As the sun began to rise on the final day of Sasquatch 2012, you could hear the campground waking up with the world’s largest collective hangover, dragging their tired bones to look over the massive gorge one last time and see some of the world’s most talented musicians. The lineup was a bit light, but memorable sessions by John C Reilly, Spiritualized and others made the last hours of the festival some of the best all weekend.
Brilliant singer/songwriter Cass McCombs was this first thing on my radar for Monday, the perfectly delicate and relaxing set that I needed to start my final day at Sasquatch. With his curly hair blowing in the wind, McCombs guided his band through some of his most popular tracks, gathering a fairly substantial crowd by the end of his set. His slow-rolling guitar and lonesome stories were exactly what the festival needed as the sun-drunk masses began to look glossed over dreadful on Monday. The Lethargy only intensified McCombs’ attitude, and don’t tell anybody, but I think he might have even smiled.
The eclectic sounds of Seattle, WA.’s Shabazz Palaces were in full display Monday afternoon, as the two members took to the Bigfoot stage, blasting their unique blend of hip-hop and mind blinding beats. Although their music is maybe better fit for a dark and humid room, it was certainly incredible watching these guys put together tracks like “press and curl” and “Swerve…” in the light of day, revealing some of the scret nature of their sound. Who knows if they can ever match the magic which is Black Up, but it’s obvious that these two are only getting better with age, mixing up their tracks and simply perfecting their live show this past weekend.
John C Reilly
There’s always one show each Festival that’s just inexplicably huge. This year at Sasquatch, that show was star of film and stage John C. Reilly, accompanied by his various friends and collaborators. As thousands of fans began gathering around the small Yeti stage, with various Steve Brule and Step Brothers jokes being tossed about, Reilly’s squinting eyes played right into the crowd’s hands, joking between songs and making his short set into one of the most memorable all weekend. His simple but effective blend of folk and country music was actually fairly impressive, having never been exposed to it outside of Walk Hard, so even though most people may have come for the comedy, Reilly was all business.
Even though it was a bit disappointing that this show wasn’t SBTRKT performing live, rather a DJ set, the set was pretty damn spectacular. Drawing from a ton of contemporary artists, from James Blake to Soul Clap, SBTRKT continued to keep everyone dancing in the Banana Shack on Monday night and proved that his style of dubstep and house will continue to evolve in the coming years. And damn if that mask didn’t look sharp doing so.
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
Closing out the Yeti stage for the festival was Ted Leo’s punk-rock lineup, taking his high energy stage presence and lending it to the waining crowd for one last burst. And although he’s maybe not my favorite act, Ted Leo definitely knows how to put on a good show.
Jason Pierce was quoted this weekend as saying he felt like he was playing the best performances of his career, and when he took Bigfoot stage after the sun set on Monday, there was a confidence about him that far outmatched any other time I’ve seen Spiritualized perform. Opening with their newest single “Hey Jane,” the band, along with backup singers, were simply mesmerizing. Their booming, orchestral sound took favorites like “Come Together” and “Soul on Fire” to an entirely different place on stage. If Huh? wasn’t enough evidence already, it appears as though Pierce and the rest of Spiritualized are hitting one of the best stretches of their career, entertaining a massive crowd on a dark and blustery Monday evening.