Sasquatch! Music Festival proved a phenomenal kick start to the summer of 2014. The experience sped by in a blur of excellent performances, memorable encounters with concertgoers and a rash of hedonistic activity in the campsites outside of the venue.
It all went down at The Gorge Amphitheater, the main stage bordering the edge of a huge canyon cut into by the Colombia River. The horizon extended into beautiful mountains that curtained the sunshine as day turned to night and the headliners began to fire up for the later concerts.
I caravanned with around 15 UI students and alumni to the festival, meeting up in George, Washington on the afternoon of May 22 at a gas station a few miles outside of The Gorge venue.
May 22, 2014
The Vandal crew arrived at the Sasquatch campsite around 7 p.m. after an hour of waiting in snail paced car lines and dodging broken down cars stuck in the campsite. Once in, they immediately got to work setting up camp, pitching tents and a gazebo and breaking out tables for playing flip cup and other drinking games. Immediately, a sense of camaraderie was created among the group, as members exchanged different camping supplies and beverages. Surrounding the camp was a sea of tents where people had already set up home base and begun making merry with a variety of substances. This continued well into the night, and slowly but surely, the Sasquatch campers began tucking into their sleeping bags to catch some sleep before the first day of the festival.
May 23, 2014
Internal alarm clocks went off around 10 a.m., and the group shuffled out to the camp site table to cook breakfast, plan which concerts they would attend and meet up for, and to hydrate for the day ahead. Headlining today was De La Soul, Cage the Elephant, Chance the Rapper, Phantogram, Foster the People, Die Antwoord and Outkast. Flasks, brews, joints and other goods were stashed before camp departure, packed with the hope that they would be left untouched by concert security. Crystal Fighters and De La Soul cleaned up in the early morning concert sessions.
What makes Sasquatch so appealing is the large variety of bands on five different stages that guarantee something to be enjoyed whatever you’re into. Phantogram delivered a bumping performance that didn’t do justice the vocals by alto singer Sarah Barthel. Chance the Rapper tore up a shortened set and had the crowd going bonkers almost instantaneously. Foster the People and Outkast both pulled out all the stops for their respective evening performances, having the crowd singing along with wild light shows and electric visuals. Outkast especially owned their two-hour set. Andre 3000 showed up other artists in the fashion game — wearing a black jumpsuit that had “Everything is Temporary” typed on the front.
May 24, 2014
One of the biggest mistakes any festival jumper can make is to get carried away when looking to accentuate a music festival experience with perception altering substances. Walking concert to concert, there are too many cases of people who just partied too hard and ended up deciding the inside of a porta-potty was premium lodging for a power nap. On that same note, one man was seen trying to break through security to make sure he could keep the contents of his silver flask. For his inebriated tantrum, he got taken down and escorted out of a concert that sold (overpriced) alcohol on the inside, losing out on an experience that, in all fairness, he probably would have passed out in anyway.
Outside of that little lesson, the concerts on Saturday had a stacked line-up, showcasing artists like Sol, City & Color, Violent Femmes, Neko Case, Panda Bear, M.I.A, Tyler, the Creator, and The National. Sol may well have taken the award for haziest concert of the night. M.I.A. turned up the dance scene at her concert, and Tyler, the Creator was able to orchestrate the crowd in shouting out Jason Derulo’s name in an effort to troll him. The National performed well but wasn’t able to fill the amphitheater with strong sound in comparison to other artists. On an unrelated note, Nick Swardson is one hilarious dude.
May 25, 2014
It’s an hour after Haim started, and Kid Cudi, Portugal. The Man., Queens of the Stone Age, and Major Lazer are sure to bring the ruckus in the upcoming concert hours. Cold War Kids and Tune-Yards kept it popping in the early concert hours. Cold War Kids turned their often sober feeling sound into a more arena friendly performance.
One of the most unique parts of the Sasquatch! experience is the wide variety of outfits repped by people from all walks of life, from ladies enjoying Washed Out while topless in the sunshine, to groups of guys running around in banana costumes or pinstripe morph men suits. I don’t think I’ve ever been in an area with a higher density of cat branded clothing items, for better or for worse. However, if you want some ideas for tattoo designs, there was a wide collection showcased for men and women alike.
For anything else, I’ll let the pictures illustrate.
To see more pictures, visit the photo gallery on the Argonaut Facebook page.
George Wood Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org