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Sasquatch! Music Festival 2017, Photos By MEGHAN KEARNEY //
Sasquatch! Music Festival 2017, Photos By MEGHAN KEARNEY //
The Hotelier
The Hotelier
The Hotelier
The Hotelier
Thee Oh Sees
Thee Oh Sees
Jagwar Ma
Jagwar Ma
Jagwar Ma
Jagwar Ma
Jagwar Ma
Jagwar Ma
Jagwar Ma
Jagwar Ma
Jagwar Ma
Jagwar Ma
Jay Som
Jay Som
Jay Som
Jay Som
Jay Som
Jay Som
Jay Som
Jay Som
Moses Sumney
Moses Sumney
Moses Sumney
Moses Sumney
Moses Sumney
Moses Sumney
Bob Moses
Bob Moses
Bob Moses
Bob Moses
Crowd for RÜFÜS DU SOL
Crowd for RÜFÜS DU SOL
RÜFÜS DU SOL
RÜFÜS DU SOL
RÜFÜS DU SOL
RÜFÜS DU SOL
RÜFÜS DU SOL
RÜFÜS DU SOL
RÜFÜS DU SOL
RÜFÜS DU SOL
RÜFÜS DU SOL
RÜFÜS DU SOL
RÜFÜS DU SOL
RÜFÜS DU SOL
06/04/2017

Sasquatch! Music Festival 2017 in Review

By MEGHAN KEARNEY // Despite some anxieties, this year's Sasquatch! Music Festival was one of the best; packed and happy crowds abound.

Another year of the absolute best weekend of music at The Gorge has come and gone. 2017 brought on a questionable destiny for the Sasquatch! Music Festival, with an early-year announcement leaving some fans dismayed to see the lack of quantity, and others unimpressed, or downright disgruntled with the lineup itself. Leading up to the festival, news was heating up from around the country about the disaster that was Fyre Festival, and the cancellation of Pemberton Music Festival, just days before Sasquatch! would kick off. Speculations took to chatter. Is the festival bubble beginning to pop? And will our beloved Sasquatch! make it out alive?

Upon entering The Gorge, into Friday evening, it was quickly clear that though the festival saw many changes this year (three days instead of four, nearly half the number of artists, single day tickets making a return), the brains behind our beloved festival knew exactly what they were doing. The Main Stage was packed to the brim by the time LCD Soundsystem took to it, and you’d be hard pressed to find a spot on the hill where your entire crew could fit to sit. Looking around as twilight set in over the Columbia River, thousands of joyful, smiling faces, making their return, or first trip out to the life changing event that is Sasquatch! Music Festival were all in the numbers.

The crowd didn’t cease, but rather seemed to grow larger as the weekend went on. Despite hot temperatures, and a burning, cloudless sky, cars flocked into the festival daily to catch artists like Chance The Rapper, Bonobo, Kaytranada, Thee Oh Sees, The Head and the Heart, Twenty One Pilots, and many more. And even the slews of Twenty One Pilots haters, many who were ready to ditch the festival entirely at their announcement, were eating their own words after the duo put on one of the wildest spectacles ever witnessed on the Sasquatch! main stage. Hate them or love them, the boys put on a performance, and no young or old Squatcher could deny it by the end of the day.

By the time RUFUS DU SOL closed out the festival on Sunday evening, worries and anxieties had been washed away by bustling and unprecedentedly friendly crowds, dozens of sets that exceeded all expectations, and loudly vocalized support for the festival bouncing throughout the venue and campgrounds, with many ironically discussing how 2017 reminded them of "old Sasquatch."

While the fest was overwhelmingly better than even imagined, each artist outdoing the last, a few sets stood out. Whether a deep low-billed sleeper, or an act that may have been counted out, check out our below favorite moments of the festival. And with that, throw your fears out the window, we will be looking forward to an even better Sasquatch! Music Festival in 2018.

The Shins

The beloved indie rockers held a sub-headlining spot on the main stage Sunday evening. Off the release of their new record Heartworms, The Shins played against colorfully warping skull artwork fitting for the sunset backdrop above the Gorge’s rolling hills. Shuffling through a handful of new tracks and old classics including “New Slang,” “Simple Song,” and “Sleeping Lessons” with a brief bridge of Tom Petty’s “American Girl” James Mercer and crew looked and felt as energetic as ever. The band also welcomed new keyboardist, Patti King, previously of Portland’s now defunct band Radiation City who added a fresh new feel to the band’s dynamic. There wasn’t a neon-lit hang glider for their set this year, but there wasn’t much need for any side excitements.

RÜFÜS DU SOL

The dance trio from Australia closed down the festival on Sunday night, carrying the weekenders and day pass holders through their last Sasquatch moments. The brutal heat of the weekend came to a breezy chill as the band, fiery visuals emblazoned behind them, flowed through ethereal, soul-shaking dance beats. Visibly humbled to be a part of the festival, the band played through an hour and a half set of tracks from records Atlas and Bloom. Lead singer Tyrone Lindqvist’s voice carried across the Gorge with the calmness of a lullaby while synth beats contrasted emotions building and dropping to create the most unknotting, yet unrelenting dance party Sasquatch! has ever seen.

Moses Sumney

The biggest sleeper of the festival was undoubtedly Moses Sumney. His relaxing blends of soulful and down tempo R&B, paired with his entrancing vocals, closed out the Yeti stage on Sunday evening with a lounge-like serenity. Cracking jokes throughout his extended set as Chance The Rapper’s headlining set neared start time across the Gorge, Sumney’s full crowd remained steadfast. His eclectic tunes were easily loved by all present or passing by, and word of Sumney’s amazing performance spread quickly throughout the festival.

Jay Som

The goofy and sarcastic Melina Duterte, stage name Jay Som, was a late add to the lineup, taking the place of Cigarettes After Sex, and a welcomed addition she was. Melina and the band brought their charming lo-fi pop rock sounds to a toasty evening Yeti Stage slot. In between banter with the crowd and bandmates, Duterte owned the stage with quirky guitar riffs and an attitude that sits at the forefront of chick-rock radness.

Jagwar Ma

Another dance group joining the festival from Australia was responsible for one of the most intense tiny dance parties of the weekend. Taking to the Yeti Stage just after the sun went down, Jagwar Ma played a set that was larger than the stage they were given. Mixing up their recorded tracks off hit record Howlin and 2016 release Every Now & Then, the Aussie trio powered through extended tracks leaving it unarguably impossible not to bounce every last ounce of energy out of the day.

Manatee Commune

Grant Eadie of Manatee Commune is no newcomer to Sasquatch, and an electronic staple in the Pacific Northwest. He played a late afternoon set in 2015, and made a guest appearance joining Conner Youngblood in 2016. This year, the Bellingham, Washington native played to packed dance tent for a sub-headlining set that had the entire crowd completely losing their minds (as well as a guest appearance with Flint Eastwood earlier). Eadie’s energy fused with the crowd’s, as he slammed on his drum, looped through guitar riffs, and set each instrument to a slew of frenzied electronic beats. “This is a dream come true,” he paused mid-set to share with the crowd, visibly shaken by joy. And anyone who has seen Manatee Commune perform live before can certainly attest to this being one of the best sets he has ever played, and to one of the most enthused crowds.

LCD Soundsystem

And finally, the Sasquatch-veteran dream come true act this year was unquestionably LCD Soundsystem. The extremely late add headliner, replacing Frank Ocean, was a front-running hit amongs long-term Sasquatch! fans and first-timers alike. Hoards of LCD-worshiping super fans dancing themselves the cleanest they’d be all weekend packed the pit, alongside a substantially younger demographic who weren’t just making the best out of the lineup change, but discovering something they never knew they were missing. James Murphy, delighted to be back at The Gorge, was beaming and stress-free announcing the official completion of the band’s new album. Chatting with the crowd in the classic goofy James Murphy fashion the band completely destroyed a long set of the hits, and a few brand new ones, with a light show backing that could jumble brain cells.

 

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PHil

sasquatch sucks now, lineup was garbage this year. itll be cancelled soon.

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