When I attended the Sasquatch! music festival at The Gorge Amphitheatre in central Washington in 2004, it was a relatively small, low-key, one-day gathering of mostly indie rock bands in a beautiful setting. (The Roots headlined my Sasquatch!, going on after the likes of The Postal Service, The New Pornographers, Cat Power, The Shins, The Decemberists, Sleater-Kinney, Built to Spill and a then-little-known The Black Keys.)
Nine years later, Sasquatch! is one of the biggest music festivals in the country, a four-day bacchanalia of bands from all corners of the aural globe. It’s a destination now, which means just the unveiling of the Sasquatch! lineup is, like, a big event, as evidenced by last night’s announcement party in Seattle, which featured performances by Cody ChesnuTT, Built to Spill and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
The Sasquatch! lineup also matters (or should matter) to music-loving Bendites, because our own Les Schwab Amphitheater stocks its Memorial Day weekend lineup each year with bands traveling to and from the big event up in Washington. Since 2006, the Schwab has hosted 13 concerts on that weekend, and 12 of them featured bands in the region for Sasquatch!, including Death Cab for Cutie (twice), Beck (twice), Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips, Ben Harper, Band of Horses and Tenacious D.
To put it a different way: Pay attention to the names at the top of the poster below. If we get Memorial Day weekend shows at Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend, the headliners will most likely come from about The Lumineers / Cake area of the poster or higher. (But not Azealia Banks, I don’t think.)
I’d like to speculate more; I love thinking and talking about this kind of stuff. So I may write another post or two on the topic. But if you want to leave a comment here, please do! Tell me who you’d like to see in Bend, and don’t feel tied to the amphitheater. Maybe you could envision an Earl Sweatshirt and Danny Brown show at Players? Ariel Pink and JJ Grey at the Northside? John Talabot on the decks at Seven? (These are jokes, btw.)
Anyway, the lineup … click a couple times and it should get a lot bigger and more readable: