Sasquatch 2012 Day 2 Highlights

posted by Laura Baker-Finch on June 02, 2012

Saturday was jam-packed with so many artists on my must-see list that I unfortunately had to make some sacrifices. In order to be as close as possible to the stage for Jack White, I made an executive decision to stand in the pit for the three sets prior and while Childish Gambino, Metric, and The Shins were great, it meant I had to miss Tune Yards, Dum Dum Girls, and St. Vincent. But finally seeing Jack White made it all worth it, even with the sore feet that came with standing for six and a half hours in the same spot.


My day started off with the Alabama Shakes, who managed to draw an impressive crowd for their early afternoon time slot. There truly is something special about this group that has garnered them so much hype over the past year but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. Maybe it's a mix of lead singer Brittany Howard's powerfully unique voice, the overall unassuming look to the group, and the sense they hark back to a simpler time that may or may not have ever existed that adds to their appeal. Whatever it is, they certainly proved deserving of the attention and surely managed to silence the skeptics who call upon their Zales commercial appearance as a sign of inauthenticity. Once again, the day begins of the highest of notes.


Despite founding The War on Drugs, being likened to Bruce Springsteen, and praised as the guilty pleasure of Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, Kurt Vile and the Violators still had a lot to live up to following the Alabama Shakes on the Bigfoot Stage. With little attempts of artist-crowd interaction and his signature apathetic look, Vile let his music do the work - which is all he needed to keep the crowd on that Alabama Shakes high.


I'm far from the biggest rap/hip hop fan, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see rapper Childish Gambino, aka Troy from Community, aka real-life Donal Glover. His stage presence was nothing short of what would be expected from a comedic actor, but he managed to command the stage as a rapper too. His enthusiastic expressions and gestures infused his lyrics with life and his ability to fill up the entire main Sasquatch Stage riled up the crowd at all the right moments. The effortless transitions between hushed vocals and abrupt breakdowns (a la "Heartbeat") proved he doesn't have to worry if his TV career ever falls through.


Metric played a fair set, though a shortened one riddled with slip-ups as they debuted their new album "Synthetica." Some new songs required re-starting while one was striked from the setlist all together. However, their fans let is slide, still jamming along to unfamiliar songs and singing along to older favorites. The group peaked at "Help I'm Alive" as keyboardist/vocalist Emily Haines led the crowd in a very un-Jersey-Shore-esque fist pump as everyone sang "beating like a hammer" in unison. It looks like it'll take Metric another show or two to reach their stride with "Synthetica."


The first thing I noticed as The Shins took the stage as the sun set on Saturday was the new band members. Of course James Mercer was in attendance, but the rest were unfamiliar or out of place (new drummer Joe Plummer hails from Modest Mouse) - would they sound the same? Better? Worse? I held my breath ... Phew, old songs sounded just as good as ever (although it was hard to hear the band over crowd sing-alongs on favorites such as "New Slang") and new songs surely impressed.


Where do I begin? Everyone expected Jack White to be on his game at Sasquatch, c'mon when is he not? Yet his headlining set on the Sasquatch Stage surpassed expectations. From the blue-lit, three-themed stage to White's unsurpassed guitar skills (I kept looking for a second guitarist!) - everything was perfect. White covered his entire spectrum of work from the White Stripes (he ended with "Seven Nation Army") through the Raconteurs ("Steady As She Goes") and The Dead Weather ("Cut Like a Buffalo" and "Blue Blood Blues") to his new solo album "Blunderbuss," keeping everyone in the crowd pleased no matter what era of White they prefer. I'm hoping to catch him again sometime this summer, perhaps with his all-girl band in tow.


The Roots closed out Sasquatch Day 2 on the Bigfoot Stage drawing a crowd that easily could have packed the main Sasquatch Stage, hill included. Their original songs and lively covers provided that extra boost of energy that was well needed after standing in the pit of the Sasquatch Stage for six and a half hours (that's from Childish Gambino through Jack White). My only regret was that I didn't get up closer to the stage, there was no Questlove in sight from my removed position.

Stay tuned for more Sasquatch coverage and make sure to check out our Day 1 Highlights and Photo Gallery.