Best Moments of Sasquatch! 2014
Photos by Kelsey Stoulil
George, Washington -- Sasquatch! has another solid year under its belt after its 2014 edition went off without a hitch. The weather wasn't too hot or too cold, the vibe was energetic and spirited, and the music was just right. Read along as we recap the best moments of the 12th installment of the beloved Washington State festival.
Going into the weekend, MIA was at the top of my must-see list. I was introduced to her music back at Sasquatch! 2008, and I have been an avid fan ever since. My friends and I scoped out a nice spot on the hill mid-afternoon to make sure we had a prime view and adequate dancing room (a must when seeing this lady live). The second MIA took the stage, decked out in a shiny gold tracksuit, we were bopping around. Through old favorites to new - even a Lorde cover - MIA commanded the stage with flawless ease. Halfway through the set, a group of people from side stage joined MIA for a dance party. From my location on the hill, I was able to spot a friend onstage. I texted her, expressing my severe jealousy, to which I received the reply "I'm the happiest human ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Many people I spoke to after the show felt MIA's performance was snobbish and off-putting, saying it didn't seem like she wanted to be there. I have to disagree: MIA's "I-don't-give-a-fuck" attitude is what sets her apart. She isn't trying to do her own thing for the sake of being different or to stand out. She simply doesn't care what-so-ever about anyone's opinion, which is what makes her so great. She is down to do her own thing, whenever, wherever.
Sasquatch! was definitely dominated by the ladies this year. The lineup included more female fronted acts (including three of our 9 favorite female-fronted acts) than most festivals in the past several years, and they did not disappoint. In fact, the girls of Sasquatch! 2014 put the boys to shame. Overall more energetic, passionate, and interactive than their male counterparts, the ladies took their performances to new heights. HAIM, Phantogram, and Banks drew large, eager crowds to their magnetic sets, while Tacocat, First Aid Kit, and Waxahatchee made for smaller but feistier gatherings. One of my local favorites, La Luz, pulled in a decent-sized audience given their time slot (2pm on Sunday). Their surf-pop tunes started off the day with an energetic dance party culminating into a band-led soul train down the middle of the crowd.
Chance The Rapper
CHANCE THE RAPPER
It was late afternoon when I headed to the Bigfoot stage to catch Chance the Rapper. Cage the Elephant had just finished an energetic set at the Sasquatch stage, and I was eager to keep that vibe going. Chance's set started strong, and after snapping some photos I headed to the Jack Daniels stand to meet up with my friends and watch the rest of the show from there. I grabbed a double whiskey and coke (the economical festival choice) and took a seat on a hay bail. Shortly there after, a familiar tune started coming from the stage. I gave my friend an inquisitive look, and watched as recognition took over her face. "Oh my god," she said, "I know what this is from." I split second later I had my own moment of realization: Arthur. This was the theme song from the Arthur cartoon series on PBS. Chance surely knew his audience well, because the whole crowd started singing. I sat there, with a drink in my hand, watching everyone sing along to a song from our childhood about working together and believing in yourself, and I couldn't help but take stock of the camaraderie in that moment.
It is hard to write about an event at The Gorge Amphitheatre without mentioning the view. While everyone is there for the bands and the experience, something about that backdrop makes the trek out there that much more enticing. These massive cliffs, carved out by glaciers millions of years ago, radiate with a poetic sense that we are a part of something larger than ourselves. Staring out at something that looks like a pristine photograph, the vast expanse before you undoubtedly intensifies the music performed on stage. I can't count how many times I have, or have wanted to, cry sitting on that hill, listening to Death Cab, Bon Iver, or whoever it may be, play their sweet songs before a setting sun. It is something that cannot be summed up in words or a picture, but must be experienced first hand.
As always, us annual Sasquatchers are looking forward to and planning for next year already. Until then Sasquatch, we thank you for another epic year at the Gorge, and we'll see you in 2015.
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