Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Flaming Lips Sasquatch 5/26/08

What a carnival! The UFO show, confetti, dancing teletubbies, nekkid ladies... Wayne Coyne's imagination is amazing. A perfect way to end three days at the Gorge. And thank you to all the lovely folks around us in the pit, Flaming Lips fans were easily the nicest coolest people at the whole festival.

Warning: One photo NSFW...

Flaming Lips Sasquatch 5/26/08
Flaming Lips Sasquatch 5/26/08
Flaming Lips Sasquatch 5/26/08
Flaming Lips Sasquatch 5/26/08
Flaming Lips Sasquatch 5/26/08
Flaming Lips Sasquatch 5/26/08
Flaming Lips Sasquatch 5/256/08

Pela, Sasquatch 5/26/08

Pela! What a blast we had!

The show started with a small crowd, surprising us a bit, but as the set went on Pela added more fans for sure. Their set did not differ hugely from when I caught them in NYC last year, which was fine with me and a bit of a pleasant surprise that they delivered that same level of hometown energy when they played in the hot sun of Washington state in the middle of the day.
Tenement Teeth stole the show, and they closed with a blistering version of Cavalry and a cover of the Pixies' Holiday. The boys looked thrilled to be there, grinning wide and snapping shots of the crowd. Thanks for the fun Pela, we had to take a nap on a grassy knoll after that set!

Pela, Sasquatch 5/26/08
Pela, Sasquatch 5/26/08

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Sasquatch 5/26/08

I came into Thao's set with no knowledge of the band and I left wanting more. She brought a ton of energy to the stage and played a nice robust set. Her voice does sound like Cat Power's, something everyone mentions, but she brings her own sound on the guitar and a passel of good lyrics, too. Her song Bag of Hammers proved itself, we kept talking about it all day.
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down

Yeasayer, Sasquatch Monday 5/26/08

The lads from Yeasayer were a cleaner cut group than I remembered. They sounded beautiful as they got our day started with a short set of five songs that included my three favorites off the album. Speaking of, if you don't have the album you should buy it immediately and listen to the first three tracks on repeat.

I am holding on to the memory of them singing an extended version of Sunrise. Beautiful!
Yeasayer Sasquatch 5/26/08
Yeasayer Sasquatch 5/26/08
Yeasayer Sasquatch 5/26/08

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Cure, Sasquatch Sunday 5/25/08

2 hours, 40 minutes. A sold out crowd at the Gorge.

What more do I need to say? How about two encores, The Forest, 10:15 on a Saturday Night, and Killing an Arab?

Oh Robert Smith, thank you!

The Cure Sasquatch 5/25/08
The Cure Sasquatch 5/25/08
The Cure Sasquatch 5/25/08

Taste of Seattle, Sasquatch Sunday 5/25/08

The Cops have balls.

Let me backtrack. Sunday at the Gorge offered a lot of big and I suppose good bands that don't do it for me.

After abandoning the Cold War Kids midset, leaving White Rabbits midset and electing to skip Tegan and Sara, I made my way to see The Cops at the small stage. Wow! They brought back the energy and aggression and punk rock of festivals of my youth. A slightly more melodic Fugazi, they told us to fuck corporations, vote for Obama, spit water on the crowd, and basically brought the ROCK. Imagine this old lady's surprise when the singer walked into the crowd and started a mosh pit directly in front of me. I said "I'm too old for this shit" but there was a smile on my face as I watched the gentle teenagers of Washington let loose!

Also of note on the small stage from Seattle:
J. Tillman brought a sense of humor and beautiful quiet folk. The Blakes started out kind of meh but the last half of their set confirmed the hype around them. Sera Cahoone sang gorgeous country and I need to buy her album immediately! Photos below, my photographer saw different bands, so make of it what you will.
J. Tillman, Sasquatch, 5/25/08
J. Tillman
Cold War Kids, Sasquatch 5/25/08
Cold War Kids
Tegan and Sara, Sasquatch 5/25/08
Tegan and Sara
The Blakes, Sasquatch 5/25/08
The Blakes
Sera Cahoone, Sasquatch 5/25/08
Sera Cahoone
Death Cab for Cutie, Sasquatch 5/25/08
Death Cab for Cutie

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Okkervil River, Sasquatch Saturday 5/24/08

Festivals mean tough choices. Seeing Okkervil River yesterday meant forgoing M.I.A. and arriving late to the National. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Will and his band were tight coming fresh off their tour, but with plenty of wild energy. He flailed around giving everything he had to the mouthfuls of lyrics. The band offered amazing sound and an Arcade Fire-like approach to participation, singing along un-miked, playing three tambourines instead of just one, replacing Will's mike when it flew off the stand after he whirled through the entirety of the stage. This band is the real thing - I cannot wait for another chance to see them again. They finished up with a rocking "Unless It's Kicks" and made me wish they'd play through the whole set again!

Okkervil River, Sasquatch 5/24/08
Okkervil River, Sasquatch 5/24/08
Okkervil River, Sasquatch 5/24/08
Okkervil River, Sasquatch 5/24/08

New Pornographers, Sasquatch 5/24/08

Neko Case! Dan Bejar! All the New Pornographers in attendance on the glorious mainstage at the Gorge. And they sounded fantastic. They played my favorite songs (Use It, Challengers, Testament to Youth in Verse). A truly transcendent version of the Bleeding Heart Show added it to my favorites - the female vocals were heavenly. The band ripped through an awesome cover of "Don't Bring Me Dooooooooooown, Bruce"!

I wish that more of the crowd was there for the NPs, it seemed to be a lot of M.I.A. fans waiting down front, with a few of us NP fans intermingled and freaking about what a great show we were witnessing.

New Pornographers, Sasquatch 5/24/08
New Pornographer, Sasquatch 5/24/08New Pornographers, Sasquatch 5/24/08

Fleet Foxes, Sasquatch Saturday 5/24/08

I've been bitching about how much these guys sound like Crosby Stills and Nash. Seeing them on the mainstage Saturday (filling in for the National whose bus broke down) I realized, "holy shit, these guys are amazing!" Best vocal harmonies of the day, a true honor as we saw New Pornographers and Grand Archives, too.

I take back the cake talk and give Fleet Foxes a strong live recommendation. Nice to see them with a Seattle crowd who clearly spent a lot of time with the album. I should also point out that the band members seem like true salt of the earth guys, funny and generous and modest and talented.
Fleet Foxes, Sasquath 5/24/08

Cloud Cult Larimer Lounge 5/18/08

Craig Minowa and company provide one of the best live shows around. Their show Saturday was just as beautiful as the one a year ago at the Larimer Lounge that made me fall in love with them.

I can't say it better than Ricardo Baca, read his account!

Cloud Cult, Larimer Lounge 4/18/08

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Flight of the Conchords, 5/16/08

Maybe it's just me, but the Ellie Caulkins Opera House is a) amazingly beautiful and b) a much larger venue than I expected. Who knew that Bret and Jemaine have so many Denver friends? And so many loud obnoxious drunken friends?

To those who insist on bringing their drinks into an opera house performance, those who yell angry profanity at other guests, and those who love to call out throughout the night at the performers, I say "stay home!".

To Bret and Jemaine I say "come back any time, we love you!"

027Flight of the Conchords, 5/16/08

Flight of the Conchords, 5/16/08
Second encore!