Thursday, June 12, 2008

SASQUATCH! (Beer! Bands! Boobs!)

I suppose it's about time I told you about my Sasquatch Music Festival experience. Let me see if I can distill it down.


Nichole arrives, we set off for the Gorge with nothing but goldfish crackers, whiskey, and a block of Comte cheese for sustenance. Nichole smokes in the goddamn car the whole goddamn trip. I patiently endure the freezing wind as we drive 80 mph with the windows down.

We reach the Gorge. The Fest doesn't start till tomorrow so we drive around looking for a place to camp. We run across a group of middle aged folks parked on the side of the road, and strike up a conversation. They tell us they just paid 60$ to camp at this nearby campground but it was "a little too wild" for them. They give us their camping pass.

We enter the campground. At first we think this is the Sasquatch overflow campsite, but this starts to seem unlikely, as we haven't met many backwards-hat wearing neckless linebackers in our lives who listen mainly to T-Pain but also enjoy a little Flaming Lips and Beirut. It quickly becomes apparent that something else is going on here. The campground is PACKED with frat-persons, the Top 40 hip hop is blaring from every vehicle, and you can barely see the grass through all the Bud Light cans. This is the kind of scene where--I poop you not--multiple black Escalades roll through the camp sites with three or four girls dancing on the roofs to the song "She Moves Her Body Like a Cyclone" on repeat, grinding on each other and occasionally--when the crowd roars for it like Coliseum spectators calling for death--whipping off their tops and giving everyone an eyefull of titilation. Nichole wants to dance, but the Dance Floor rejects her free-spirited dance moves and near-total lack of ass-grinding, so we ditch the club with a quickness, and hit the road again.


After ending up at the Sasquatch campground last night, here we are, ready to rock. Some friends arrive and join our campsite. They offer us a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs and Coors tallboys. And so it begins.

The first band we all really really want to see is the hit accordian-rock group, Beirut. This doesn't turn out quite as we planned however, as one of the girls in our group has been on a rotating diet of Coors, Tequila, Whiskey and Weed since 8:00 am. And so I find myself trudging stoically across the entire Gorge lawn with this young lady folded up in my arms, murmuring incoherently between occasional stomach spasms. Fabio makes this look so easy on all those romance novel covers.
Everything turns out ok, though. My friends and I listen to Beirut through the fence of the Medic Tent, while our girl enjoys a refreshing saline I.V, and pukes into a bucket.

Not to give the impression that the rest of us are models of sobriety. Despite the 12$ price tag for a can of Pabst, we manage to stay pretty well marinated throughout the day. By 7:00 pm I'm feeling inexplicably cranky and headachy. I laugh a little when I realize that I'm actually hungover, without even having gone to sleep yet. I didn't even know that could happen. Sasquatch is so educational!

(Matt Damer taking his medicine)


I don't remember anything that happened Sunday.

(Me, Lance, and Nichole)


It rained massively last night, and the zipper on my 20$ tent broke. I had to reattach the doorway by punching holes through it and "sewing" it together with duct-tape threads. By morning we're all feeling a little "done" with Sasquatch. But some of our most anticipated bands are playing today, so we stick it out. We visit the Comedy Tent. Some of the comics are hilarious. At one point this 30 something woman takes the stage, and I turn to Matt and say, quite sexistly, "She's not gonna be funny. Watch."
She's not funny. The entire tent listens in dead silence.

As fate would have it, possibly my two most desired-to-see bands are playing simultaneously. Battles, and Flight of the Conchords. I watch Battles in awe for about ten minutes then run over to the main stage to see FOTC. They are wonderful, and use the word "flip" and "flippin" alot.

FOTC is follwed by Mars Volta On Ten Pounds of Crack. Other than a brief moment of coherency when they play the riveting "Viscera Eyes", their show is an hour of total sonic and physical chaos. They throw mic stands into the crowd. The singer does a backflip off an amp and tosses his mic hundreds of feet into the air. The musicians play furiously, each one apparently playing a different song in a different key and time signature. If you made a "Shreds" video of this show, you wouldn't have to change the audio at all.

Finally, the grand finale, the Flaming Lips. Having seen them last time they played Sasquatch, I wasn't too surprised by the massive-scale theatrics, the exploding confetti, descending UFOs, and stage full of dancing Teletubbies. I was a little surprised by the looping background video of various topless women dancing, and even more surprised when the band invited the crowd to come up on stage and get naked, and they did. Now this may seem counterintuitive, but to be honest, after three days of sleeping next to and being surrounded by hundreds of insanely gorgeous women in the hot sweaty sun, watching ten or twenty beautiful girls frolic on stage completely nude was actually NOT what I needed. Hard times are upon us, my friends.

Finally it's over. I stab holes in my tent with the pair of sheet-metal shears I keep in my car, leave it on the lawn, and drive home. I finally get the shower I've been craving, and when I get out and dry off I think I weigh five pounds less. I have a music hangover. No more music! Get that shit away from me. For a while until I recover, it's gonna be nothing but traffic noise and atonal buzz for me. Oh wait, that's Mars Volta...



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