By Steven Graham
In 2014, the Sasquatch! Music Festival took on the ambitious endeavor of adding a second weekend on the Fourth of July with a completely different lineup from the tradition of Memorial Day weekend. This was a big move to up the ante in the music festival arms race where a festival like Coachella down in Indio, California, has two weekends with the exact same lineup.
While the good folks at Sasquatch! put together a pair of lineups that really seemed like they should have sold out easily, the second weekend of the festival just didn’t translate to the Sasquatch! faithful and poor ticket sales forced its cancellation.
Even though the Memorial Day festival dates sold out it still kind of felt like Sasquatch! had something to prove this year. Having been to every year of this festival other than the very first, I have seen up years and down. Some years are just going to be better than others at any festival. The 2014 Sasquatch! Music Festival was most certainly a high point in the history of shows at the Gorge, let alone Sasquatch!
From the incredible headliners to the perfect mix of local artists everything about this festival felt like it was exactly how it needed to be.
Day one set the tone for the whole weekend. It started with Everett’s own Mary Lambert delivering a gorgeous set on the main stage to a sizable crowd that was more than ready to get their festival started. Seattle “tree punk” rockers Kithkin made the most of their trip to Sasquatch! while crushing an early set on the Narwhal stage that could best be described as primal.
That was sort of the feeling of the festival. It didn’t matter if you were seeing a world famous band like Queens of The Stone Age on the main stage or a Seattle band (of which there were many) like Shelby Earl on one of the smaller stages. It was all excellent.
The highlight of the weekend was easily Outkast. It was the performance most people probably never thought they would get to see. It was hard to understand what was about to happen as the stage was being prepped for the Atlanta hip hop duo. They opened with their hit “Bombs Over Baghdad” and never slowed down from there. Even as they were performing it didn’t feel like it was actually happening. It was so good it couldn’t be real. It was set packed with hits. Every couple of songs you could feel the crowd erupt in unison as if to say “oh yeah, they do that song too!”
From “Rosa Parks” to “The Way You Move” to Andre 3000’s hit “Hey Ya,” the hits just didn’t stop. It was as legendary a performance that Sasquatch! has ever seen and won’t likely be forgotten anytime soon by those in attendance.
There are more highlights from the 2014 Sasquatch! Music Festival than can be listed. A soul cleansing dance session with French electro pop band Yelle, Seattle’s The Grizzled Mighty and Fly Moon Royalty each performing with dancers that brought plenty of sexy to the stage, Wasilla/Portland rock band Portugal. The Man playing an incredible set in front of the largest crowd the Bigfoot Stage saw all weekend, and South Africa’s party starters Die Antwoord leaving most of the crowd exhausted and pretty sure that they just saw aliens performing on stage. That last part is only kind of a joke. Those two can’t be of this world.
The lineup was so strong this year that it was a Sasquatch! of hard decisions, incredible music and great memories. I am proud to say that after some disappointment and adversity surrounding the cancellation of the additional weekend, my favorite major music festival came out the other end looking better than ever and all I can do now is wonder what Sasquatch! is going to do next year.