Sasquatch 2014 – Day 1
All Photos by Allen Huang
A blustery wind blew over the Columbia River as the 2014 Sasquatch Festival opened its gates. This year’s festival promised to be the same behemoth of hedonism of Washington’s summers past, but not much else; festival planners quickly abandoned their “Coachella-or-Bust” model and threw out the idea of a second weekend. The lineup differences where massive though: July’s weekend featured New Order and Kraftwerk, projects arguably better experienced in a controlled amphitheater than the wilds of central Washington. Memorial day proper featured the festival act of 2014: Outkast. And that fact in itself moved mountains of tickets.
De La Soul once occupied that position, having burst back onto the festival circuit only about half a decade ago. But during their Friday afternoon performance they seemed veterans of playing the crowd up. Unconcerned that these fresh faces weren’t actually alive during De La Soul’s heyday, the trio coyly played up the audience, replete with hey’s and ho’s and when-I-say-you-say’s and I-can’t-hear-you’s. De La Soul in its current iteration represents the next evolution of hip hop: the party-starting festival veterans.
For a scant few of you, here is a summary of the rest of the article: Outkast Outkast Outkast. Outkast, Andre 3000 Outkast Outkast Outkast. Big Boi, Outkast, Outkast Outkast.
But seriously, Outkast was great! Coachella’s debatably disappointing performance had neither the pizazz nor polish of Sasquatch set. Featuring a video “cube” as the stage centerpiece, the legendary ATL duo performed for a capacity main stage audience, leaving more than a few devoted fans in tears.
Andre 3000 wore a silver, mop-top wig and a black vinyl jumpsuit with the phrase “Everything is temporary” plastered on the front and a giant “For Sale/Sold Out” price tag dangling from his waist. Big Boi was fresh as ever in his black shirt/pants combo, gold clock and white baseball cap.
The biggest concern going in was Andre’s obvious rustiness after almost a decade away from the Outkast stage. Last night this was mostly mitigated by the elaborate stage setting and Big Boi’s constant willingness to carry the load. I did laugh for a second when, as 3000 took the stage alone for his medley of solo material, he literally could not take the spotlight.
None of that really matter; the power of their catalog shines too brightly to be eclipsed by anything. From “Shrimp on the Barbie” to “Hey Ya,” from “B.o.B” to “International Players Anthem (I Choose You),” Andre, Big Boi, Sleepy Brown, and the rest of their squad hit every single note, spread their hits out for maximum excitement, and basked in the well-deserved love of each and every one of their fans.
- Chance the Rapper: Wrong stage (should’ve been mainstage)
- Foals: Does there exist positions in which professional copy editors write stage banter specifically for summer music festivals?
- Crystal Fighters: What is this, Rusted Root? (shout out to Zwickel)
- Iska Dhaaf: S’alright
- Raz Simone: Okay
- Classixx: Who brings skateboards to a dance party? Also I learned that I’m prejudiced against people who don’t smile.
- Rhett Miller: I love the Old 97’s but this was a bit of a snoozer. Kind of a brutal deal for him.
- Damien Jurado: Sure
- The Stepkids: Real bad
- The Physics: Rappin’ about beer
- Eugene Mirman: “I’m on Bob’s Burgers!” “WOOOOOOOOOOO”
- Die Antwoord: This was probably good but when you follow Outkast you are kind of screwed. Screechy as promised.
- It’s pronounced: “ass-quatch”