Sasquatch Festival / The Gorge (George, WA) / Day 2 Review 5.25.2013
Published: June 7, 2013
By: Gracie Roberts
The sun shone on the Gorge as campers sleepily started Saturday morning at their campsites. The day’s lineup was one to be spoken about, and conversations around the camping area were noticeably buzzing with excitement. The biggest acts included Bloc Party, Empire of the Sun, and Robert DeLong, a Washington-native electronic artist who supplied some bass-filled beats in the early afternoon on the Honda Bigfoot stage. Nick Offerman, a comedian known for his role on NBC’s series Parks and Recreation, performed a 45-minute stand-up set in El Chupacabra, presenting the crowd with a series of “man’s man” tips on how to be the best American one can possibly be. The second day of Sasquatch proved to be a mixed bag of laughter, wonder, and elation as fans explored all the different sides of what the festival had to offer.
Around 8:30 p.m., a massive crowd began to form at the pit of the main stage. It seemed that all of Sasquatch was eagerly awaiting The xx, one of the biggest names included on the entire weekend’s roster. The sun had nearly set over the Gorge’s hills, providing a dreamy afterglow that rested upon the hillside in front of the main stage. For those who didn’t want to be part of the madness that was about to take place in the main stage’s pit, a pleasant space on the hill provided just as nice of a lookout for The xx’s performance. Finally, as the clock approached 9 p.m., revolving spotlights began to spin slowly onstage. Crowd members were taken off guard as these lights blinded them for a handful of seconds at a time -- nothing could be seen onstage when the lights faced toward the crowd. At this time, a thin layer of fog began to form over the audience, launched from fog machines at the back of the pit. Finally, they came into view -- Oliver Sim on stage left, Romy Madley-Croft on stage right, and Jamie Smith looking down upon them from a raised platform in the middle of the stage.
Jamie Smith started to mix a heavy beat as the revolving white lights continued to hide the faces of Madley-Croft and Sim. Smith, also known by the stage name Jamie xx, performs as a solo artist aside from The xx. His live mixing, filled with heavy bass and ever-changing tempos, was a testament to his solo career as he put his own spin on some of the group’s most well-known tracks. These three had the crowd entranced during their 75-minute set, laying out tracks such as “Heart Skipped a Beat”, “Crystalised”, “Sunset”, “Shelter”, “VCR”, and “Islands”. Audience members looked on with admiration as the two guitarists came together in a slow dance, sensually surrounding one another as their instruments rang together in harmony. In addition to the top hits from The xx, Jamie Smith included the track “Far Nearer”, a compilation between himself and Gil Scott-Heron, in a mashup with The xx’s track “Reunion” from their 2012 album Coexist. The trio’s performance was truly a treat for those present and undoubtedly will be remembered in years to come at Sasquatch.
After a chilling recital from Sigur Rós on the main stage, Orlando Higginbottom of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (TEED) was ready to heat things up in El Chupacabra. This Englishman has surely made a name for himself during his relatively short time active as a producer and DJ. His debut album, Trouble, was released on June 11, 2012. Its popularity skyrocketed, sending TEED to venues and festivals of all kinds across the globe. Higginbottom’s set at Sasquatch definitely did not disappoint, as the 27-year-old artist played some of the hottest tracks from Trouble. “Bagpipes,” “Stronger,” and “American Dream, Pt. II” sent the crowd into hysterics as indistinct images of insects and ancient creatures danced around the stage’s LCD screens. TEED experimented with drum and bass sounds as he mixed one track into the next, making the entirety of his performance a five-star dance party. After the wild success of Trouble, fans can’t wait for what this young superstar is going to think of next.
Laidback Luke served as Saturday’s late-night set in the dance tent after TEED’s set drew to a close. Born Lucas van Scheppingen, Laidback Luke is a Filipino-Dutch DJ and producer that has come into fame while working along the sides of artists such as David Guetta, Axwell, and Steve Angello. Van Scheppingen kept the energy high as he dropped tracks including “Dynamo,” his collaboration with Hardwell, as well as Baauer’s remix of Flosstradamus’ “Roll Up.” DMX’s “Up In Here” was a crowd favorite, as was “Chop Suey” by System of a Down. Laidback Luke built up to performing the infamous “Turbulence,” which he produced in collaboration with fellow Sasquatch performing artist Steve Aoki. His dynamic set lifted the spirits of the crowd, sending them back to their camps with smiles on their faces. With its jam-packed roster, Saturday seemed to come and go all too quickly. Not to worry, though, because Sasquatch still had two more days of fun to deliver to its music-loving attendees.