Bad news for procrastinating music lovers: Sasquatch, the 800-pound Bigfoot of Northwest music festivals, is sold out. That means many of you will miss a don’t-miss event.
“It’s going to be really fun,” said Westin Glass, drummer for The Thermals, playing Saturday night. “Sasquatch is one of the most fun festivals to play. It’s always nice weather, it’s outdoors, and it’s a really nice venue.
“I lived in Seattle for five years before I joined The Thermals and moved here to Portland. When I lived in Seattle, I went every year.” (He played the festival in 2008 with Say Hi.)
There is good news: KEXP and NPR are broadcasting from Sasquatch, including a main-stage broadcast streaming live and selections from the other stages. They also will provide photos and archived webcasts and podcasts of many full concerts on their websites.
This year’s festival is four days; it begins tonight and continues through Monday with a host of big names. While the fest’s name might conjure images of leftover grunge, the bands playing range across many genres.
Tonight’s lineup begins with alternative icon Bob Mould, formerly of Husker Du, and ends with the Foo Fighters, connected directly to grunge through former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl.
Saturday includes multilingual big band Pink Martini as well as folk singer-songwriter Iron & Wine, aka Samuel Beam, who some say bears a striking resemblance to a Yeti. And it includes The Thermals, who coincidentally are playing on the Yeti stage, one of four stages for the four-day festival.
Like Sasquatch itself, The Thermals defy easy labeling. Their website jokes: “The Thermals have also made many fine contributions to rock journalism, including the terms no-fi, some-fi, mid-fi, post-pop-punk, pre-post-punk, neo-grunge, post-power-pop, i.d.w.t.d.i.m. (I don’t want to do it myself) and s.e.d.i.f.y. (somebody else does it for you).”
Asked if he could provide a genre for the band, which he joined three years ago, Glass said, “You can take any of those terms off the website if you’d like – post-power pop or whatever. That’s the whole joke of having all those things on the website. It’s really hard to answer that question and it’s not really relevant.”
The trio has been touring more than staying home in Portland for the past few years, and Sasquatch is kicking off yet another tour in support of last year’s “Personal Life” (on Kill Rock Stars). They have miles to go and shows to play before they meet up with synth-pop duo Matt & Kim (also playing Saturday at Sasquatch) June 3 in Atlanta.
That’s one reason Glass wasn’t sure whether he’d enjoy other offerings at Sasquatch.
“Hopefully, we’ll have time to hang out and watch a couple of other bands, but I don’t know. We might be focused more on resting and getting ready for this long drive ahead of us.”