Sasquatch weekend at the Gorge Amphitheater is as proud of a tradition to Washingtonians as lamenting local sports or sniffing at artists too “mainstream” for the great Northwest’s ultra-hip tastes. Entertaining the 25,000 sweating, gyrating, and occasionally heaving festival attendees were acts varying from the melodically melancholy Mumford & Sons to the sleep-in-too-late-and-you’ll-miss-it Knowmads (small stage + early settime = major success in 3 to 5 years, if historical tendencies hold true). Here’s the best of what we saw:
Most Heartfelt Performance: Killer Mike
Were those tears? Killer Mike came out on the Yeti stage to a raucous crowd pulsating and chanting “Kill-Er-Mike!” The goon, in jorts and a track jacket spent a good two minutes standing front and center grinning, wiping his nose, and then choking out a hello. The intro set the tone for the rest of the set.
Jack Daniel’s Lifetime Achievement Award: Danny Brown
Direct quote: "I'm fucked up so you know imma be out there looking for some mufuckin drank wit ya later, Saquaw". Dude spent five minutes rapping about cunnilingus. On the spectrum, Brown fell somewhere between Weezy and vagrant.
Pluckiest Plucks: Vampire Weekend
Coincidence it is not, that a band called “Vampire Weekend” would play on the first night of the Memorial Day weekend festival. Playing the hits, the NYC rockers, had fans and noobs alike dancing by the 30-second mark of their Bigfoot Stage set.
Best Jeff Bridges Imitation: Ryan Bingham
Tough luck playing a daytime set. On the last day. In the rain. No matter, as Ryan Bingham and company kept the moonshiner vibe set by Mumford alive for the Lumineers, due on stage later that night. With a growl that makes you puzzle “that sound is coming from that guy?”, Bingham played his own pieces as well as the one that made him famous: Bad Blake’s “The Weary Kind” from Bridge’s 2009 Oscar-winning role in Crazy Heart.
Best Artist We Almost Saw: Azealia Banks
Cancelling? Really? The night before her set?
Best Rumor: Giraffe Stuck in Tree
As festivals go, there’s always the incident that everyone talks about but very few actually witness. One such example is Nick Offerman suggesting that copulation was taking place in the crowd during his El Chupacabra set. This however, was eclipsed by the presence of EMTs and firefighters, complete with truck, meatwagon, and flashing lights on Sunday night to allegedly rescue from a too-high tree a (presumably) too-high giraffe costume clad concert goer. In any other instance, we’d say “you can’t make this stuff up” but at Sasquatch, this sort of thing - strangely - doesn’t seem so strange.
Best Terry Tate Moment: Security Guy vs. Kid
Sometime on Saturday, one of the nameless, faceless “kids” at Sasquatch decided to rush the gates. Banking on his odds of getting lost in the crowd and happily wandering the festival grounds without having to pay the $350 for the weekend like those other chumps, he took off at a dead sprint. Kid was fast too. Not fast enough though, as the fair-skinned Usain Bolt in a yellow security jacket made quick work of Kid in the 100-yard-or-so dash. Kid didn’t stand a chance. Like an orca playing with a scrumptious baby seal before savagely devouring it, Security Guy waited until Kid was on grass, then launched forward, parallel with the ground as the gauntlet around him cheered, screamed, and snapped photos for Instagram. From there, Kid and Security Guy crashed earthward. Last heard, Live Nation had extradited Kid to a CIA black site in Poland. Security Guy got the Congressional Medal of Freedom.