Sound Check decided to change it up last weekend and rather than roll super deep (which we always do, oftentimes laden with silver medallions), we split up - one faction stayed in Bend to monitor the Les Schwab Amphitheater activities while the other headed northward to the Sasquatch! Festival.So here's how things went at Sasquatch! We arrived on Saturday morning to find the campgrounds were full of crazy Canadians on crazy juice, but we managed to settle down on a quaint piece of grass and then make our way down in time to see Mumford and Sons, then the delightfully incredible Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Then it was Broken Social Scene and Miike Snow, the Hold Steady, topped off by dancing with Vampire Weekend and general mayhem provided by My Morning Jacket. And that was just Saturday.
Plenty of things happened Sunday that brought a smile to the neon-painted faces of Sasquatch's mostly young fans, but one bears mentioning: LCD Soundsytem. James Murphy and crew somehow got 20,000 individuals moving in tandem during their hour-long, still-daylight set. We saw Public Enemy and an apparently drunken Pavement and The Tallest Man on Earth and Avi Buffalo and even Massive Attack, but it was LCD Soundsytem that took the cake - and then ate it.
On Memorial Day, we souled out with The Heavy and Mayer Hawthorne, and rocked with Dr. Dog and Drive-By Truckers before settling in for - She & Him at which point we transition to Sound Check's team B, who were here in Bend at the LSA and hardly as pumped about She & Him as their Sasquatch! counterparts. On Sunday, it rained, as is weather's wont here on Memorial Day weekend, and that didn't go well with She & Him's sunshine-friendly numbers, but they obliged a fawning crowd of hipsters with a steady set of warm rain-soaked pop.
But right on cue, the rain relented for Band of Horses, who took the stage for what has to go down as one of the most memorable sets in Les Schwab history that opened with the band's guitar-drenched "First Song" from their breakout album Everything All The Time and culminated with front man Ben Bridwell crooning the chorus to the aching ballad "Monsters" as an impromptu and somewhat mysterious fireworks display lit up the eastern night sky. But the highlight may just have been a defiant, and fabulously bearded, Bridwell insisting on a final song after the 10 p.m curfew, even as the amphitheater staff tried to coax the band offstage - again. Instead they ripped through a face-melting cover of Yo La Tengo's "Sugarcube" that culminated in a 30-second sonic explosion that is still reverberating somewhere up the Deschutes river canyon.