Monday, May 29, 2006

Sasquatch Music Festival - post thoughts

Our apologies for not getting a Sasquatch Music Festival thread going before the start of the three-day long concert. We actually had a slight problem with our blogsite at the start of the weekend. It has now been fixed. Our intentions were to inform everyone that the festival had completely sold out in advance. I bumped into a lot of folks in the parking lot wanting tickets, surprised to find out there weren't any available at the box office and unwilling to pay the $150 scalper's fee.

For those of you who couldn't make it, I'll have a festival wrap-up in my column this week. But here's a taste of what took place at The Gorge:

* It hailed (HAILED!!!) for about ten minutes Saturday, just after Iron & Wine finished his set. Neko Case was onstage and got through about three songs into her performance before politely excusing herself to run for shelter. My friend and I huddled with wet, jublilant drunk people in one of the indoor on-site beer gardens. It rained afterwards, creating a muddy experience.

* Matisyahu and Queens of the Stone gave two of the festival's strongest performances. My head is still spinning from the Queens' set! And on a secondary stage, We Are Scientists drew a gigantic crowd and wowed everyone. They were incredibly good. I'm so proud of those guys. I gave lead singer Keith Murray a hug afterwards, and said hello to the whole band as they signed autographs at the Easy Street Records booth. I knew them when.

* Gay boys at an alternative rock festival? You bet. I ran into several gay boys there, and my friend witnessed a thirtysomething gay couple making out in the VIP Lounge.

* Speaking of Matisyahu, he used the restroom in the VIP Lounge just before I did. Nice guy. Then he later met Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie near his tour bus. And he and Ben Lee went for a walk together.

* Beck gave an oddly cool performance, complete with a slacker pimp outfit and puppets (??!!). Songs on his set list included "Loser", "Where It's At", "Devil's Haircut", "Hell Yes", "Que Onda Guero", "Clap Hands" and "New Pollution". Apparently, Beck watched Queens of the Stone Age from the side of the stage.

* Let's talk beer: The Gorge now allows you to roam about the grouds with beer, providing you buy them there. Before, you could only drink in the beer gardens or designated beer areas. I chugged a 24-ouncer right in front of We Are Scientists during their performance.

* Did Arctic Monkeys deliver on the hype? Good question. They were amazing. I was in the pit during their entire set and got hit in the head by a crowd surfer. I'd have to say that for as much press and attention as they've received - I expected to be blown away and I wasn't. At this festival, they were definitely out-performed. Lead singer Alex Turner, however, looked fantastic in tan-colored cords and spiky hair. The geekiest sex symbol in rock at the moment.

Read more about the Sasquatch Music Festival, and the annoucement of a very cool band coming to Seattle this summer for a big show, in my column this Friday.

Photo of We Are Scientists, courtesy of Virgin Records.

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