Sasquatch! Music Festival @ George, Washington Part 1

So I’m all recovered from my three-day weekend at Sasquatch! Music Festival. With such a formidable slew of awesome sets and a packed campsite full of anxious concertgoers/partiers, the experience never fell short of incredible. After a solid five-hour wait in a line of cars, trailers, trucks and the occasional bold pedestrians, my buddies and I arrived at our campsite and settled in for a miniscule night of sleep.

After a stretch and morning yawn my friends and I were ready to hit Day 1 of the festival. We checked out the smaller stages in the early afternoon and saw Mumford & Sons tear up a heartfelt set with an energetic crowd singing and dancing. Later, we stuck around for Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. While most of their set impressed the crowd and riled everyone up with their catchy folk-like tunes, “Home” exceeded any possible standard for the group as they blasted through it and summoned the inner whistling prodigy in every member of the crowd.

The first great main stage show was Broken Social Scene, a legendary band I had yet to see. You Forgot It In People stands as one of my all time favorite albums and they’ve failed to disappoint me since with spectacular records. The show was impeccable. Kevin Drew’s vocals particularly impressed me as he maintained his nonchalant delivery but unexpected power and force. And of course, the guitar work maintained its sleek and graceful nature as a backbone for unbelievable build-ups and swoops of sonic pleasure. “Cause = Time” hit an energy level so high the entire amphitheatre screamed as if the late afternoon collided with a solar eclipse.

After meandering through the small stages again I landed myself in the Rumpus Room, a dance music tent fairly small in size considering the size of the whole festival’s population. Fairly familiar with most of their releases, I anticipated The Very Best would throw down a solid show filled with catchy African beats. They tore the place up. Giving me a preview of many out of control Rumpus Room experiences to come. Letting everyone know where the party was at, the vocalists wailed their lyrics perfectly on point and jumped up and down sporadically between their DJ and a few backup dancers. Hands shot up at the pulse of every reggaeton beat and hips swayed for the full set. When “Warm Heart of Africa” dropped (this actually happened three times with different beats) everyone went nuts.

Still feeling the adrenaline of the last show I decided to make my first tough call of the weekend: Vampire Weekend or Dâm-Funk. I chose Dâm-Funk because Vampire Weekend is scheduled to play in my neighborhood park later this summer and the Rumpus Room was unreasonably poppin’. He killed it. Riding out three of his most infectious beats including “Hood Pass Intact” into complete jam sessions with falsetto vocals and keytar shredding there was no stopping the man from bringing the funk. The crowd undulated wholly with the enormously punchy 90s’ g-funk-esque bass lines and every hand stayed in the “ayer” as if Dam was carrying a gun instead of nasty musical equipment.

At this point, with the last artist hitting the Rumpus Room, how could I leave? Next up was Z-Trip. He blasted through a carefully timed set of popular hip-hop, electro and dubstep that catered exquisitely to all the music fans ready to set aside their pretentious babble and just share an unforgettable booty shaking frenzy. Highlights included three Dre beats in a row (“California Love”, “Nuthin’ But A G Thang” and “Gin and Juice”) and a mashup with legendary Seattle classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Every drop revealed either a highly reputable standard or nostalgic vibe, leaving the crowd screaming uncontrollably, maniacally endorsing crowd-surfing and skyrocketing their hands.

Only one show remained that day for the whole festival—Deadmau5. No doubt, many of his admiring fans came all the way out just for this set. Everyone who attended Day 1 piled in front of the Bigfoot Stage under the night sky and the mau5 kicked off a blistering set of glitchy and epic electro. With lighting by the people who brought us the magnificent Daft Punk tour recently, the energy level both visually and aurally stunned everyone. At one point the pedestal he stood on showed a Windows dialog box, signaling a few chuckles and taunts, then proceeded to show an angry talking face on his mouse mask. The build ups never lasted too long to draw impatience from the crowd and when the beat dropped he would point his finger up and then into the audience (as if we needed instruction to dance). Nothing but mass hysteria.

Afterwards my buddies and wandered back to the campsite to party late into the night, meet new people and create excitement for the next two days. Day 1 was great, almost unbelievably, Sasquatch! kept getting better.

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