Sasquatch crossed the halfway point with a yesterday afternoon mostly low-fi, ambient grooves, giving festival goers a chance to lay in the grass and take up some sun.
Each day has sort of an unofficial theme and all four of them are packed with shows from one to one. There are three stages and one dance tent all squeezed into the amphitheater but engineers do a great job at keeping the overlap to a minimum. The hardest part of the whole thing is deciding who to watch when two really great acts are playing at the same time.
Day one felt like a welcoming party—albeit one hampered by half a day of rain—with tons of afternoon hip hop, soulful grooves from ZZ Ward and crowd pumping shows by Arctic Monkeys and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Friday also featured Red Fang, a seasoned West coast metal band that shocked and rocked the grateful pants off of the unsuspecting indie crowd.
The crowd’s style is brighter than ever this year too. This isn’t some hippie fest (though many of them are around). Most everyone is fresh out of college or just about to be, wearing stripes, animal prints, and neons that roar straight from the 80s.
Freakishly cold nights have kept the parties at bay in the campgrounds. The temperature drops hard and fast around midnight, convincing most people to hit their own tents rather than try to talk their way into someone else’s.
There are British and Australian accents everywhere; none of which can be trusted though; since I constantly hear people walk past telling each other where they’re going to pretend they’re from today.
Saturday’s lineup and its welcomed sunshine gave everyone a chance to quell their hangovers and catch some zees. Sigur Ros, Iceland’s melodic and immensely epic alternative group, headlined the main stage. Comedians like Nick Offerman, and Kyle Kinane kept people laughing all through the afternoon. The biggest surprise of the day came of the Bigfoot stage. At the end of Micheal Kiwanuka’s Motown set, Mark Mumford of Mumford and Sons came out of nowhere and the two sang “The Weight” to an ecstatic crowd.
The XX gave a fantastic performance. Much of their music teeters on the edge of shoegaze rock, which is often heard best when you want to relax but think at the same time; but seen live the band takes on a form of lo-fi dance grooves. The bouncy jams are separated by long sustains and unhurried transitions that don’t allow the audience to do more than clap and nod (perhaps a little impatiently).
The following two days will bring a little grit to the festival. But all I can do now is wait and see.