Sasquatch! is a great place to catch your favorite headliner. But more than that, the music festival is one of the better places to hear the freshest new acts in music today. With 2012's version safely tucked away in the archives, here are some of our favorite new bands who put on memorable performances at the four-day extravaganza
If you’ve ever been to a Little Dragon show, I imagine that you may have had the same realization I did: listening to Little Dragon is dancing to Little Dragon. There seems to be little room for the latter without the former, or so exhibited the sun-reddened multitudes Sunday night. Listening to Little Dragon at home or on your iPod, the music is deceptively smooth and understated; Yukimi Nagano’s vocals run a silky current through the continent-hopping drums and up-tempo synths. But after seeing everyone lose their collective shit for 60 minutes straight, I think it’s safe to say the Dragon’s live shows will only make more fans out of listeners and dancers out of fans.
If I could, I would keep Darren Williams on DJ retainer for the rest of my life. Since releasing his “Volume 1” mixtape in the summer of 2010 under the name Star Slinger, I’ve listened to Williams get better and better with every new release. You’d think that crafting some of the most infectious soul-sampling hip-hop and dance beats would take some kind of visible effort right? Apparently, not. When Williams played the crowd-crammed Banana Stage last weekend, he couldn’t have looked calmer. The audience may have been spilling over the barriers and dancing their cut-offs off, but Williams was the picture of control. Now having watched him tear it up live at Sasquatch!, there’s no question that any party/get together/small function I’d throw would feature him if I had my way… But alas, I can always dream can’t I?
Until seeing them at Sasquatch!, Active Child was one of those bands I purposefully avoided. Maybe it was the blog saturation or pressure from friends who were fans, but for whatever reason, Active Child just wasn’t on my radar. I realize now that was a pretty big misstep. After watching Active Child perform songs like “Hanging On” and “You Are All I See”, it’s hard not to be blown away by the pure talent vocalist/harp player Pat Grossi and crew possess. At once danceable and delicately introspective, Active Child is band I want to see again, and again, and again.
Having burned most of Friday in a line of cars en route to the Gorge Amphitheater, I missed Starfucker’s Friday set. But when it was announced that I Break Horses would be replaced by a second Starfucker appearance, I promptly headed to the Bigfoot Stage on Saturday. I was exited to hear the local Portland synth-rockers make good on a national scale and forecasted a sparse collection of like-minded fans. What I did not expect to find was the stage already packed with a crowd screaming the bands name. Once the group started, no one could sit still and the foursome’s buzzing, four-on-the-floor pop was the perfect soundtrack for a lawn-stomping dance party. “Make good,” it turned out, was a gross understatement.
THEESatisfactionI learned that when taking pictures in the photo pits at Sasquatch!, the general rule is you get three songs to take as many pictures as you can before you’re booted by security. That said, photographers usually waste no time, scurrying from right to left snapping photos until time is up. But when Stasia "Stas" Iron and singer Catherine "Cat" Harris-White of THEESatisfaction hit the stage, I caught more than a few photogs tapping their foot or just flat out dancing in between shots. But let’s be honest, how can you not get loose to “Do You Have the Time” or “QueenS”? The otherworldly glitch-funk beats and Stas’ Native Tongues-era stream of consciousness say it all: “Leave your face at the door/Turn off your swag/And check your vain/From your limbs to your tims/Get down.”