Sasquatch! Is Happening Now, A Festival Pre-Interview with Drake

Modest Mouse at Sasquatch! 2011
Sasquatch 2011
Photo: Drake Lelane (more)

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, so that can mean only one thing, it’s time for me to use the same joke again. That’s right folks, it’s time for Sasquatch! Just like last year, Sasquatch! Music Festival has been extended from Friday through Monday (May 25–28), and also just like last year (and the past few years), the festival sold out quickly. Once again, Sr. West Coast Festival Reporter Drake Lelane will be covering this year’s festivities “live” from the Gorge in George; he was kind enough to give us this festival pre-interview below.

What number Sasquatch is this for you? Can you name some of your favorite sets over the years and/or most pleasant surprises?

Drake: I believe this is will be my fifth (2005, 2009-12). Any list of my favorite sets over the years would have to include Glen Hansard‘s The Frames headlining the second stage in 2005, which turned out to be kind of a surprise as well, as they ended up stealing the festival from a lot of other great acts that year — which was the last year that the festival was only one day. The Wrens in 2009 was a great set as well, full of so much angst and energy from forty-somethings who’d been away for awhile. And since I’m a sucker for reunions and the nostalgia itch they scratch, the (much maligned) Pavement set from 2010 ranks up there for me, as well as last year’s Archers of Loaf set.

How did you feel about the festival adding a Friday night lineup?

Drake: Last year turned out to be fine, thanks to having Foo Fighters (who kicked some surprisingly major ass) and Death From Above 1979 anchoring the evening. This year it mostly feels pointless to me, as the bands I’d care to see all are playing before I can even get there. Last year I feared it would make the festival bloated, this year it pretty much is.

Eventhough I’ve never been there, I get the impression that the bands really love to play Sasquatch, even moreso than some of the other bigger summer festivals. Do you get that feeling too? If so, why do you think they feel that way?

Drake: Yes, bands do seem to love to play the festival and the number one reason would have to be the backdrop. Playing in front of Grand Canyon Jr. as the sun sets is a pretty spectacular feeling, I’d have to imagine.

In your opinion, what’s the most important thing to bring to Sasquatch?

Drake: Tie between a water bottle and some protein that easy to carry and eat. I bring nuts and cold fried chicken.

What advice would you give you to festival newbie?

Drake: Pick your spots in the schedule for rest, food and water and don’t skip it. Over three and a half days, it’s a marathon, so pace yourself. Many go out a little too hard on their first night and end up missing some great bands the next day in recovery.