A larger version of this poster can be viewed at The Portland Mercury
Music fans of the Pacific Northwest are in for a treat this Memorial Day weekend, as the 10th anniversary of the Sasquatch! Music Festival in Gorge, Washington promises a myriad of musical legends, as well as your favorite indie bands. Sasquatch! will be so big this year, the festival will be four days long instead of the usual three. The lineup was announced last night in Seattle – here’s a look at some of the bands who will be in attendance this year.
The Big Names
Foo Fighters: This Seattle-based band was confirmed a few months ago as this year’s major Sasquatch! headliner. No doubt they’ll play the last day of the festival, Monday, May 30, on the main stage, so diehard Foo fans will be smart as to not overexert themselves before their favorite band performs. In the meantime, Dave Grohl and the guys will release their new album on April 12, giving fans ample time to learn the new tunes.
Modest Mouse: Another big-name band with Washington roots, Modest Mouse hit mainstream success with the top-40 single “Float On” and a Grammy nomination for Good News For People Who Love Bad News. Not much has been happening lately with the group, but I suspect the opportunity to play the 10th anniversary of Sasquatch! was too good to pass up – they played the festival in 2003, 2005 and 2008. Let’s hope this sparks more activity at the Modest Mouse camp!
Death Cab for Cutie: Notice a pattern yet? This Bellingham, WA band used lots of local references in earlier songs, and now Ben Gibbard and company will take their 13 years of musical journey to The Gorge once more (they’ve performed there in 2003, 2006 and 2008). A new album, Codes and Keys, will be released sometime this spring.
Image via Flickr
Flaming Lips: This Oklahoma psychedelic-rock band is no stranger to Sasquatch!: like their fellow headliners, they’ve performed at the festival in 2003, 2006 and 2008. For those wanting to brush up on classic Flaming Lips tunes, the 1994 album Due to High Expectations… The Flaming Lips Are Providing Needles For Your Balloons was recently digitally re-released, available for purchase on Amazon.com. I wonder how far Wayne Coyne will try rolling his plastic bubble up the side of hill at Sasquatch!…
BestNewBands.com Featured Artists
Pepper Rabbit: The duo had previously told Laurel Kathleen they’d be playing at SXSW this year, but when I spoke to Xander Singh recently, all he would say of other festivals was “it’s been a big dream for a while to make the rounds at the summer festivals so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.” Perhaps this L.A. band is finally getting its wish. Xander also said Pepper Rabbit finished recording a new album, due out this summer; for now, read Leona Laurie’s review of the band’s debut album, Beauregard.
Skrillex: I caught the L.A. mixmaster in Portland last month and was blown away by his high-energy set. He’ll most likely DJ a late-night set in one of the dance tents, so make sure to pack an extra Red Bull and glowsticks for a supercharged techno/dubstep party.
Matt & Kim: This indie rock duo from Brooklyn has been featured a couple times at BestNewBands.com: Todd Prodanovich previewed a show in October and Cervante Pope reviewed their latest album, Sidewalks, in November. Sasquatch! fans are almost guaranteed a good time with Matt & Kim – Todd says “they fill their live shows with a lust for good times that can hardly be matched by any other act. It’s hard to believe that only two people can fill a stage with so much energy.”
Deerhunter: We’ve had our eyes on this Atlanta quartet for quite a while: again, Todd Prodanovich reviewed Deerhunter’s latest album, Halcyon Digest, and Cervante Pope wrote about November 10th being declared Deerhunter Day in their hometown of Nashville. But it was Kelly Montgomery who highlighted Deerhunter back in September in a playlist of fresh tracks, including the “jangly rock” track “Revival.”
Sleigh Bells: Todd also previewed the New York-based duo’s Santa Barbara show back in October, and had this to say: “They have everything that you could possibly want if you have been starved for a fresh sound, but don’t expect me to box them into a genre for you. You can call them dance rock, electro thrash, or even heavy metal for all I care, and in any case you would be both completely right and totally wrong.” Sleigh Bells also tied for 8th place with LCD Soundsystem in BestNewBands.com’s Best Artist of 2010 poll.
Beach House: Michael Rincon wrote an artist profile on Beach House back in July, claiming “Listening to Baltimore, Maryland’s dream pop duo Beach House is like basking away in a beautifully deep slumber. Their sound is centered around hypnotizing mellow instrumentation, synthesizers that at times are catchy and cryptic and vocals that seep into your mind and calm your ears.” If he’s right, Beach House’s set at Sasquatch! will be perfect for enjoying while lazily soaking up the sun after days (and nights) of concerts and partying.
Artists I’m looking forward to
Robyn: Okay, so I haven’t actually seen her in concert yet but on a personal (and almost embarrassing) level, I’ve been a fan of the Swedish songstress since her days as a bubblegum pop star – remember “Show Me Love”? Yeah, me too. She’s come a long way since then – recent reviews from Kristina Villarini say Robyn’s an “electro-pop tour de force,” and her three-part “Body Talk series is a healthy combination of dancehall, dub-step and even hip-hop.” I don’t recall Robyn ever performing in the Pacific Northwest, so I’m excited she’ll be at Sasquatch! this year.
Ratatat: Laurel Kathleen featured this NYC duo in a concert review back in September. Laurel said the band is “like the futuristic sonic fantasy that classical composers dreamed of: they are constantly producing endless and almost unrecognizeable variations of the same elements. Those elements include (but are certainly not limited to) all manners of infectious, insatiable drum beats, ethereal keyboard melodies, synthetic strings and harpsiphord, and gnarly guitar shreds.” Sounds like it’ll be an exciting set, to say the least!
Yeasayer: The self-described “Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel” music of Yeasayer will be perfect for the Sasquatch! crowd. This Brooklyn-based group has risen to fame considerable fast since their 2006 debut, performing at festivals such as Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Festival and Reading and Leeds Festivals in the U.K. Hopefully Yeasayer performs my favorite songs, “O.N.E.” and “Love Me Girl.”
Major Lazer: This musical project of DJs Switch and Diplo gained major popularity after collaborating with M.I.A. and Santigold a few years ago. Now, Major Lazer is trailblazing a musical path of their own – I’d recommend “Pon De Floor” and “Hold The Line (Feat. Mr. Lexx & Santigold)” for a taste of this electro-reggae-dancehall duo.
Sasquatch! Music Festival will be held Memorial Day weekend, May 27-30, at The Gorge in Washington. Four-day passes, minus parking, are on sale for $285 and can be purchased here. (Individual day passes will be released Monday, Feb. 14.) Keep checking the official Sasquatch! website for the concert schedule.
Who are YOU most excited to see at Sasquatch! 2011? Tell us in the comment field!