Sasquatch 2015, Day 1: Sleater-Kinney

Sasquatch
05/23/2015
Jacob Webb
photos by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

Anyone who's read any music journalism over the last six months already knows this, but Sleater-Kinney spent the first half of this year coming back with a fantastic new record and a ferocious live show. However, Sasquatch was their first (of two) festival headlining slots, so until Friday, it had yet to be seen how Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, and Janet Weiss's tour de force live show would translate to a large stage with an audience that isn't exclusively S-K diehards. Two songs in, it was clear that this wasn't going to be a crowdpleasing affair. There were no calls for clapping hands, no requests for call-and-response sections, and definitely no holograms. Their headlining set was seventy minutes of pure fire, and either you were completely on board with the Portland trio or not at all. Playing to a crowd comprised mostly of diehards, "Jumpers", "Oh!", "Bury Our Friends", and "Surface Envy" highlighted a set with no breaks and no ballads. Unlike pretty much every other festival headlining band, Sleater-Kinney didn't swing for the rafters, playing a set that valued reverence over revelry, passion over passing out. But maybe that was to be expected. Earlier this year, Weiss stated that the band preferred not to do festivals on this tour, explaining that their own headline shows felt more like events. That's certainly true, but if there was a single set that stood tall on Friday night, it was the deafening scream of one of Sleater-Kinney's final foreseeable gigs. As Brownstein said midway though the set, "Do you guys want to hear some noise? Come forward."

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