The Gorge | 26 May 2007
I hadn’t been to a big festival in a long time, I think it was either the second Lollapalooza or one of the old ‘HFStivals since I’d been to one. I always remember them being fun, but I was young back then. So my friend Mike and I headed out to the Gorge, to see if we could still hack it. We saw a lot of great music, ate pretty bad food, drank really big beers, camped with the masses, and waited in line for the Honeybuckets. Saturday was the better day, with a bit stronger line up, and much better weather. Here’s who we saw (and what I thought).
These Swedes signed to Sub Pop had the honor of being the first band we saw as we walked into the festival. They were cute in a Swedish kinda way. My love of Swedish bands is well documented on this blog, but these Loney, Dear didn’t really make me swoon.
Seattle rap band had a big posse on stage with a tight backing band that seemed heavily jazz influenced (the bassist was even wearing a McCoy Tyner t-shirt). It’s kind of strange hearing people rap about Beacon Hill and West Seattle, only because I’m used to hearing about LA and NYC. These guys were fun.
The Hold Steady
From Gabriel Teodoros, it was down to the main stage to catch the Hold Steady. Craig Finn is now sporting a beard, but it doesn’t hide the fact that he’s having a blast up on stage. The Hold Steady always seem like they’re having the best time and it’s contagious, today was no exception. They were so good, I thought they could have been scheduled a bit later in the day, but what do I know.
Khaela Maricich was all alone on stage, but she totally filled it. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. She would introduce each song telling us how it was kind of a love song, or a song about a crush giving funny details about each song. Mike thought she was kind of like a female Momus, which is pretty on the mark.
No Shouts, No Calls, the new Electelane record had me very excited to see these women. This was the highlight of my day, each song seemed to build into its groove with some cool Sonic Youth like guitar crashing over it. They mostly played stuff from the new record with To the East, Tram 21 and Five being highlights of the set. I love the vocals and guitar riffs on the record, but live it was all about the groove.
We caught a few songs from Mirah while grabbing a bite to eat and then headed back over to the Wookie Stage for Grizzly Bear. Not very exciting, at least in the great out doors. Funny, you’d think with a name like that they’d be right at home here. A couple songs which had some Beach Boys like harmonies sounded ok, but for the most part, not my thing.
Beastie Boys (Instrumental Set)
The Beastie Boys instrumental set at was not exactly just them doing instrumentals. Sabotage is not an instrumental, and neither is Egg Raid on Mojo. Basically they rocked the Wookie stage sans Mix Master Mike. They even came back out for an encore and got
pretty silly inviting everyone to the Red Roof Inn for the after party.
The Arcade fire had the full attention of Sasquatch, because they came on after the other two stages were finished for the night. I think they had maybe 15 people on stage playing. The sound at the main stage was pretty bad for bands that had more than four instruments. The Arcade Fire with ten plus suffered from a cacophonous mix that made it hard to really get into them. What they lacked in a good sound mix, they made up for with energy and earnestness. They persevered (or the sound guy did), and sounded better towards the end of the set with Keep the Car Running and Neighborhood #3/Power Out.
Bjork’s stage set was very cool. She definitely knows a thing or two about putting on a show at huge outdoor place, where the people in the lawn cannot see very much of what is actually happening on stage. She had flags, big ones and little one everywhere and here brass band wore what looked like teletubbie outfits with flags on their heads. The funniest thing about the show was not the teletubbies, but the way they showed her electronics guys ‘playing’ their computers. It looked like Geordie La Forge and Commander Data on the engineering deck of the Starship Enterprise. Bjork sounded great on older stuff like Army of Me and Hyperballad as well as the new like Declare Independence.