The Gorge Amphitheater sits on the crest of a massive canyon where the Columbia River rages below. Viewers tap their toes and sway their bodies to rock, hip-hop, trance, folk, electronic, moombahton, and everything in between. They revel in the music while absorbing the beauty of the venue and the endless positive energy of the crowds around him or her for four days.
Since the venue opened in 1985 it has been revered as not only one of the most beautiful and majestic concert locations in the United States, but across the world over. People from near and far come to bask in the impressive and inspiring talent showcased, and the awe-inspiring views.
With four stages and 130 artists, 2012 Sasquatch-goers witnessed incredible musical aptitude — rejoicing watching their favorites, and thrilled when exposed to those they hadn't heard before. Below are just a few of my personal favorites from the weekend.
If world beats had a baby with electronic music and heart-thumping base, Beats Antique would be the modern representation. This group from San Francisco absolutely makes it bump. With afro-drum beats combined with groovy electronic dance tunes, everyone in earshot was moving.
A house DJ and producer from L.A., Wolfgang Gartner harnessed all the energy and positivity at the Gorge and gave a great show Saturday night. Each consecutive song built the energy more culminating in one united dance party.
Rocker chick Annie Clark from Texas, now residing in New York, had members of the audience hooked on her sound. Channeling punk and instrumental influences, Clark and her band St. Vincent brought a new style and sound to the Gorge. At the end of the set, Clark threw herself into the crowd, full of emotion as she crowd-surfed the last notes.
Hands down the best performance of the festival came from Bon Iver. This indie folk rock band from Wisconsin with lead singer Justin Vernon presented a heartbreaking and beautiful hour and a half set. As the sun was setting, bathing the Gorge in a pink and yellow blanket, Bon Iver seized the crowd with such clear, versatile, and passionate vocals. The songs are full of emotion. All of those from the album For Emma, Forever Ago were produced in solitude after a devastating break-up and personal sickness on behalf of Justin Vernon. Bon Iver was on the tip of everyone’s tongues in the campsites for the rest of the weekend. More than anything the show was inspiring. Before playing an encore song, Vernon was full of emotion as he told the crowd to go wild, for we would never have this moment again.
About 10 minutes before Tenacious D was set to start on Monday night — the second to last act of the festival — I overheard someone say, “Yeah Tenacious D is rad, but I bet they won’t be that great. Maybe eight years ago.” This man couldn’t have been more wrong. Tenacious D, formed in the mid-1990s, with Kyle Glass and Jack Black, put on an impressive show. Not only could each be praised for their stage
presence that brought a dynamic feel and humor to the stage, these two are also extremely talented musicians. Crystal clear voices, intense guitar rips, and clever and humorous lyrics made Tenacious D one of the best shows of the weekend.
Santigold, Blind Pilot, Nobody Beats the Drum, Nero, The Roots, Poliça.
Let us know who your favorites were!
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Rebecca Gibson is a University of Oregon junior studying photography and journalism. Her career goals include writing, design, and multimedia production for magazine. Due to growing up in the beautiful mountain town of Bend, Oregon, Rebecca values staying active and healthy and the beauty in simple things. She is addicted to online shopping, the feeling after a great workout, traveling the world, and eating delicious food. Her role models include Audrey Hepburn and Lauren Conrad, and any other woman who can be classy and maintain a healthy dose of sarcasm at the same time. She is a lover of all things original, creative, chic, and fashionable. Visit her website!