Sasquatch! Festival Part 1

As I was well aware, my travel companion would be crossing the border twice on the day of our departure. We had planned to hit the road at about 1pm on May 25th, but as Miss Krystal Nōne was landing in Bellingham, WA from Las Vegas, NV at 10:30am, things didn’t work out the way we planned.

Her flight was late upon arrival and as the weekend of Sasquatch is Memorial Day Long Weekend in the states, the trip back to Vancouver that should have taken no more than an hour and a half ended up taking more than twice the time.

We rescheduled and decided upon a new departure time of 3:30pm. When I was still waiting to be picked up at 4 o’clock, anxiety started to set in. I called Krystal, only to discover that she was fighting traffic on the Lions Gate Bridge. Finally, by a quarter to 5, we were on our way to the festival.

However, we again underestimated the traffic the long weekend produced. We didn’t get across the border for another 2 hours, but eventually we headed on our way. As stressed out as the two of us were about the timing, we had the absolute privilege of watching the sun set over the mountainous terrain of Washington. Once we neared our destination, the massive spotlights of the festival lit the way for the last 45 minutes of our drive.

We arrived at the festival just shy of midnight and the band, Pretty Lights, the final act of the first night, was just finishing up. We were greeted by the hoards of people making their way back to their campsites, mostly all adorned with glow sticks.

After talking to an array of people, we discovered that there was a suspenseful countdown to the electronic DJ’s performance.Video screens on either side of the stage displayed the numbers shrinking. As soon as the lights came up when the number reached zero and the first sound erupted through the speakers, the whole crowd began throwing glow sticks in the air. Throughout the entire performance, the sky remained a glow in a sea of “Pretty Lights.”

I have to say, that’s one performance I’m sorry to have missed.

On day 2 we got to see some great acts:

Local Vancouver band, “Said the Whale” drew a great crowd to the relatively small “Yetti Stage” at the Sasquatch Festival this afternoon. For a 1:20pm slot, it was surprising to see so many people as hyped as they were for the four males and one female that make up this group. Arguably their most famous song, “Camilo”, attracted crowd surfing and prompted an array of banter between the band and the audience.

They finished off their forty-five minute set with what they referred to as “a 20 second dance party”, encouraging some of the slightly lazier guests to get on their feet and move to the music.

This wonderfully versatile R&B band took on the Sasquatch Main Stage for a forty-five minute performance that began at 5:25pm. Front man, Danny Glover, is not only an amazing rapper, but a wonderful vocalist. I was extremely surprised to hear a man with such aggressive lyrics carry a tune so well. As soon as he and his band came on stage, thousands of bodies engulfed the Gorge. With beach toys being tossed about the standing crowd, Adele covers being whipped out by the band and half of the sitting population climbing to their feet, it was a truly enjoyable experience for everyone. Especially with the sun beginning its descent in the sky, directly above the stage.

Metric has been one of my favorite bands since I was fifteen years old, so I was extremely excited to see them on the main stage this evening. However, I must confess that I was a little disappointed. For the first 20 minutes or so, there seemed to be issues with the sound; and I know I’m not alone in saying I found the vocalist difficult to hear. The band was debuting a new album and had two massive screw ups as the vocalist began singing one song while the band played another. However, they managed to redeem themselves by chatting with the audience and gaining their applause. With a relaxed and comfortable energy, they brought thousands of people to their feet by playing old well-known favorites. Although they didn’t quite live up to my expectations, they were still fantastic. I can never get tired of hearing those guys.

I would consider myself a fan of a large variety of music. Mind you, hip-hop, R&B and rap have never been at the top of my list of favorites. The artist, Sol, however drew not only myself towards his performance at The “Maine” Stage, but hundreds of others. He had spectacular banter with the crowd and gave everyone an instant feeling of familiarity with him; he had the entire crowd throw the peace sign in his direction and then towards each other. Mixing both his old music with his new, he had the entire audience moving as one. Standing above the hundreds of people in front of his small stage was astounding. I felt like I was watching a massive beating heart of extended hands… All moving together in perfect sync.

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