GEORGE, WA – The 2012 Sasquatch Music Festival went down at one of the most legendary and picturesque concert venues in the country if not the world over Memorial Day weekend. 25,000 music fans descended upon Gorge Amphitheater to watch over 100 bands play during the annual 4 day Sasquatch Music Festival.
The Gorge is incredible for many reasons, first and foremost it’s one of the only major concert venues that allows camping on site. Sasquatch ticket holders were able to car camp and setup tents throughout the Gorge’s lush grass fields directly adjacent to the venue. New for 2012, the Sasquatch Music Festival offered ticket holders re-entry into the venue, this allowed patrons to head back to camp between sets, eat and drink cheap and avoid sitting in the direct sun for 8 hours straight.
The Sasquatch Music Festival is made up of mostly indie bands, whats an indie band you ask? Great question as I always thought indie rock was certain genera of music, maybe it is but it can also represent bands that are on independent labels which seemed to be the case with most of the acts at this years festival.
Normally when I go to shows the crowd is as old, if not older then me. This was far from the case at Sasquatch. At 31 years young I seriously felt like I stood out as the old dude, by a good 10 years or more.. The crowd seemed to be mostly college kids, as well as a healthy dose of high school students and a lot of Canadians. Even with a young, and sometime funny talking crowd I was still able to have a blast, it’s hard if not impossible to have bad time at the Gorge.
One of the best music festivals of the year!
sasquatch music festival photos
As for the music I was completely blown away by 3 acts over the weekend and impressed by dozens of others. The first treat came from a band named Beirut who played on the main stage as the sun was setting on Sunday, this is what I would call indie music. Really soft, super mellow and something I normally steer away from listening to. To be honest I really only had the intention of shooting sunset photos during Beirut’s set. But after heading a few notes I quietly took a seat amongst the crowd, sat back and melted into the surroundings. The bands front man Zachary Francis Condon played the mandolin, trumpet and ukulele. The sounds that came from the stage were magical. If I ever need to relax, which is more often then not you can bet I am going to put on some of Beirut’s music. Talk about being presently surprised, I really need to learn to listen to music with my heart as well as my ears, Beirut seemed to touch both…
“I came to dance” is a motto I live by at live shows, so when I saw that some of the most progressive electronic dance djs and producers were playing at Sasquatch I got really excited to throw down. Wolfgang Gartner played a 2 1/2 hour set that had the entire place moving from start to finish. I thought Phish and Widespread Panic fans danced hard, this was a whole new ball game. The electronic acts for the most part were secluded to the Verizon Banana Shack near the front of the venue. When Wolfgang took the stage it was packed inside the tent and actually overflowing out the back as thousands of people wanted to get in on the action. Which was a non stop dance party with heavy beats, sick lights and a really cool backdrop that at times had Wolfgang getting barreled as the projection screen had images of waves crashing over him. I can honestly say I have never danced that hard in my life, every song went into the next and at times I would just have to stop to catch my breath and pound some water.
Another act that played with a ton of energy was the band Deer Tick. We had an interview scheduled with the band that got canceled at the last minute so I was on the fence as to if I would see their set, and boy am glad I decided to give them a chance. These guys played with ferocity, true rock and roll music that was loud and fast. The crowd was massive as Deer Tick crushed the Big Foot Stage, the second largest stage inside the festival. (There were a total of 5 stages). The highlight for me was when the band busted out the song Fight For Your Right in honor of the late MCA of the Beastie Boys. The crowd went bat crazy for the Beastie Boys cover as everyone sang along, even if the song was older then most in attendance. (It came out in 1987)
It seemed the Beastie Boys were on everyone’s mind and rightfully so as the night before The Roots covered So What’cha Want as they ended Saturday night’s show. It was such an honor to see musicians from every walk of life showing their love and respect for the Beastie Boys, a tradition that will undoubtedly continue throughout the summer and for generations to come. And while talking about cover songs I couldn’t help but smile when The Roots broke out Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N’ Roses.
The Sasquatch crew really had everything dialed, it was easy to move from stage to stage. There were tons of food and restrooms scattered around the venue and it never felt “packed” like the other times I have visited the Gorge. Going to a show here should be a must for any music fan, especially before you die and get married.. With events taking place all summer long what are you waiting for?? Book your dream concert vacation today!!!!