Sasquatch Festival / The Gorge (George, WA) / Day 3 Review 5.26.2013
Published: June 10, 2013
By: Gracie Roberts
Sunday, May 26 was all about sunny weather and light-hearted music at the Gorge. Sasquatch had a bustling afternoon lined up for its attendees, consisting of artists such as Danny Brown, The Tallest Man on Earth, and Dropkick Murphys. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros gave a heartfelt, people-powered performance on the main stage in the sunshine, while Mumford & Sons stunned the crowd in the later hours with an unforgettable 2-hour set. Sunday’s lineup was the least EDM-filled, but the few electronic artists who made it onto the roster were a true pleasure to have at the festival.
Beginning at 9 p.m., Sasquatchers could hear attractive, moody music rattling El Chupacabra. Although it wasn’t very recognizable from far away, crowds drifted toward the tent to have a closer listen to these sounds that their ears couldn’t turn away. The man behind the melodies was Will Wiesenfeld, better known by his stage name, Baths. Wiesenfeld is a California-native EDM artist who has been active in the industry since 2007. He specializes in a sound that incorporates aspects of both ambient and glitch subgenres, and his background in classical music adds to the uniqueness of his musical style.
Baths lured in a sizable crowd with tracks from his debut album, Cerulean, which was released in 2010. “Lovely Bloodflow” was one of the first tracks he played, which includes falsetto vocals that he performed live. The 24-year-old artist kept his audience entertained by presenting them with a more chilled-out selection of tracks than the majority of fellow electronic artists performing at the festival. He embraced the glitchy, loungy feel of his music, embellishing tracks with somber piano melodies and intricate chord progressions. Wiesenfeld was taken aback by the large amount of people who barely fit into the tent by the end of his set. Before saying his goodbyes, he gleefully announced the release of his newest album, Obsidian, which dropped on May 28 on Anticon Records.
Baths’ hour-long performance led straight up to that of Grimes on the Honda Bigfoot stage. Grimes is Claire Boucher, the esteemed young artist and musician from Vancouver, Canada that has continuously been the talk of the nation throughout the past year. Boucher started producing music during her time studying at McGill University in Montréal, and after two albums released in 2010, she dropped a musical bomb on the industry with the release of Visions in January of 2012. Visions quickly met critical acclaim with both fans and media outlets, with The New York Times calling it “one of the most impressive albums of the year so far”. Grimes’ style has been identified as dark wave, ‘witch house’, and synthpop, but all can agree that it a stunning sort of experimental. Boucher packs a punch in her music -- as such a small girl, one is taken by surprise when they experience power that she commands while doing what she does best.
Grimes looked out at the crowd at Bigfoot Sunday night with just her keyboard accompanying her onstage. Dropping a bassy beat and live looping her vocal track, Boucher began her set that was sprinkled with top tracks from Visions. “Vanessa”, “Be a Body” and “Circumambient” made a splash with the audience, but before anyone could fully get into the groove that Grimes had to offer, they were distracted by the undeniable sound problems that the Bigfoot stage was experiencing. Grimes wasn’t the first artist to be subjected to less-than-perfect acoustics at the stage, as Empire of the Sun had dealt with similar issues the night before. As Boucher tried to sing as loudly and passionately as she could into the mic, the crowd started to chant “Turn it up!” in terms of her vocal channel. While the sound techs were able to turn up the volume of the instrumental tracks, Grimes’ voice continued to be a bit drowned out for the duration of her set. This was extremely disappointing, especially for fans who cleared their schedules that night just to catch a glimpse of this increasingly hot artist who graced the Sasquatch lineup. Grimes managed to put on the best show she could given the circumstances, keeping the crowd on their toes with a multitude of danceable beats and a group of male dancers that served as a great onstage visual.
Sunday seemed to end a bit earlier than the two nights beforehand, as Sasquatch attendees knew it would be a good idea to get some rest before the final day of the festival. And, when looking at the top-notch lineup that the next day had in store, it’s easy to see why. Campers went to sleep with thoughts of Monday’s quickly-approaching madness racing through their minds.