When asked to choose my favorite moments of Sasquatch 2011 I draw a blank, there were too many. Too many sets I loved, too many moments of pure glee- so instead I decided to give away a list of Hannah Angst certified Sasquatch Awards:
Robyn: Seriously, that sound check was so long that it was almost a surprise when she began performing. Granted, when she did arrive onstage, she managed to make me forget that I had waited almost 45 minutes for her, and she ate a banana in a really angry/sexual way. As promised, the fit I had when she played “Dancing on my Own” looked epileptic. People were probably worried.
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The Antlers playing “No Widows”: I want this song to impregnate me- and hearing it live, coming out of Peter Silberman’s mouth and somehow sounding just as gorgeous and even more sincere than the album was, for lack of a better word, orgasmic.
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Reggie Watts Eating Frosting off Wayne Coyne’s Fingers: Since it was the tenth birthday of Sasquatch, Ace of Cakes made a giant cake for the festival and had a bunch of guests out to sing “Happy Birthday”. Well, Wayne Coyne threw that cake into the crowd, then Reggie Watts decided lick up the frosting. I know this happened because when I ran into Reggie Watts and asked, he remembered doing it.
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Pepper Rabbit: I saw these guys open up for The Submarines a while back and thought they were great, but I had no recollection of them being this good. They played an early afternoon set on Saturday, and the crowd was much bigger than anyone anticipated. Their adorable nervousness allowed them to feed off the crowd’s buzz and put on a spectacular and memorable show.
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Foster the People: Holy balls! I knew they were generating a lot of buzz, and listening to their album Torches on the way to the festival definitely got me excited to see them, but no one was expecting the kind of crowd they garnered. It was epically big for a band playing on the smallest stage. They seemed awe struck at the size and energy of the crowd, and channeled that awe into an amazing and entertaining set.
Runner Up: Reggie Watts
Sure, his unique brand of comedy, music and beat boxing loops deserved a giant audience, but the small Banana Shack was packed to the gills for Watts’ afternoon set. I like to think it was because they were all giant Comedy Death Ray Radio fans.
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Hari Kondabolu: He added the white girls wearing feather headdresses (a really annoying trend that was especially popular at Sasquatch) to his list of people that will die in the coming revolution. He didn’t stop there either, making sure to get in some good jabs at the assholes that were littering during the festival. Best of all, it was hilarious and not at all didactic.
Me seeing a Decembrists acoustic set instead of White Denim: I got into the Redlaser acoustic tent for what I thought was going to be a great Decembrists acoustic set. What I got was a 45 minute sound check and three songs from a band that did not look like they wanted to be there. What I missed was a set from a lauded new band that apparently blew everyone away (except me.)
Guided by Voices: Robert Pollard is not a man who has aged very well. He is, however, a man who still does really strained high kicks, has a cooler full of beer and white wine with him onstage and has stage hands light his cigarettes.
!!!: I’m assuming this was as much fun for people in the crowd as it was in the photo pit. When lead singer Nic Offer told the security not to kick the photographers out after three songs because he would have some surprises for us, I shook with glee. Spoiler: I was not taking pictures during “Must Be the Moon,” I was dancing.
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Beach House: This is not a slight to the great set that Beach House played. It was gorgeous, airy and a perfect soundtrack to take in the beautiful scenery and beautiful day. The simple, overwhelming wonderfulness of the whole thing, coupled with the liter and a half of box wine, carried me off to sleep.
Wilco opening up their set with “Ashes of the American Flags”: The giant storm cloud that was threatening to ruin my most anticipated set of the weekend receded, and my favorite band ever came out to sing my favorite song ever. It was the perfect ending to a fantastic weekend. Wilco’s set, and specifically this song, was pure magic.
Thanks, Sasquatch. That was really, really fun.