Dust, Dad Bods, and Legal Weed: Sasquatch 2015

Enter the most relaxed music festival on the planet. As somebody who’s come to this festival before, there was something special happening this year. Something was in the air this year at Sasquatch, and I’m not talking about the joints your little brother smuggled inside the venue.

Day 1 came and the sun was out, people crawled out of their tents, already surrounded by beer cans, and rubbed their eyes. The music was scheduled to begin at 3:40 with Ayron Jones & The Way, starting Sasquatch off with a Seattle native. The first night brought big names and exciting performances from the likes of Angel Olsen, The New Pornographers, Gogol Bordello, Of Monsters & Men, Sleater-Kinney and Flume.

After a day of soaking up the sun and watching music, me and my troupe of half wits made our way to Of Monsters & Men as the sun set, where we got blown away by the Icelandic band. After their set, the crowd began to thin out to go catch a good spot for Flume on the Bigfoot stage, but not my squad. We walked to the front and of the main stage to watch Sleater-Kinney, legendary riot grrrl band and Washington natives- not to mention that Carrie Brownstein plays guitar for the band. After a long set of face melting guitar and drum solos, SK was called back onstage for an encore. Definitely one of my favorite performances of the weekend.

My troupe moseyed over to see the last few songs of Flume, and got there just in time for a very badly timed technical difficulty that cause a song to stop in the middle of a drop. Flume’s team was on it, and after a few laughs by the small Australian DJ, the show was back on and the crowd was going absolutely bananas. After Flume, people herded down the long, dusty road back to camp to either go to sleep or make an attempt to party harder than the night before.

Day 2 music started at 1 o’clock, but most people didn’t get going until 4, when Twenty One Pilots set started. After that it was a mad dash to catch as many acts as possible. From Father John Misty, The War On Drugs, Chromeo, The Decemberists, Kiesza, Modest Mouse, Odesza, and Spoon, the day 2 lineup was packed full.

Sitting on the hill for The War On Drugs was gorgeous and relaxing, and standing up close and personal to Modest Mouse was something out of a dream. MM punched everyone in the face with their loud music, and dad bods all around swayed in approval. And I’m still convinced that their keyboardist is Debbie Harry.

Once day 3 rolled around, everyone was running on no sleep, and swollen feet. It was another hot and gorgeous day at The Gorge and Strand of Oaks, Milky Chance, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Temples would all be kicking off the afternoon, followed by the ultimate female main stage lineup. That day would have Jenny Lewis followed by St. Vincent and Lana Del Rey, and as if that wasn’t enough, Robert f***ing Plant closed out the night. If you were looking to trip on psychedelics at this festival, day 2 was the day.

St. Vincent got onstage and was easily the most captivating act of the weekend. She violently shrieked and played guitar while folding herself into interesting shapes, punched the jumbotron camera, and crowd surfed. All the while not a a hair fell out of place.

Tension arose as Lana’s set grew closer and closer, many a flower crown got mangled in the wind. Once Lana took the stage it was clear that this was going to be a performance to remember. Covering Chelsea Hotel No. 2, and playing an unreleased song ‘Serial Killer,’ Lana didn’t come to disappoint us Sasquatchers.

Neither did Robert Plant. Dad bods glistened under the moon and stage lights as Lana’s young fans cleared out and Robert’s Plant’s fans swarmed in. The singer went on to sing songs from his solo projects as well as surprising us all with Led Zeppelin songs. Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You and Going To California were just two of the Zeppelin songs he did.

On day 4, the final day of the festival, the lineup was incredible (whats new). On my group’s list to see was Courtney Barnett, Tame Impala, Sharon Van Etten, Schoolboy Q, Ryan Adams, Alvvays, Run The Jewels, Hot Chip, and Kendrick Lamar. The sunburns were in full force all day, and peeling commenced by the time the sun was setting. The anticipation for Kendrick was unreal.

Before anyone knew it, the clock struck 11 and Kendrick jumped out onto the stage, prepared to give the performance of a lifetime. He pulled fans up onstage to rap with him, and acknowledged the fact that this was his first show in a long while.

Growing impatient with the lack of new songs being performed, particularly King Kunta, the crowd began to chant. At the end of his set, Kendrick walked offstage, not coming back for the encore the crowd would go wild for. Although everyone was satisfied with his performance, we were all confused as to why he chose to not do King Kunta.

At the end of the day 4, we were all so burnt out that the only thing on our minds was getting food into our bodies and getting some sleep.

We saw it all this weekend. From Canadian dudes dressed up as bananas, to cardboard signs showing Kim Kardashian’s crying face, Sasquatch 2015 did not have a dull moment. My friends made me laugh until I cried and carried around nonsense signs.

Words: Madison Killian