By Liam Prost
May 27, 2016
GEORGE, WA — BeatRoute is live on location at Sasquatch! 2016. A late arrival and infrequent internet access has put us a tad behind schedule, but here are some of the highlights from the first day of the annual fest at the iconic Gorge in George, WA.
The distant sounds of Telekinesis soundtracked our arrival, and as we hastily set up our tents, Oh Wonder began to drown them out from the Sasquatch mainstage. Both sets were over by the time we made the trek to the site (a solid 20 minutes), thus, the first thing we caught was an already-in-progress Unknown Mortal Orchestra. The band played Commonwealth in YYC on Wednesday, and having made the same trip we did, they obviously fared better. It was a surprisingly energetic performance from an artist with a raw sensibility. Frontman Ruban Nielson bounced with a wireless microphone like a rapper and dove into the crowd like a rockstar.
At the smallest stage, Yeti, LANY had a small crowd of mostly young ladies impressively worked up. A commanding stage presence and some well-earned sing-alongs were only tempered by the instrument case with the words “LOVE SUCKS SOMETIMES” taped onto it haphazardly at the front of the stage.
In a sharp contrast to the other big hip-hop act of the day, Vince Staples clambered onto the stage with more vivacity than anyone else of the day. His set was well paced between high and low (although mostly high) energy moments, and his willingness to take his feet off the ground quickly inspired the audience to do the same. His was certainly the most polished performance of the day.
Alina Baraz’s set was plagued by feedback issues and a gratuitous amount of fog, but she played it off like it wasn’t even there. A professional singer in every possible sense, it was basically impossible to get a photo of her without her magnetic smile.
Wolf Alice ably followed LANY off the Yeti stage with a long and powerful performance, a refreshing helping of loud guitars to round out the day.
A$AP Rocky’s mainstage performance was the downer of the day with a well-lubricated crowd still chanting and cheering half an hour after the set was supposed to start. Eventually a couple other A$AP mob members took the stage, and we heard the Rocky did make an appearance, but by then BeatRoute, and most of the crowd had taken for greener pastures.
Over at Bigfoot stage, Yeasayer started slowly, coaxing out their sludge-pop from behind a dimly lit blue haze and some strange mannequins. It took a while to get into gear, but the audiences who stuck it out were handsomely rewarded with a swath of older material.
Disclosure closed the night at Sasquatch! stage with a dance-heavy set, plopping in tracks from their star-studded new record, although somewhat disappointingly sampling most of them. The performance was strong, and their use of live instrumentation gave us something to look at, but it didn’t feel quite like a mainstage headliner.
Chet Faker however, a fan favourite, closed out the night strongly, easily enchanting the tired squatchers heading back to their tents with his rugged good looks and smooth falsetto.A$AP Rocky, AB, Alberta, Alina Baraz, Chet Baker, LANY, Sasquatch 2016, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Wolf Alice, Yeasayer