Day One- Erica McIntyre
Day one of Sasquatch made me feel like I was in the hot lunch line in elementary school all over again. Having all of my favorite bands playing at the same time transported me to the elementary school gym where for lunch I could have either a hot slice of pizza or a hotdog for lunch. Both my favorites, but you had to make a tough, tough decision of which one you wanted.
The first notable concert of my day was Hozier, the 6’5″, 24 year old blues influenced musician/god of a man on loan over from Ireland. Hozier’s show ended up being my personal favorite of the festival- his voice and guitar playing are the epitome of a fresh artistic taste on a genre rooted heavily in tradition. Part of the fun of Hoziers show was his genuine sincerity while playing what (I imagine to be) easily his biggest show yet. His show was great, his music was on point, and a fan threw a guinness flag on stage that was worn as a cape by his drummer for the rest of the set. If there is going to be a breakout star from the festival, I’m putting my money on Hozier.
After standing at/stalking the gate of the Yeti stage with puppy dog eyes watching Hozier to only disappear off backstage with his band, I headed over to see Chance the Rapper. Chance’s show was similar to Hozier’s, where he was very vocal about the fact that it was his biggest crowd that he had ever played for. Part of the fun of festivals is seeing artists be genuinely excited to play the venue for the first time. The show oozed positive energy, and everyone (including the security worker at the front of the stage who was mouthing every lyric) seemed to have a great time. Well, everyone except for maybe the security guards that got doused in water that Chance tried to throw on the crowd (but couldn’t get further than the crowd barrier). The highest point of the set was when Chance sang us a beautiful cover of the one and only theme song to the show Arthur. What a wonderful kind of day indeed.
Up next on my list for the day was Foals. Foals is another band on lend to us from the UK, and their set was unbelievable. The band had great energy, and everything they played was on point musically. As a fan of Alt-J and Local Natives, Foals had always been pitched to me as the group that I would get really into next, and that recommendation was spot on. Not to mention that the sun was setting on the gorge behind them which would bring tears to the most grizzled metal fan’s eyes.
Foster the People was before Outkast, and therefore, in the name of Andre 3000, I had to attempt to shove my way to the front during their entire set. I was pretty close to the front for the set, and this may have tampered with my opinion that weighed the heaviest for me: the singer had creepy dead eyes. Don’t get me wrong- Foster the People sounded great, grooved to the music, and had awesome visuals, but something about their set was almost too polished for me. It lacked the authentic, excited energy of some of the other shows that weekend- it seemed like just another job for Foster in a large venue.
By the end of Foster, my feet were tired of standing, but my soul was an empty vessel ready to be filled Outkast lyrics and shout-outs to Atlanta. To put it bluntly: Outkast did not disappoint (which was a relief after being not too blown over when I streamed their Coachella “comeback”). Standing though Foster the People was worth it to get to read Andre 3000’s ski-onsie without the aid of the jumbo cam. Outkast brought amazing visuals (via giant futuristic cube on stage that doubled as a reproduction of their aunt’s living room), an energetic, full back-up band, and a mix of nostalgia to bring one hell of a strong performance to Washington.
To agree with the wise words the bro in the mullet wig next to me drunkenly shouted during the opening of their set, “HOLDING MY PEE FOR 4 HOURS IN THE FRONT OF THIS STAGE WAS WORTH IT TO SEE OUTKAST!!!”
PHOTO CREDIT: Morgan Rodriguez
-Erica McIntyre/Salad Distaster/Jazz Director