Ed. note: Friend of Treeswingers Jonathan Hall gives us a first-person account of what it’s like to get caught up in a haze of pandas, teeny boppers and Starfucker.
It’s the loaded Friday night of Noise Pop and I am going to a Starfucker show for the first time. Words and phrases like “insane,” “cross-dressed” and “floor-bouncing” buzz in my ear.
I arrive early and do my best to blend in with the adolescent crowd leftover from Blackbird Blackbird. Eventually I settle in, upfront and early, only to realize I’m the only one in the front row old enough to drink the whiskey and ice that’s in my hand. As I down my plastic cup of booze and wait for the teenage dance carnage to begin, a brief flashlight guides the four lanky members of a group now known as the more radio-friendly STRFKR into position.
Bumper to bumper. (Erin Flanagan/treeswingers)
Next to a trip to the dentist or paying a phone bill, waiting in line is definitely high up there on the list of most dreaded every day trials. The first day of the 2012 Sasquatch! Music Festival was filled with waiting in lines. We were stuck in traffic on the freeway. Then, we were waved into another line to get into the campsite. And there we waited. And waited. And waited.
The first hour in six miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic was tempered by a sneaky beer–or four. The second hour was marked by festival-goers dashing into the fields around us to relieve PBR-filled bladders. By the third hour, most had resigned themselves that they would be missing Poliça and Santigold, stranded in single-file purgatory.
As it turned out, lines were a recurring theme. Concert attendees stood in queues for ages to pick up their wristband. Rows upon rows of people lined up for the evening’s headliner, Pretty Lights. And come 8 in the morning on Saturday, thousands of weary campers stood in lines that snaked around the porta-potties.
Read our reviews from Friday below…
Posted in Festivals, Sasquatch!, Shows
Tagged explosions in the sky, girl talk, polica, pretty lights, santigold, sasquatch! music festival 2012, starfucker, strfckr, the gorge
Second day's the charm for better weather. (Kris Cheng/treeswingers)
Saturday was the opening day the fest should have had. The rare sunshine worked wonders on the crowd’s brain chemistry, making the teeming Polo Field buzz with friends hustling from one end of the park to the other, oft bemoaning their cell service carrier of choice (note: Verizon seems to be losing). Headlining acts on the two major stages made the Speedway Meadow trek bearable, and top to bottom the Lands End and Twin Peaks shows made Outside Lands Day Two a formidable one.
Organizers, apprehensive from the Big Boi Debacle Friday, breathed a sigh of relief as headliners performed their hearts out on the main stage. Arctic Monkeys did their British rock justice, The Black Keys were perfect in tandem and Muse brought out the heavy-duty lasers. Saturday was as equally sold out as Friday, but the sunshine and the weekend made the 60,000 people much more noticeable. With Sunday sold out too, the fest is looking at nearly doubling attendance since last year. And if The Decemberists and Arcade Fire do their jobs tonight, the fest can put another check in the win column.
A few recaps of Saturday’s highlights after the jump…
Take in the view. Temper Trap looks out over Outside Lands 2010. (swellcityguide.com)
One down, two music-packed days to go. There will be crowds. But really, why wait until the late afternoon to make it to the headliners and get bruised on all sides? Day One has left you with a good knowledge of the lay of the land, so take the bus (this is San Francisco man, go green) early in the day to catch the following five artists in a back-to-back marathon that will leave you pumped to catch the four big headliners at the end of the day. Also, milk that ticket for all you can. God knows you saved up for it.
Go Crazy! (Photos: Thomas Wing)
The planets aligned last night in San Francisco, as Starfucker had two excuses to show San Francisco a good time: Mardi Gras and the release of their second album, Reptilians.
With opening act Unknown Mortal Orchestra reinforcing the “unknown” part by canceling last minute, a Miles the DJ single -handedly had to distract the packed crowd at The Independent from their anticipation for the headliners.
Once Starfucker took the stage, there was excitement at every turn. The Portland foursome didn’t actually turn out to be a foursome, adding another guitarist for their Reptilians tour, and that was the smallest surprise of the night.
Starfucker aka STRFKR aka Pyramidd (Photo courtesy of myspace.com/strfckrmusic)
For a project that’s only four years old, Starfucker has undergone its fair share of transformations. First came its formation as a solo venture, the manifestation of some vivid dreampop vision of current lead singer Joshua Hodges, who soon became tired of the solitude of one and added Ryan Biorstad, Shawn Glassford and Keil Corcoran, to form the band’s current lineup. Then came the name changes: Starfucker to STRFKR to PYRAMID to Pyramidd and back to the present Starfucker/STRFKR combination. Add to that an on-stage predilection for cross-dressing and a willingness to experiment with sound samples, and you have a capricious, yet successful formula for a band that’s produced three full-length albums since it’s creation.