Seven bands I’ll be paying more attention to thanks to Sasquatch!

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It’s hard to believe that almost two weeks have passed since the wonderful weekend at the Gorge Amphitheatre that was Sasquatch! 2010. We’re close to the beginning of the end of our Sasquatch! 2010 coverage here on Ear Candy (check it all out over here) and before things are all wrapped up some time next week I wanted to chime in with a few of the notable artists that made big impressions on me, and others, at the festival. Since the festival is all about musical discoveries, here’s a list of seven artists I plan to spend more time with in the coming months thanks to my experience at Sasquatch! 2010.

The Heavy: This UK  group got added to Sasquatch! late and they sort of got screwed by having a noon time slot on Monday. The main stage crowd was sparse for their performance but those who were there witnessed one of the most electrifying sets of Sasquatch! The band’s dirty R&B garage rock was spiked with horns and featured an amazingly energetic and passionate frontman in Kelvin Swaby. It was impossible not to shake your booty in a dancetacular frenzy to The Heavy’s highly polished modern take on retro rock. Catch them live when they come to the Showbox at the Market June 21.

The National: I missed most of their set at Sasquatch! a few years back and I had to miss most of their set this year because they were playing opposite America’s greatest festival band, The Hold Steady. I heard some really great things about the entire set by The National so I plan to give The Boxer a good listen in the coming weeks and I also plan to check out High Violet. There has to be a reason why everyone seems to like these guys, right?

Shabazz Palaces: Unfortunately I missed every second of the set by Seattle’s most mysterious and hyped hip hop acts because I was busy being herded into the gates of the Gorge like cattle along with thousands of my new friends. I did finally purchase their two excellent EPs from last year and I did see their live debut back in January, so I feel like I have had the Shabazz Palaces experience, but it is an experience I want more of which is why I’m super pumped to see them at Capitol Hill Block Party next month.

Dr. Dog: Music festival fatigue had set in by the time Dr. Dog took the stage on Monday which meant I was too exhausted and  I wasn’t in the right mindset to fully appreciate their performance. I did stick around for a few songs and I liked what I was hearing but since I knew I wouldn’t exactly enjoy their set I decided to head to media area and rest my barking dogs while Dr. Dog. played the rest of their set. I’m kicking myself for missing them and I plan to give them a proper fair shot the next time they are in town.

Local Natives: File this one under Never Doubt My Friends At Sound On The Sound. That’s right, the SotS gang were right once again. They have been heavily pimping Local Natives for quite a while and I was extremely impressed by their Sasquatch! set. I am actually listening to their album Gorilla Manor right now and it is as good as I  expected given the quality of their live set. It is an album that will be in heavy rotation over at Ear Candy HQ this summer.

Tame Impala: I typically don’t pay much attention to bands that get a lot of attention from Pitchfork. It’s my way of rebelling as a music journalist I suppose. So when I saw Tame Impala added to Sasquatch! at the last minute to replace Yes Gigantes and then found out their latest album got a glowing review form The Fork I had no intention of checking out their Monday afternoon set. But after walking out of comedian Hannibal Buress’ set it was impossible not to be drawn in by the psychedelic classic rock jams blaring from  the Bigfoot stage. I immediately checked my schedule to see who was making such glorious noise. Who was it? It was Tame Impala. Maybe Pitchfork is okay after all.

Arcade Fire: Yes, I know Arcade Fire weren’t actually at Sasquatch! but they were there in spirit when The Seattle Rock Orchestra played a set of Arcade Fire covers. Kaylee Cole, Whitney Flynn and Josiah Johnson sang the songs with such spirit and joy it made the time I spent watching their set some of my happiest moments at the festival. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t pay too much attention to P4K favorites and I especially don’t dig hyperbole-driven music journalism (ahem Rolling Stone, which labeled Arcade Fire “Springsteen’s and U2’s rightful heirs.”), so Arcade Fire is far from one of my favorite bands. I’ve seen them live twice and they put on great shows, but I’m not a huge fan. However, after watching the Seattle Rock Orchestra’s set it made me revisit my copy of Neon Bible. Thanks Seattle Rock Orchestra.

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Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 13 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Crosscut.com and others and was the founder and former editor of the defunct music site Ear Candy.