Sasquatch Day 3 with Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips, The Drums, Tokyo Police Club, Beach House, Yeasayer, Flogging Molly
Day Three of Sasquatch Festival started with overcast, windy and cool weather, and big, dark clouds that seemed impossibly calm; and while they threatened rain, just like Saturday, the rain stayed away. However, the skies soon turned from mostly cloudy to partly cloudy just in time for the first shows of the day.
Note: Because we, and some other media outlets, were unable to get a reliable signal at Sasquatch, we were unable to blog from the festival as we had planned.
On the main stage, Smith Westerns got things going with a rocking set, even though the crowd was light. But that’s typical at music festivals. It’s almost impossible to draw a large crowd at noon-time.
However, as their set winded down, the crowd began to grow larger fairly fast apparently with many showing up to see The Drums, who we saw later on hanging out in the media room not long after we had spotted Wayne Coyne giving an interview.
The Brooklyn indie pop surf rock band (they are given so many genre labels it’s ridiculous), The Drums, delivered their typical mix of sixties jukebox pop mixed with elements of new wave and rock with the same energy and enthusiasm they’ve put into every show we’ve seen them perform during the past 18 months or so.
The Drums whipped up the crowd as they plowed through one after another of their popular songs that have become recognizable to music fans around the world, most especially the anti-anthem “Let’s Go Surfing,” a great track that has gone a long way in making The Drums so successful, but, at the same time, a song that we’re sure they must be sick of playing knowing that thousands of teeny boppers are waiting to hear that one song in particular.
We’ve seen it – the teeny boppers are barely listening while the band plays their other tracks, but when “Let’s Go Surfing” starts up, they all stop talking and texting and start screaming and singing. OMG. But still, The Drums always put on a good set and their Sasquatch performance was no exception.
Up next was the band Fitz and the Tantrums, but we needed to head out to get some food and drink, and catch some other artists on smaller stages, like the unexpectedly large crowd for Basia Bulat, who we’ve featured previously on IRC. But we only had about 20 minutes before we needed to head back to the main stage for the stellar afternoon and evening line-up: Tokyo Police Club, Beach House, Cold War Kids, Flogging Molly, The Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse.
Modest Mouse closed out Day Three of the Sasquatch Festival. Photo for Brooklyn Vegan by Josh Darr.
The Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse Headline Day Three
For fans of 1990′s alternative rock, Sunday’s two big headliners – The Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse – were quite the treat, and the fact that they played back-to-back was simply golden.
Once The Flaming Lips hit the stage, and predictably so, Sasquatch got it’s first showy extravaganza, as balloons, confetti, stunning video screen images and pink and purple lights came together all at once as Wayne Coyne emerged in his famous plastic bubble to roll over the audience. Meanwhile, the band played the first minute or so of “Race for The Prize” to huge roars and cheers from the quickly expanding crowd.
In fact, Lips fans would have no idea until the first few songs in that the band were indeed performing their blockbuster 1999 album, Soft Bulletin, nearly from start to finish. Next, the band ripped through “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton” and then “The Spark That Bled,” both delivered with the predictable spectacle and glam. Yet, when the band broke into “The Spiderbite Song” the Lips seemed to lose a good amount of the festival goers, at least from our vantage point up on “the hill.”
As Coyne went on and on talking about spiders and hands, the folks far from the stage could not really understand what he was saying anyways, and we watched as dozens and dozens of people just got up and left. That was hard to see for dedicated Lips fans. In fact, we heard people – just as we had with Bright Eyes the night before - say things to the effect of “shut the f**k up and play,” and even some scattered boos as Coyne went on for what seemed like 15 minutes of babbling about the anecdotes behind the song’s lyrics.
The Flaming Lips performed most of their legendary LP, Soft Bulletin, at Sasquatch Festival.
But, just in time, the Lips broke into “Buggin’” and the crowd came back to life, and from then on, the set moved along nicely afterwards, including “What is The Light?” and “Waiting for a Superman.” The Lips also paid tribute to the icon Elliott Smith and were graced with the task of honoring Sasquatch’s 10th birthday, that even included cake. By the time they finished with “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate,” the crowd quickly grew more and more packed in for the night’s closer from alt rock legends Modest Mouse.
- Listen to The Flaming Lips entire 80-minute set via NPR
Modest Mouse were more than a half hour late (as Das Racist were earlier in the evening on the Yeti stage) which didn’t go over well with some folks, especially those who were visibly cold as the wind picked up and the temperatures dropped across the wild badlands of central Washington.
In true fashion, Modest Mouse delivered a bristling and energized set that, with the exception of a few newer songs, was chock full of alt-indie hits from the band’s first three albums. During their one hour and 40-minute set, the band ripped through track after track, opening with a trio of songs – “Sh*t Luck,” “Gravity Rides Everything” and the iconic “Dashboard” that really got the huge crowd of tens of thousands of festival goers really going.
It didn’t take long for people to forget that one of the Pacific Northwest’s most famous bands of the past two decades got a late start. At the other end of the set, the band closed with songs like “Poison,” their classic “Float On,” “Here It Comes,” and the show closer, “Spitting Venom.”
“Dramamine” – Modest Mouse from This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About (1996)
Tokyo Police Club put on one of the best indie rock sets of Sasquatch. Photo from Beatcrave.com
Tokyo Police Club, Beach House and Cold War Kids
One of our favorite Canadian indie rock bands, Tokyo Police Club, kicked off the marathon of terrific bands on the main stage with easily one of the best all around performances of SAS 2011 that we experienced.
After performing their opening track, “Nature of the Experiment,” which simply sounded amazing, singer and bassist Dave Monks shouted into the microphone proudly, “We’re from Canada,” and the presumably mostly Canadian crowd roared in approval.
During the early part of TPC’s set, the crowds around the main stage and adjoining hillside filled up fairly fast. In between the two-second pauses of the infectious track, “Elephant Shell,” the crowd screamed and applauded, which is no surprise since the track is easily one of the songs that catapulted the band to international indie acclaim and fame. The band also played “Breakneck Speed” and “Your English Is Good.” We think that TPC have been one of the best Canadian indie bands of the past decade.
One of the lighter moments of the entire festival occurred when a friend of the band, Taylor proposed to his girlfriend Emma, on stage. An interesting note about that was we never heard Emma say ‘yes’; she simply embraced Tyler and the two walked off stage arm in arm.
Following Tokyo Police Club were the warm, mellow and fuzzy pop sounds of Beach House, who delivered a predictably laid-back and beautiful performance, sailing steadily through songs we love so much, like “Walk in the Park,” “Norway,” and “Zebra.” After Beach House, California popular indie rock/blues Cold War Kids came on and picked things up with their predictably uptempo, crowd-pleasing set that included “Robbers & Cowards” and “Hospital Beds.”
We are not really fans of CWK’s new album, but definitely dig their earlier records. Unfortunately, there are no streams available from NPR for Tokyo Police Club, Beach House or Cold War Kids. If anyone hears of any from somewhere else, please let us know using the Comments.
“The Soloist in the Living Room” – Cold War Kids from Mulberry Street
Gold Panda performing in the Banana Shack at Sasquatch, Day Three. Photo by Brittney Bush Bollay for KEXP
Das Racist, Flogging Molly, Reggie Watts, Gold Panda and More
While we needed to leave for other events – most notably Das Racist and Archers of Loaf - we did catch the last couple of songs from Flogging Molly, who predictably delivered their uptempo, Celtic-centric Irish-American punk as thousands of people danced around from the top of the hillside to the pit in front of the stage. Flogging Molly warmed up the crowd for the top two headliners of Day Three of Sasquatch – The Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse (see above).
Other performances that we did not get to see but really wanted to on Sunday included sets from Other Lives, Reggie Watts, Gayngs, Gold Panda, MSTRKRFT, City and Colour, and many others. As many people we talked to expressed, the line-up was so amazing all day on each stage, and just about every day of the festival (with the predictable exception of Day One), that it was really difficult sometimes to decide which to attend.
We were able to catch a little bit of Yeasayer and Flying Lotus in between The Lips and Modest Mouse, and earlier in the day, The Moondoggies (who were camped right next to us).
“Piece” – Reggie Watts and Yungchen Lhamo from Antibabel (2006)
View the entire line-up and schedule for Day Three on the Sasquatch official site.
Photo Credit: Brittney Bush Bollay for KEXP
Canadians Don’t Get Cold and Other SAS Observations
One of the things that was so evident to us by Day Three was the fact that many festival goers – especially teens and young adults from Canada and northern states like Washington, Idaho, Oregon and even Montana – appear to be mostly impervious to the cold wind blowing and the near freezing temperatures that the later evening hours brought. Another impossible thing to miss at Sasquatch was the huge numbers of Vancouver Canucks fans celebrating as their team advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
We were a bit surprised by the amount of trash that festival goers left all over the place each day of the festival; not sure why that was so, but maybe Sasquatch folks need to put out more trash and recycling bins and emphasize more during the festival to keep the grounds as clean as possible. It’s strange to us, because at other festivals, most notably Outside Lands Fest in San Francisco, there was very little litter and plenty of focus from the organizers and the festival goers on keeping Golden Gate Park clean and using the recycle bins.
Another thing that must be pointed out is the food issue. We think there is plenty of room for improvement on supplying better food vendors at Sasquatch in the years to come. Oh, yes, and then there were the hugs: total strangers would just come up and hug you, and there were even long lines for “free hugs.”
We also recommend checking out KEXP’s Sunday Sasquatch photo post.
Check back as we will be adding more songs, photos, links and other goodies.
Coming Up: Day Two and Day One of the 10 annual Sasquatch Festival 2011.
Already posted: Closing Day of the Sasquatch with headliner Wilco, plus stream full streams, view photos, and MP3 Mix of artists for Day Four.
- Best Songs of 2011, Vol. VI – The Vaccines, Black Lips, Vetiver, Bon Iver, Beirut, Blackbird Blackbird, The Postelles, Jeff The Brotherhood - Indie Rock Cafe