Photo by Andy Aupperlee, explosion5000.com
I just got back from an amazing sun-filled weekend at Sasquatch – four days of camping, grilling, and festival-going. This was my first time to go camping, but after assurances of food, coffee in the morning, no bugs, and a floor in the tent (I didn’t know!), I was on board!
The setting is surreal with the amphitheater positioned along the desert ridge and Columbia River. You can get up close for a dance party or nap higher up on the hill (woops, sorry Sigur Ros and Mumford & Sons).
Photo by Christopher Nelson
Performances by Empire of the Sun and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis dazzled crowds from the marquis stages and were my favorite acts of the weekend. Macklemore arose from below the stage on a pedestal, signaling the elaborate production to come. Confetti, string and horn sections, trees and cacti, a kilt-wearing horn player, and Macklemore riding around on a scooter in a fur coat were all elements of this carefully choreographed concert. I felt proud to be a Seattleite as he gushed about his love for his hometown, preached about our leadership with gay rights, honored the late Mariners’ radio sportscaster, and ended the show wearing a “F*** David Stern” t-shirt (non-sports fans: David Stern is the NBA commissioner who recently voted down bringing the NBA back to Seattle). Performance or political rally? Either way, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have my vote.
Empire of the Sun was a spectacle of amazement to behold. Where was I? Outer space? Broadway? Cirque du Soleil? Guitars outlined in lights, go-go dancers, headsets and costumes created a visual wonder.
Photo by Victoria Holt for Live Music Blog, victoriaholtphoto.com
The tent provided the late night electronic dance parties (thanks Laidback Luke and The Presets), as well as some comedic relief during the sole rainy day (props to Mike Birbiglia).
Photo by Christopher Nelson
Overall, being with a hilarious, fun-loving crew made the weekend unforgettable.
Feeling festival envy? I’ve included all the other festivals these artists are playing below.
Note: There are two ways to listen on Spotify: Click here for the QL: Sasquatch Songs playlist that includes the 16 songs below plus my additional recommendations from that artist. Want more? Then click here for the Qlette’s Discover This master playlist with the 16 songs below plus the featured songs from previous articles (You can also just hit play on the playlist embedded at the end). Click “follow” to get the monthly updates!
1. Holy Ghost! – Wait and See
2. Wake Owl – Gold
3. ZZ Ward – Put the Gun Down
- Sounds… upbeat, bluesy female rock
- Like it? Check out: Move Like U Stole It, Blue Eyes Blind
- Hails from: PA & OR roots, now in L.A.
- Festival Destinations: Firefly Music Festival, Milwaukee Summerfest, Common Ground Music Fest, Basilica Block Party, Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival, Bumbershoot, Telluride Blues & Brew Festival, Roots ‘N Blues ‘N BBQ Festival
4. The Tallest Man On Earth – 1904
- Sounds… singer-songwriter folk (think Bob Dylan style)
- Like it? Check out: The Gardener
- Hails from: Sweden
- Festival Destinations: Bonnaroo and European Festivals
5. Menomena – Plumage
6. Cake – Sick of You
7. Twin Shadow – Five Seconds
- Sounds… 80’s synthopop
- Like it? Check out: Golden Light, I Owe You This (w/ Chad Valley)
- Hails from: Dominican-born, George Lewis, Jr. now resides in Brooklyn
- Festival Destinations: no more festivals, but lots of shows
8. The Wild Feathers – The Ceiling
- Sounds… classic rock, slightly Southern, slightly folk
- Like it? Check out: stream the EP; new album out Aug 6
- Hails from: Nashville, TN
- Festival Destinations: Forecastle Festival
9. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Ten Thousand Hours
10. Telekinesis – Power Lines
- Sounds… indie rock
- Like it? Check out: Ghosts and Creatures
- Hails from: Seattle!
11. Capital Cities – Center Stage
- Sounds… electropop
- Like it? Check out: Safe and Sound, Patience Gets Us Nowhere Fast
- Hails from: L.A.
- Festival Destinations: Bonnaroo, Firefly Music Festival, Milwaukee Summerfest, Q87.7’s Piqniq, Keloha Festival, Edgefest ’13, Osheaga Music & Arts Festival, MO Pop Festival, North Coast Music Festival, International Festivals, & Life is Beautiful Festival
12. Alt-J – Something Good
13. Andrew Bird – Three White Horses
14. Cody ChesnuTT – What Kind of Cool (Will We Think of Next)
15. The Presets – Promises
- Sounds… electronic house / synthopop
- Like it? Check out: Ghosts – Closed-Captioned
- Hails from: Sydney
- Festival Destinations: Festivals in Aussie and Mexico
16. P.O.S. – How We Land
Other Sasquatch favorites featured in previous articles and available on the Qlette’s Discover This master playlist: Shovels & Rope, Father John Misty, Tame Impala, Divine Fits, Michael Kiwanuka, Vampire Weekend, Imagine Dragons, Youngblood Hawke, Atlas Genius, Lumineers, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Empire of the Sun. I’ve added a few additional favorites from these artists to QL: Sasquatch Songs as well.