Summer Music Fest

Who to See at Sasquatch! Festival 2015

Our selections for the must-see acts at the Gorge's Memorial Day weekend music blowout

By Seth Sommerfeld May 19, 2015

The Gorge in all its Sasquatch! beauty

If you're making the weekend trek to the Gorge for this year's Sasquatch! Music Festival, let us help you plan your days with these must-see artists. See you amongst the throngs.

Friday, May 22

Sleater-Kinney (11 at Sasquatch) - Anyone who caught one of Sleater-Kinney's three sold-out concerts at the Showbox in early May can testify the band remains as vital as ever. Whether ripping through old favorites from Dig Me Out or busting out songs from the new record No Cities to Love, Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein, and Janet Weiss essentially teach a master class in how to rock for any pupils willing to watch and learn.

Angel Olsen (8:45 at Yeti) - Singer-songwriter Angel Olsen's folk-tinted indie rock smolders with passion that's equal parts mournful and angsty. Feel the heat in each of her pointed lyrics as she plays songs from last year's marvel, Burn Your Fire for No Witness.

The New Pornographers (6:05 at Sasquatch) - The New Pornographers continued its winning ways with 2014's Brill Bruisers. With tunes that are sure to go down smooth, the Canadian indie rock collective serves as a great palate-setting appetizer for a weekend of music. Bonus: The Sasquatch main stage actually offers up enough room to comfortably fit all eight band members (which certainly isn't always the case).

Also check out: Thunderpussy (4 at Yeti) / Action Bronson (8:15 at Bigfoot)

Saturday, May 23

Father John Misty (10 at Bigfoot) - Sasqatuch! marks the first Washingtonian visit by the former Seattleite Father John Misty in support of his second album, I Love You, Honeybear. In contrast with the wild, rambling rock bravado of FJM's debut, Fear Fun, the new record is much more restrained, somber, and singularly focused on love. But regardless of the material, FJM always delivers immensely entertaining live shows with his cynical parody-of-a-rock-star magnetism and A-plus banter.

Perfume Genius (7:25 at el Chupacabra) - Since the release of his third record Too Bright, Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) has transformed from a shy stage performer to a veritable force of nature who struts across the stage with swagger and punctuates his soft, emotionally vulnerable coos with banshee screams. He's become a can't-miss artist no matter how many times you've seen him live.

Will Butler (1 at Sasquatch) - As the synth player for Arcade Fire, Will Butler stands on the side while his front man brother Win leads the show. But with his debut solo album Policy, Will takes the spotlight and delivers a record of catchy, danceable indie rock tunes that's actually far superior to Arcade Fire's most recent album, Reflektor.

Also check out: Benjamin Booker (2:05 at Sasquatch) / Cameron Esposito (4:20 at el Chupacabra) / The Decemberists (9 at Sasquatch) / Modest Mouse (11 at Sasquatch)

Sunday, May 24

St. Vincent (7:15 at Sasquatch) - When the reigning queen of alternative rock (with the Grammy to prove it) takes the stage, only a fool wouldn't be on hand to salute the throne. With finely honed songcraft, technically proficient guitar shredding, a dash of choreography, and just the right amount of oddball spirit, St. Vincent's live show always delivers.

Ron Funches (5:05 at el Chupacabra) - Sometimes change is good. Ron Funches was just added to the lineup on Monday, but it's a superwelcome last-minute addition. The comedian's delivery is soft and fuzzy as a stuffed animal, which only adds more hilarity to his his sly storytelling.

Said the Whale (1:20 at Bigfoot) - You won't find a Sasquatch! band with catchier power pop ditties than those of Vancouver's Said the Whale. The group's use of two distinctly different lead singers provides a yin of folkiness and a rocking yang that should soar at the Gorge.

Also check out: Emmett Montgomery (4 at el Chupacabra) / Jenny Lewis (5:50 at Sasquatch) / Ex Hex (9:15 at Yeti) / Madeon (11:30 at el Chupacabra)

Monday, May 25

Run the Jewels (10 at Bigfoot) - In the modern hip-hop landscape, there are plenty of bigger acts than Run the Jewels, but none are more important. The duo of El-P and Killer Mike explode on each track, spitting out anthems for those tired of being trampled by societal institutions of power. Join the movement.

Sharon Van Etten (6:15 at Bigfoot) - If Sharon Van Etten has written a bad song, we've yet to hear it. The singer-songwriter's fires out downtrodden hymns like arrows that always hit their mark and pierce the heart. Sometimes it's better to let the pain and anguish bleed out rather than keep it bottled up inside.

Nick Thune (4:20 at el Chupacabra) - While Nick Thune may have left Seattle for the warmth of Los Angeles, he's still very much a local at heart. Whether delivering sharp-witted one-liners while plucking his guitar strings or campaigning to throw out the first pitch for the Mariners, Thune mixes playfulness and intelligence as well as any working standup.

Also check out: Natalie Prass (1 at Yeti) / S (2 at Yeti) / Courtney Barnett (3:10 at Sasquatch) / Kendrick Lamar (11 at Sasquatch) / Hot Chip (Midnight at Bigfoot)

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