Bob Boilen/NPR Music
Sleigh Bells at Sasquatch 2011.
Bob Boilen/NPR Music
This is simple: Sleigh Bells killed it at Sasquatch, and here's proof. Check out the eight Marshall cabinets: "Smoke" poured out of them when the set started. Incredible.
This was NPR Music's first time at this four-day festival. Listen to concerts from
Bob Mould, Dan Mangan, Death Cab For Cutie, Death From Above 1979, Foo Fighters, Iron And Wine, k-os, Local Natives, Mariachi El Bronx, Robyn, Rebecca Gates, Sharon Van Etten, The Antlers, The Head And The Heart, The Radio Dept., The Thermals, Washed Out, Wolf Parade, Wye Oak, Archers Of Loaf, Basia Bulat, Das Racist, Flogging Molly, Gayngs, Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips, Typhoon, Black Joe Lewis, Black Mountain, City And Colour, Deerhunter, Guided By Voices, Major Lazer, Noah And The Whale, Rodrigo y Gabriela, S. Carey, Sharon Jones, The Decemberists, The Globes, Twin Shadow, Wavves and Wilco.
Beyond the blistering concert by Sleigh Bells, my favorite new discoveries include Other Lives, a band from Stillwater, Okla.
The band with the best sense of humor, Mariachi El Bronx, dressed in full Mariachi garb — and also played a larger stage a few hours later in a punk configuration called The Bronx.
A few bands I'd like to spend more time with include Washed Out, the electronic music from Georgia-based Ernest Greene, who performed as part of a four-piece band at Sasquatch.
A fascinating duo from Portland was Talkdemonic. Just processed viola and drums made for dreamy listening at the Gorge.
Crowd favorites included Das Racist, which included a brass section and the audience wearing Pizza Hut boxes for hats (in honor of the band's Pizza Hut and Taco Bell song).
The Head and the Heart already had a big fan base, but won over many new fans I talked with.
And a huge favorite was Chromeo, a band that makes the sort of music that I had hoped would never return: synth-poppy, later-period Hall and Oates-style cheesy dance music. One of the few moments at Sasquatch that I felt on the wrong side of the Gorge, though I might have been there all by myself.