Word & photos by Tiki CoferMusically, this might've been one of the best Sasquatch's I've ever been to. Sasquatch has always been a festival that the undercard doesn't turn as many heads. At other major festivals you're likely to know the acts from top to bottom. At this one you're forced to discover new music, and it might be one of the biggest reasons I love Sasquatch. I've discovered so many good acts and really expanded my horizon musically. I had artists I was very excited to see, and others I went just to check out on friend's recommendations. All in all, there was amazing music played that week, and here are the best acts (in my opinion).
My top 3 acts of Sasquatch Festival:
1. Sylvan Esso My interest in this group started from watching their NPR tiny desk concert. Their banging beats, soothing vocals, and overall weirdness attracted me to their sound. On stage in front of thousands they're no different than in a room of a handful of people. Unique killer dance moves, and their ability to interact with the crowd was the most free flowing I saw all weekend. 2. Goldlink I'm a huge fan of Soulection, so Goldlink was a must see show. The combination of his unique flow paired with futuristic beats really came alive. The beats are danceable and watching Goldlink really get into his set makes you want to go even harder. With only one project out he's become very comfortable rocking any type of crowd. By the time he played 'Wassup' the crowd was rocking. The only thing was that his time intersected with Action Bronson. After Goldlink's set we made our way to Action Bronson and just couldn't get into the vibe after Goldlink's hype set that had bigger beats and crazier flows. 3. Kiesza This was the best surprise act for me. I knew this girl was a bad-ass just by seeing her music videos (check out Hideaway). She really is getting after it and doing her own thing. Her performance was just that. Kiesza's choreography on top of her singing her heart out was amazing. She hit every note and every mark. The whole front row of the dance tent was all smiles, even kids waiting for Odesza's set later that night were in awe of her stage presence.
Honorable mentions: These acts caught me by surprise, they were earlier in the day so not too many people knew of them, but they rocked their set.. Their stage presence really propelled them to the top of the festival for me, and these bands will have a huge mark moving forward.
St Paul & The Broken Bones I wish I knew about these guys going into the festival. Basically they've had their debut album out for a year and it's one of the best soul albums I've ever heard. Go listen to them, watch their live videos online, and catch them live before they become huge. Phox The most human band I saw that week. They're all such awesome people, and their lead singer was swigging from a flask during their performance. Even citing pokemon and at one point saying 'fuck my face'. Her voice control is out of this world, and with them being a fairly new band, they have nowhere to go but up. Worst Act: Kendrick Lamar. This might be a surprise to a lot of people, but damn. How are you gonna be the king of hip-hop and ask for validation from the crowd every song? The left side, middle, and right side noise competition gets old really fast, and Kendrick did this his ENTIRE set. Not only that but he ran with the chorus of m.A.A.d city for at least 30 minutes. With a live band that instrumental doesn't sound interesting at all and having it on loop on the main stage as a closeout act is not the business. How can you drop an album that most people considered a 'classic' and not even play 1 song off of it. Not 'i' or even 'King Kunta'? You're the last person to grace the main stage after a festival of everyone playing the show of their life, and all you have done is ask the crowd which side is the loudest for an hour and a half. Your visuals are on point, the crowd is there to have a good time, and you didn't deliver. I hope other festivals this season with Kendrick Lamar as a headliner get a better show.