Sasquatch! Ritzville, WA to Seattle

Ritzville Travel Blog

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This was the day we had been waiting for: Matt's birthday and SASQUATCH! Sasquatch! is a sweet music festival at the Gorge in George, Washington (yes, I know, I couldn't believe there is really a place called George Washington either). The Gorge is a huge outdoor ampitheather overlooking the Columbia river. The traffic is awful coming from Seattle and Portland, but from eastern Washington there was no traffic and we got to the Gorge right as the gates were opening.
Our day started out with Mix Master Mike (of Beastie Boys fame)'s set, which was really good. He DJ-ed for about half an hour or more without stopping at all! Maybe DJ-ed isn't the right word for what he did, but he was incredible. It was an excellent way to start the day. Next we saw Seattle-by-way-of-Eastern Africa (Ethiopia?) rapper Gabriel Teodros  on a smaller stage, and his set was really good. We ate a slushy, and went back to the main stage to see Ozomatli. Auni and Matt liked their set, but I really loved it. It was so great to hear songs about LA after being southern California deprived for ages. I went down to the pit alone and wound up next to a cute guy with dreads and was sadly chatted up by a drunken guy in a cowboy hat and no shirt.
Next we saw Mirah perform and while she was cute and I like her music on cd, she was overpowered by other bands playing. Not loud enough, we left to see Grizzly Bear. We saw bits of Neko Case, Citizen Cope, Electrelane, and the Long Winters (who were a poor substitute for M.I.A. who couldn't get her visa). While waiting in an impossibly long line for dinner (a gyro) I heard a good portion of Aqueduct's set. It was good and made standing in line a bit more enjoyable.
We went down to the pit for Manu Chao and the Radio Bemba Soundsystem. Sarah Silverman was Sasquatch's mainstage host, and by this time she was beyond wasted. She had to read Manu Chao's name off her hand and then tottered off stage not to be seen again for the rest of the night. But to digress: Manu Chao was so good and it was so much fun to be in the pit. People were smoking and dancing all around us, it was really crazy in a great way. Manu Chao himself is getting pretty old I figure, but he can still put on a great show. Next up was the Arcade Fire which was by far the best set I've ever seen. I was so blown away by their music. We had a great view of the stage, there was a light breeze blowing to keep us from being overheated, it was perfect. They played a ton of songs off Neon Bible and also played "Rebellion (Lies)" which is the song that got me into them in the first place! About 3/4 through the set we left the pit and went up to the top of the hill to finish watching. After the Arcade Fire finished their set, we waited about half an hour and finally Bjork came on. We only stayed for 2 songs, but those two songs were unbelievable. It's Bjork, for goodness sake! She had a choir of people in neon pod costumes, she was jumping around in something white (I really hope it wasn't another bird), there were flags, pyrotechnics, lasers, you name it. We left early so we wouldn't be stuck in traffic until dawn. Also, it was very cold at the top of the hill and I couldn't stop shivering. Still, I was sad to leave Bjork's show. All in all it was a great day and I wish I could go again next year but alas, I will probably be in Baltimore.
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photo by: llangberg