After taking Sunday off to relax and tour some Washington wineries, we returned to Sasquatch on Memorial Day refreshed and ready for more music. (Best idea ever, incidentally- I will have to do the same for Lollapalooza. 3 days is just too much). Meanwhile, the kids who'd been camping for three days straight were noticably lackluster and very sunburned, strewn about asleep in the grass while bands like the Hives raged on in the background.
12:10: Yeasayer. Luckily for this Yeasayer fan, they were early enough on the main stage to see them from a relatively empty pavillion floor. We only got handful of songs, but the best of All Hour Cymbals was represented: "2080", "Sunrise", "Wait for the Summer," and singer Chris Keating's flailing and pointing continued to entertain. At the end he told the people in the front row that he realized they were not there to see them on this day, but hopefully next time they would be.
1:25: Thao with the Get Down Stay Down. After Yeasayer we headed over to the Wookie stage and by chance came upon Thao, a peppier, Vietnamese-American version of Cat Power and a badass on the guitar. This was by far the most passionate crowd I saw at the festival; the males in the crowd appeared to be melting at Thao's feet and everyone around me had trouble holding in the cheers and catcalls for the band.
2:10: The Hives. Ah, the Hives. I stopped listening to their music after Veni, Vidi, Vicious but knew I would be highly amused by singer Pelle Almqvist's posturing. My friend and I realized how funny it can be when foreigners, even those with perfect English, try to tell jokes- they never seem to go over quite right because the timing is always a little off. Like when Pelle told us they couldn't play at 100%, but only 60-65% because otherwise they might rock the stage into the Gorge. Cute. In the 80+ degree heat they wore stripped down versions of their trademark black suits and sported black pants and shirts instead, with which Pelle decided to tease the ladies by unbuttoning one, then two buttons (but as we all know, if he had taken off the whole shirt, the heat would have . . . knocked the stage into the Gorge. Or something). Aw, those adorable Swedes.
3:30: Built to Spill. Surprisingly, Built to Spill played nothing from their seminal Perfect From Now On, which they are about to go on tour playing in its entirety (all the rage these days). Guess they wanted to rest up on those jams. They were surprisingly uninteresting on this jaunt- just sort of stood there playing their songs without a word. I remembered them being more engaging when I saw them at the Metro a few years ago. Now if they would only add Chicago to that PFNO tour . . .
4:40: Rodrigo y Gabriela. We made our way down to the pavillion to catch Rodrigo y Gabriela and to secure our spot for Flight of the Conchords. Rodrigo y Gabriela are one of those bands where you'd never buy an album but they are fantastic live; the Mexican pair (based in Dublin!) shredded, Latin-folk style, on their guitars, showing off their mind-blowing rhythmic and finger-picking skills. After some more traditional sounds they got into the audience participation part of the show where the crowd sings "Wish You Were Here" to their strums (I'm guessing this is a RyG show staple at this point), and then they covered popular songs we all know, like "Seven Nation Army." The boys around me again swooned when Rodrigo left the stage so Gabriela could take a guitar solo.
6:05: Flight of the Conchords. The highlight of the festival and the best way to end the weekend was to see even a brief 45-minute set of Flight of the Conchords. We were treated to "Albi, the Racist Dragon," "Business Time," "Foux du Fafa," "Mutha'uckas," "Robots," "Boom," and "the Most Beautiful Girl in the Room," as well as a new one about angels doing it in the clouds (prefaced by "You all know we are Christians. Yeah, we love Jesus"). At one point Jemaine told us how many blowjobs he'd gotten backstage ("49") and Bret pointed out how they must be a real band since they are getting real band things, like water bottles on stage (and blowjobs backstage). Ah, the boys are just as funny and unassuming as they are on television.
After Flight we decided to head home and skip out on the Flaming Lips, which I was ok with. Their festival shows end up being 75% schtick (Wayne Coyne rolling in a huge plastic ball across the audience), 25% music. This works fine when they headline their own show and have all the time in the world, but for 45 minutes to an hour of festival time, it gets a bit old when you only hear 3 songs. Apparently after viewing pics of their show on Pitchfork, I missed lots of naked women on stage. OH DARN.