Headliner Kendrick Lamar basically body-slammed the Sasquatch Music Festival this past Memorial Day weekend, in the best possible way, rapping hard in eastern Washington’s beautiful Columbia River Gorge. He looked great in a Canadian tuxedo and rocked a crowd the size of a small city.
The setlist was hit after heavy hit from the Compton, CA, emcee extraordinaire. But we’re beefing over here because he didn’t perform “Complexion,” our favorite track off his 2015 opus To Pimp a Butterfly.
Read about “Complexion,” which features the rapper Rapsody and pianist Robert Glasper, in our interview with Glasper.
Seattle hip-hop visionary and Men’s Shop Daily guest editor Thig Nat (short for “Natural”) returns with field-tested tips on how to pack for outdoor music festivals—a pertinent summertime quandary, especially for a fest that takes you from sweating in the crowd (or onstage, as the case may be) to overnight camping amidst cool winds coming off a 4,000-foot canyon.
Catch up on Thig’s previous posts (Sneaker Project | Spring Classics) and keep reading for his thoughts on getting organized, staying warm, and keeping it simple.
Looking at the official poster for last weekend’s Sasquatch (we’re digging the Seattle Sonics color motif, by the way; click to enlarge), it would appear the lineup just keeps getting better each year. At this point, the Bigfoot-themed music festival—located a stone’s throw from our Seattle HQ at the picturesque Gorge Amphitheatre—is giving better-known fests like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Austin City Limits a run for their money.
Our video-producer extraordinaire, Angela Sumner, was there camping out, soaking up the gorgeous scenery (above), and stage-hopping like crazy. Below, she offers insights on three of her favorite Sasquatch acts—from up-and-coming local heroes to over-played (but still impressive, apparently) folk-rock juggernauts:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzQa7eIoMgU Robert DeLong. “He was like a one-man band with a lot of soul. He would start with an electronic beat, and then all of the sudden jump on a drum kit and start wailing. You know how when jazz musicians are really feeling it, they might get down and kind of talk to the piano key? He was like that on drums, like whispering sweet nothings to his high-hat. Very genuine, expressive and super talented with rhythm and percussion.” [More on Robert DeLong]
Brothers From Another. “They’re two kids from here in Seattle, just out of high school, who seem to love writing about their experiences, being on stage, and are really relatable. Their songs make you want to be in your car, cruising University Ave on a hot summer night blasting music with the windows down. I saw them open for [notable Seattle hip-hop group] Blue Scholars a few months ago.” [More on Brothers From Another]
Mumford & Sons. “OK, I know they’re really mainstream, but—they’re mainstream for a reason. They straight-up killed it on every song. When you watch them live, you’re captivated. There’s probably a hundred million bands in Nashville that do what they do, but they just have an ‘it’ factor. They played on the main stage, so their set was even better with the beautiful Columbia Gorge sunset in the background.” [More on Mumford & Sons]
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A few more bands we would have loved to catch at Sasquatch last weekend (maybe next year…):
L: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. You won’t hear us say this about many bands, but their acoustic-y, folk-y album from a few years ago is even better than their more electrified work. R: Elvis Costello. The music makes him a legend; the thick-rimmed glasses and the way he can spazz out in a tailored suit make him a style icon.
L: Arctic Monkeys. Here’s a classic clip of the young Brits playing an in-studio set at world-renowned Seattle radio station KEXP. R: Divine Fits. The indie supergroup, led by the guy from Spoon, covering Bruce Springsteen. What’s not to like?
L: Vampire Weekend. Their third album came out this month. More on Vampire Weekend here. R: Dirty Projectors. One of their previous records was an attempt at reinterpreting a Black Flag album from memory. Enough said.
Heading out to catch more bands this summer?
Stock up on everything you need here: FESTIVAL STYLE
Summer’s upon us, and with it—thanks in part to our ahead-of-their-time, Hendrix-digging forefathers at Woodstock, above—a season rife with obscure music genres like chillwave, mathcore and grub-step (we made that last one up). In other words: Summer Music Festivals.
Depending on your fest of choice, the forecast is likely to include sweltering heat with a 97% chance of attractive people everywhere. Hence, you’ll need some warm-weather essentials like tank tops, T-shirts, shorts and sunglasses—and handsome ones at that, ideally with colors and patterns that stand out from the proverbial crowd. Click the images below to shop our Editor’s Picks for front-row festival style:
Now that you have your basic style needs covered, here are a few more things you’ll need before shipping out to Bonnaroo, Sasquatch or Lollapalooza:
1. A Plan. Starting at square one? Our friends at GQ put out a handy decision tree for finding the right fest for you a few years ago—which remains hilarious, and accurate, today. And, if you’re headed to this weekend’s festivities in Indio, California, you might want to pack Fuse’s mood-based cheat sheet.
2. A Camera. Because when you’re in the middle of a remote desert, your phone battery will probably deplete itself posthaste searching for a signal. And you never know when something like this might happen.
3. Protection. We mean sunscreen, of course. What’d you think?
4 & 5. A Lighter to Wave…and a Change of Clothes. Because if past music festivals are any indication, things could get epic—or messy—at any given moment: