Monday, May 19, 2014

Must See Sasquatch: An Exercise in Festival Logistics

By Ethan Maffey

There are all kinds of different approaches to festival experiences. Camp out at the main stage all day, meander from stage to stage with no real purpose save for perhaps a few bands that sound familiar or frantically rush around the festival grounds trying to cram in the most prolific day of concerts ever. 
The must-see Spotify playlists below aim for an experience somewhere in the middle. 
The premise?
Start out with the first must-see performance of the day and then move from stage to stage avoiding any overlapping shows, each time choosing the best option available. It’s perfectly situated between the carefree and frenzied angles; effectively choosing the path of least resistance. 


From Portland rock outfit Modern Kin- formerly Drew Grow & the Pastors’ Wives—on the Yeti stage to Outkast on the main stage the first day of Sasquatch must-see music is an exercise in big sounds. That claim even rings true for Alejandro Rose-Garcia—who’s stage name is Shakey Graves—despite his mono-acoustic folk presentation. His music towers as a result of a resolute, less-is-more approach where his voice rumbles and emotions radiate like ice cold ocean waves. 
ALTERNATE TIP: If the iconic hip hop of De La Soul truly doesn’t spark interest, a quick and worthy change can be made to the schedule yielding amazing results. Instead, check out White Sea’s performance on the Yeti stage. M83’s collaborating vixen Morgan Kibby touts strong vocals and a bent toward 80s pop. 
PIT STOP: On the way to see Foals on the main stage, stop off at the El Chupacabra stage for a look at Maya Rudolph—of SNL fame—as her band Princess rips off covers of Prince songs. 


If Friday is the day for big flashy performances, Saturday is the day when everything quiets down a bit. Which is a good thing, since the second day of a music festival tends to be a bit more difficult to get through than the first. 
Saturday’s back-to-back-to-back must-see schedule recommends somber but beautiful performances by the likes of crooner Willy Mason, pysch pop group Half Moon Run and Swedish sister folk duo First Aid Kit. 
An afternoon interlude of dancing to hip hop from Danish artist SOL and rock from iconic band Violent Femmes give way to sleepy electro pop from Washed Out and an eventual main stage set by Cincinnati indie rock band The National. 
ALTERNATE TIP: Want to wake up a little soon than the fourth show of the day? Skip First Aid Kit and get rocked by New York’s pop punk Luke Rathborne on the Yeti stage. 
PIT STOP: Once the SOL dance party is done, head to see the Violent Femmes at the main stage. But not before stopping by El Chupacabra to check out the sexy shenanigans of comedic cabaret performer Bridget Everett.   


Perhaps the best trail of concerts for the weekend, Sunday’s starts off with Colorado’s John Grant; who puts on a show his publicist admits grown men cry at. His brand of alt-pop would probably have been better suited for a later show on a larger stage than Yeti, but as it is, will make a fine intro to the festival’s final day. 
And with performances by Cold War Kids, Haim and Kid Cudi, Sunday is ripe for that special festival moment that could define the event. 
It just might come from Scott Hansen’s—who makes music as Tycho—set on the El Chupacabra stage. His blend of live instrumentation and electronic landscapes makes the perfect emotional rollercoaster and serves as a great opportunity to reflect on the entire weekend. 
ALTERNATE TIP: Cold War Kids have been around awhile. Chances are many people have already seen them live. Why not then take advantage of the chance to see new wave pop rock outfit Lucius on the Yeti stage? 
PIT STOP: At some point, laughter by way of a great comedian ought to enter into the equation. On the way to see Haim after Black Joe Lewis, give 20 minutes to Demetri Martin at El Chupacabra. 

Ethan Maffey is a music contributor for The Source Weekly (located in Bend, Oregon.) Follow him on Twitter for more updates of Sasquatch! or visit The Source Weekly's website to see what's going on in the PNW.

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