and itty bitty satin shorts King Khan strutted onstage, hands held high to the heavens. One part George Clinton, one part southern soul preacher, and one BIG part balls-out freak, King Khan knows how to put on a show and have a blast. They ran through their songs like a train and antics onstage got a little wacky when one of the band members droppedpantaloons and shoved his junk from front to back, leaving it that way for the entirety of the song. This band will take you in their uterus, jumble you up crazy-style and rebirth you fresh and anew!

Completing the one-two punch of awesomeness, I experienced Animal Collective next. AC are one of my favorite bands of the last few years, of which I've hailed their greatness before. I was expecting nothing short of awe-inspiring and I got it. Visually, they were simple: guy on guitar, two guys whopping on keyboards/synths and the stunning Gorge backdrop behind. They sounded rougher, less honed live, but that didn't take away one iota of amazement. I witnessed several people initially appalled at AC's ambient ways turn a kinder light towards them later on in the set. This in itself was a treat. Preened jocks nodding their heads hard to baby sounds and hazy echoes, as expertly emitted by AC... unbelievable.

I'm admittedly not much of a fan of the Decemberists or the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, but saw them for my readers' sake mostly (my friends also wanted to see them). Aside from the couple sexin' it up on stage right during the Decemberists, the highlight of the show for me was when of their female members came up and belted out a few tunes. And man, did she belt. A personal opinion, but they'd be much more interesting if she was at the vocal helm more often. Slightly raucous with devastatingly beautiful vocals but slightly lackluster energy-wise, the Decemberists seemed to really pull an adoring audience.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs always struck me as being about show and fist-pumping energy more than musical complexity or engaging songwriting, and my experience seeing them live affirmed that. The crowd went absolutely bananas for them, and with Karen O. decked out in neon green tights and an electric-colored poncho, I can see why she'd draw a lot of attention. The vocals were almost incomprehensible from where I was sitting, but I commend them on their energy. They have the live performance thing down, and their fans count on that consistency.

"the highlight of the show for me was when of their female members came up and belted out a few tunes. And man, did she belt. A personal opinion, but they'd be much more interesting if she was at the vocal helm more often."

That remarkable voice you're thinking of belongs to Shara Worden, A.K.A. My Brightest Diamond. She's generally not a part of the Decemberists, but she's opened for them on tours before and appeared on a number of songs on 'The Hazzards of Love.' She has a great voice, and she's actually about the only thing I like about that new Decemberists album.

She was the one in the green dress for this show....the other women's name I don't know, but I think she's also in a diamond band-Lavendar Diamond. She is also along just for this recent record. Then there's Jenny Connelly who's the one playing piano-she's been with the Decemberists all along.

I only have one My Brightest Diamond album- "Bring me the workhorse". Her voice is great on this album. The first half is more uptempo and the second half gets fairly soft and melodic. Good to take a nap too (in a complimentary way).

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