It’s that magical time of the year, when the Sasquatch! Music Festival line-up is revealed, giving us music junkies approximately 112 days to obsessively research each and every one of the 114 bands and comedians who will be there. But hey, who’s counting?
In past years Sasquatch has had some great line-ups, but has missed out on some of the bigger artists that play festivals such as Coachella and Bonnaroo. And this is mainly because Sasquatch tries really hard to maintain its indie/ alternative rock roots. But this year festival organizers have proven they can stick to their roots and still compete with the big boys.
Two of the biggest acts revealed last night were Jack White and Beck. White recently announced that his debut solo album, Blunderbuss, will drop in April, so it makes sense that he would be touring in the spring. But I would never in a million years imagine him playing at the Gorge. I was also very excited to see Beck in the line-up, but surprised considering he hasn’t released anything since his 2008 album, Modern Guilt. Regardless, both of these artists were huge gets for Sasquatch, and last I checked neither is playing Coachella.
The line-up will also feature big names such as Bon Iver, who is fresh off a few Grammy nominations for their self-titled sophomore album. Sasquatch has also grabbed a couple of DJs and techno artists to satisfy the needs of those who love to dance and rave into the night. Both Pretty Lights and Girl Talk have played Sasquatch recently; however this will be their first times playing on the main stage.
Sasquatch also picked up some great comedic acts. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein will bring a little slice of Portlandia to the Gorge, performing songs and sketches from their show. Brownstein will have a busy weekend as she will also perform with her punk band, Wild Flag. I was also very surprised to see Tenacious D on the line-up, but got excited thinking of the possibility of a Jack White and Jack Black duet. Sasquatch will also feature comedian Nick Kroll, whom some of you may know as Ruxin from the popular TV show The League.
While I was very happy with the Sasquatch line-up, there were a couple of names I was surprised to see left of the list. For the second year in a row, Sasquatch has missed out on booking The Black Keys. But if you really have to see the blues rock duo from Ohio, their tour hits Portland and Seattle in early May. I was also surprised by the absence of Florence + the Machine considering the duo is confirmed for Coachella and will be touring to promote their latest album, Ceremonials. That being said, the line-up seems to be just fine without them.
The bottom line is that Sasquatch has a stacked line-up that even festivals like Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo will have a hard time competing with. It has a great set of headliners in Jack White, Beck, Bon Iver and Pretty Lights, and I didn’t even mention The Shins, The Roots, Feist, Metric and Explosions in the Sky are also booked to perform. According to the Chinese calendar, 2012 is the year of the Dragon. But after seeing the line-up for Memorial Day Weekend, 2012 may be remembered as the year of the Sasquatch.
Follow Mike at @MikeMunoz12