The Gorge | 27 May 2007
Like so many records these days, the Sasquatch festival was front loaded. I didn’t expect it to be as good as day one, mostly because the line up wasn’t as strong for day 2. When you add in super strong winds and colder temperatures, day 2 had a lot going against it. Hey, at least it wasn’t raining or worse, hailing. We started our day kind of late, still shaking out the cobwebs from the previous day. So we missed the Blakes’12 o’clock show, luckily they’re from Seattle and play here often or I would have been bummed.
Patrick Wolf was a great way to start the day. He appeared on stage looking like a cross between Kevin Rolland of Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Martin Fry of ABC and sounding a bit like both. Wolf’s influences don’t stop at those two 80’s bands, I heard elements of the Communards, the Bronski Beat, and even the Mission. Patrick Wolf is an entertainer, plain and simple, telling us about Tristan and then writhing on the ground while singing it. The crowd ate it up hollering in disbelief, at some of his antics. I really hope he isn’t like his stage personal in real life, it would be a bit intense. Wolf said he’ll be back in the states come September, don’t miss him. Even if you don’t like his records you’ll be entertained, kinda like Vegas.
We headed back down to the main stage to catch the second half of Bad Brains. This is the second time I’ve seen the Bad Brains and both times I’ve thought that they should be much more intense than they actually are on stage. I guess it’s that clean Rastafarian living that keeps them mellow even while playing the punk rock. HR looked like the elder statesmen up there in front of the mosh pit, not really moving much, or showing much emotion. They mixed in both the hardcore and dub reggae song in their set, and the moshers moshed for both.
This is the point that the day kind of fell apart. We hung back for the Polyphonic Spree Set. Their sound was really battling both the sound system, which again couldn’t handle the diverse mix of instruments, and the wind. A couple songs into the set they had to leave the stage, because the lighting rigs were blowing around so much there was a danger they could fall. They closed down the main stage for nearly three hours, causing the truncated sets by both Spoon and Interpol and Michael Franti getting moved to another stage. We headed up the hill to catch Smoosh and try to find somewhere that didn’t have gale force winds.
After the long wind delay Spoon came out at about 7:20ish, quipping that they only play at dusk (they were scheduled for 5:40). They lit it up right from the start with My Mathematical Mind. By the end of the song Britt Daniel was down on is knees going all Marty McFly on his guitar, it was a site to behold. Spoon pretty much pulled out all the stops by playing all the hits from their last two albums, including Jonathon Fisk, Stay Don’t Go, Paper Tiger, I Turn My Camera On and Small Stakes. They only did one new song from the forthcoming record, Don’t You Evah. The set was an excellent warmer to the chill wind blowing through the Gorge!
It was so cold, that Paul Banks appeared on stage minus the band’s signature coat and tie, but in winter hat, scarf and parka. He looked frigid, but he generally looks like that on stage. I love Interpol records, but live these guys are kinda boring. Banks doesn’t move and his monotone gets old after a while. Carlos D tries to make it interesting and guitarist Dan Kessler dances around a bit while playing, but live there’s just something missing. They did a couple new songs including The Heinrich Maneuver which sound really good, but it wasn’t enough to salvage the set for me.
The Beastie Boys
Having never seen the Beastie Boys live before this weekend, the second time in as many days may have been a bit much. My buddy Mike was in heaven, but I thought the set the day before was a bit more loose and fun than their main stage set. They covered a lot of the same territory, but Mix Master Mike was in the house and the boys pretty much hit all the highlights of their length career including Shake Your Rump, Sabotage, Sure Shot, Root Down and Pass the Mic. By the end of the set MCA was blowing on his hands to keep them warm and I think the entire crowd was mostly chilled to the bone.