Sasquatch 2012 Day 3 Highlights

posted by Laura Baker-Finch on June 03, 2012

As I emerged from my boiling tent Sunday at Sasquatch with the sun beating down and no wind to be felt, I didn't think I'd make it through the day. The heat seams that much more unbearable after two full days of music and two basically sleepless nights. But once I finally made it from the camp grounds to the festival grounds, lathered in sunscreen with water bottles in tow, the day took a turn for the windy - which led many to seek warmth either cuddling on the hill during M. Ward, Beirut, and Bon Iver or dancing for Little Dragon, James Murphy, and Feed Me. Weather aside, Day 3 of Sasquatch had no disappointments, only surprises.


The Walkmen are no strangers to the live performance. The quartet has been performing together under The Walkmen moniker since 2000, and some began playing together years before in now defunct bands as well as in high school. This experience showed as they hit the Bigfoot Stage Sunday to play well-tested favorites as well as unreleased tracks from their seventh studio album, "Heaven," released just two days after their Sasquatch appearance. With a strained neck and powerful stance, singer Hamilton Leithauser seemingly struggled to hit each high note of the set. But his appearance as he belted their well-thought out lyrics juxtaposed with the sound heard in the crowd - each note was flawless, as was the rest of the band. Tight, together, effortless. With over a decade together and seven albums under their belt, The Walkmen show no signs of slowing down - neither live nor in the studio.


Little Dragon was hands down my favorite act on Sunday, and probably the biggest surprise the entire weekend. I was mesmerized by Yukimi Nagano (nicknamed Little Dragon for the fits she threw in the recording studio) as she pranced around the stage, often barefoot, and played her homemade drum pad all while captivating the crowd just as much as she did me. From "Looking Glass" all the way through to "Blinking Pigs" (both off 2009's "Machine Dreams"), I never stopped dancing - which made for some blurry photos, sorry. It was refreshing to have such an intense elctro-dance party with no dubstep in earshot and actual instruments on stage. You can bet I'll be seeing Little Dragon again next time they bring their Swedish electro-pop through NYC.


The dance party continued over in the Banana Shack as former LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy lugged a crate of records on stage, asked "can I play some records now?", and started spinning. The man wo has headlined arenas across the globe seemed at home in the small shack giving the crowd what they wanted (a dance party), which probably has a lot do do with Murphy's DJ origins in the early 90s. While many LCD fans have not quite gotten over the break up and hold on to the hope of a reunion, it's comforting to know Murphy hasn't fully retired - he can still get a crowd dancing, and do it well.


My heart rate went down a bit as I migrated from James Murphy to the hill overlooking the main Sasquatch Stage for Bon Iver, but that's not to say Justin Vernon wasn't entertaining. He's just more 'relaxing by a fire in the woods' than 'dance party in an NYC club.' and there's nothing wrong with that. It was the norm to see couples canoodling on the hill, the crowd in the pit swaying with lighters in hand, and girls and guys alike shedding a few tears. To be honest, these tears didn't surprise me, but Bon Iver's set did. I expected the majority of his hour and a half time slot to be dedicated to his latest album, but there were equally as many older tracks as well (although he did open with "Perth"). The loveably adorable Justin Vernon infused his older tracks with new life thanks to big band renditions, so whether you had seen his first album performed live or not, you were far from bored.


After a lullaby-esque set by Bon Iver, I was both tired and cold. Half of me wanted to head back to the warmth of my sleeping bag and the comfort of my makeshift pillow of sweaters. But I gravitated towards the beats of Feed Me instead and figured dubstep would do the trick to warm me up and wake me up just as well as a sleeping bag and sleep would. Next thing I knew I was amongst the crowd at the Bigfoot Stage with flying glow sticks (remember those from Day 1?) and crowd surfers on blowup whales and boats above me. I may not have been familiar with drum and bass, dubstep producer/DJ Jon Gooch (aka Feed Me) prior to Sasquatch, and I admittedly wasn't the best at differentiating between songs, but that didn't stop me from dancing the entire set and having a damn good time doing it.