The lineup for the 2010 edition of the Sasquatch! Music Festival was announced Monday night during the first Saquatch! Launch Party at the Crocodile.
The show, which was free and featured Atlas Sound, Fresh Espresso and Surfer Blood, filled the Crocodile to capacity. But the music wasn'êt what attracted the crowd. The belle of the ball was the unveiling of the Saquatch! lineup which is light on big-name headliners but has lots of heavy hitters from the indie rock world that will likely help the festival sell out the Gorge for three days this Memorial Day Weekend.
Headliners include Kentucky jam band My Morning Jacket, reunited influential indie rockers Pavement, UK electro pioneers Massive Attack, the dance-friendly LCD Soundsystem and the heavily buzzed Vampire Weekend and MGMT. Supporting the headliners is a slew of must-see, much lesser-known indie acts. Artists like Freelance Whales, Midlake, Nurses, Local Natives, and The Mountain Goats are hardly household names but they do carry massive clout when it comes to indie cred.
Some quick observations about Sasquatch! 2010'ês lineup:
Past Sasquatch! festivals have used top-tier headliners such as Coldplay (2003), The Pixies (2005), Nine Inch Nails (2006 & 2009), the Flaming Lips (2008) and the Beastie Boys (2007) to draw people to the Gorge. This year the meat is in the middle of the lineup. Sasquatch! founder Adam Zacks, who selects every band that plays the festival, seems to have shifted the focus onto spotlighting next-big-thing bands. This was a previous specialty of Sasquatch!, and from the looks of things Zacks is bringing Sasquatch! back to its roots.
Local talent is noticeably missing. There are some bigger local names (Band of Horses, Minus the Bear and the Long Winters), but Sasquatch! previously has hosted lots of smaller, unsigned local groups and this focus on smaller Northwest musicians became a part of the festival's identity. Monday's big reveal was only the initial lineup announcement so I expect there to be more local bands added as it gets closer to the festival's date, as has happened in years past. It would be a big disappointment if this didn't happen.
The dance and comedy tent got some pretty impressive names, including top-tier DJs (Z-Trip, A-Track) and popular dance groups (Deadmau5, Simian Mobile Disco). The tent, dubbed the Rumpus Room, will host dance groups at night and comedy sets during the day. So far only a few comics have been named (The Office's Craig Robinson and The Daily Show's Rob Riggle). You can expect that to change as it gets closer to the festival date too.
There are some interesting choices for hip-hop acts. While Sasquatch! has never been heavy on hip-hop, the choices stand out. Legendary Public Enemy will be joined by albino rapper Brother Ali, mixtape master Wale and Billboard Top 10 guy Kid Cudi as the only non-local rappers to grace the Gorge. The locals are Fresh Espresso and Shabazz Palaces. The latter pretty much blew the minds of every local music critic (including mine) during their live debut at Nuemos last month. Of all the acts on the bill Kid Cudi is the most out of place given his Top 40 success. Shabazz Palaces is the most interesting local act on the bill given the mysterious nature and the popularity of the group.
So far this year's lineup keeps Sasquatch! in the conversation about must-attend destination fests and makes it well worth the price of admission, which is $170 for a three-day pass or $70 a day. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 20).
The complete lineup to date: My Morning Jacket/Massive Attack/Pavement/Ween/Vampire Weekend/MGMT/Band of Horses/The National/LCD Soundsystem/Tegan & Sara/Broken Social Scene/Passion Pit/Deadmau5/She & Him/Public Enemy/Nada Surf/The New Pornographers/The Hold Steady/The xx/Dirty Projectors/OK Go/Drive By Truckers/Kid Cudi/The Long Winters/Minus the Bear/The Mountain Goats/Quasi/Camera Obscura/Fruit Bats/Brother Ali/Midlake/Dr. Dog/Caribou/Simian Mobile Disco/City & Colour/No Age/The Temper Trap/Vetiver/Miike Snow/Portugal. The Man/Telekinesis/Mayer Hawthorne/Why?/Girls/Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros/Wale/The Lonely Forest/Japandroids/Boys Noize/Yacht/Freelance Whales/Laura Marling/Patrick Watson/Past Lives/Cymbals Eat Guitars/The Low Anthem/The Very Best/Phantogram/Neon Indian/Nurses/The Tallest Man on Earth/Fresh Espresso/Mumford & Sons/Jets Overhead/tUnE-YarDs/Shabazz Palaces/Fool'ês Gold/Morning Teleportation/Z-Trip/Dam-Funk/Hudson Mohawke/The Middle East/Local Natives/Avi Buffalo/Booka Shade/A-Trak/Yes Giantess/Craig Robinson/Rob Riggle/Garfunkel & Oates/Luke Burbank