Road trip playlist and the must-see non-headlining artists performing at Sasquatch 2017
R&B singer Frank Ocean won’t perform at this year’s Sasquatch! music festival, but the lineup still features an impressive assortment of indie and alternative rock bands who will provide great tunes for what appears to be a beautiful weekend in the Gorge.
Headliners LCD Soundsystem, 21 pilots and Chance the Rapper are known for their captivating live performances and will certainly put on a good show. But people don’t just go to festivals for the headliners. One of the best parts about attending a music festival like Sasquatch! is discovering new music. For those headed to the famous Gorge Amphitheater and looking to get a headstart on their journey of music discovery, here’s the Emerald’s preview of must-see artists performing at Sasquatch! this weekend and a Spotify playlist featuring songs from all the bands too.
Friday, May 26
There won’t be a great deal of hip-hop-inspired artists performing at Sasquatch! Luckily, Haitian-Canadian DJ Kaytranada will attempt to fill that void with grooving beats and choppy samples from his debut album, “99.9%.” Don’t let Kaytranada’s title as a “DJ” lead you to believe that he’s an EDM artist — because he’s not. Instead, let the former Soundcloud standout take you on a spiritual journey through his dynamic, hypnotizing music. Don’t be surprised if Chance the Rapper interrupts Kaytranada’s set with a performance of the duo’s recently released collaboration, “They Say.”
Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires
Whether you enjoy listening to Charles Bradley’s music or not, you have to admit that he has the most interesting life story of any of the artists performing this weekend. From living in poverty in his youth to hitchhiking across the continent to working as diner chef to almost dying from an allergic reaction to penicillin, Bradley has done pretty much everything imaginable throughout his nearly 50-year career. His live performances — inspired by Bradley’s idol, James Brown — give a spark of old-school funk and soul music. The 68-year-old’s vibrant personality will make for an energetic and interactive performance.
Saturday, May 27
MGMT is a must-see act, but don’t fret if you don’t catch their set this weekend; you’ll most likely have another opportunity to see the band at Sasquatch! soon. Having played the music festival numerous times in the past, American rock group MGMT are Sasquatch! veterans at this point. Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden founded the electronic-psychedelic group during their time spent at Wesleyan University in the early 2000s. Since then, MGMT have released four studio albums and added a mirage of additional band members that accompany their live performances.
Comprised of former University of Michigan students, Vulfpeck is known for their strong rhythm section and intricate instrumental arrangements that make up their fun, energetic sound. Reminiscent of 1960s funk collectives, Vulfpeck’s music features a quick pace, creative harmonies from the keys and unforgettable bass lines that provide a solid foundation. Also known for their memorable festival performances, Vulfpeck is sure to provide the Gorge with a fantastic set on Saturday night.
Electronic Dance Music duo Big Gigantic are quite different than most other EDM artists. Their live performances incorporate an over-the-top light show, heavy bass drops and the constant pounding of synths. But the way Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken of Big Gigantic achieve these feats is rare: Along with the traditional DJ turntables, the Colorado-based group uses a full acoustic drum kit and an alto saxophone, giving a new life to their live performances. Their performing style and the fact they’re one of the only EDM artists playing at Sasquatch! make them a must-see act.
Indie-rock group Klangstof became the first Dutch band to perform at Coachella when they appear on the festivals GOBI stage earlier this year. The group — led by lead singer and founder Koen Van de Wardt — started to gain mainstream success after releasing its 2016 debut record, “Close Eyes to Exit.” Wardt’s ability to blend simple, melodic guitar riffs with a symphony of keyboards and synths makes for an overwhelming sound that is sure to provide a memorable performance.
Sunday, May 28
Car Seat Headrest
Residing in the heart of the Northwest, Seattle-based trio Car Seat Headrest broke onto the popular indie-rock scene with their 2016 introspective record “Teens of Denial.” The band’s breakthrough release is much in thanks to its lead singer and architect, Will Toledo. Toledo’s self-depicting lyrical imagery on the record hit home amongst introverts and loners across the world. Car Seat Headrest’s live performances capture Toledo’s modesty and humility, providing a casual space where fans can enjoy the group’s catchy hooks and lyrical ingenuity. Plus, drummer Andrew Katz graduated from the University of Oregon in 2012.
There are many ways to describe Chicano Batman’s music. Some characterize it as alternative indie-rock with 70’s soul and 60’s psych influence; others say it’s fast-paced Latin tropical-rock with Motown influence. But it might be easier to just describe Chicano Batman’s music as really good. The four-piece Los Angeles-based group uses their variety of influences to achieve a shockingly distinct sound in a profession that is becoming increasingly more cookie cutter by the minute. The band — known for wearing formal attire during their performances — will be a perfect act to wake up to on the sometimes tiring third day of a festival.
Follow Zach on Twitter and check back for our daily Sasquatch! recaps this weekend.
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