[Editor's note: MusicNerd's Sasquatch preview was so damn lovely, we had to give him a few words to wind down.]
The biggest (pleasant) surprise of the weekend came from Henry Clay People who were added to the line up last minute to fill in for Japandroids. Led by a charismatic brother dou, the People unleashed a boozy guitar attack that built to an anthemic rendition of Working Part Time, a Hold Steady-esque tale of twenty somethings: “We were working part time all the time/ to get experience for whatever was coming next...we got drunk and called in sick”
But it was Bon Iver's set that stole the festival. Crowd participation is one of the trickier aspects of a festival performance: As St. Vincent discovered, if you ask too much of hundreds of drunk people by say, trying to get them to clap in rhythm, you get sloppy, disappointing applause. But if you go to the other extreme and ask the crowd to scream if they are having a good time it's as calculated and condescending as an Axe Body spray ad.
But goddamn if Bon Iver didn't pull it off.
His hushed falsetto folk is perfect for a cool summer night; it seems timeless and worms its way into your heart. The crowd gleefully sang along, and they knew all the words. You could just picture all of them alone in their cars driving home from work, blasting For Emma Forever Ago, singing at the top of their lungs and pounding on the steering wheel.
This time they were all in the same place. It was awesome.