Sasquatch 2015, Day 3: James Blake

Sasquatch, Live Reviews
05/29/2015
Jacob Webb
photo by Matthew B. Thompson

Of all of the late night sets at Sasquatch 2015, none was more subtle than James Blake's. Unlike most of the nighttime sets in the Gorge, Blake's performance revealed itself gradually rather than blasting the audience over the head with lights and sound, and it was all the more effective because of it. Blake's live setup – Blake on keys and vocals, the ultra-precise Ben Assiter on drums and Rob McAndrews on guitar and sampler – has been in place for some time now, so the trio know how to tease out the most hypnotic elements of Blake's compositions, whether that's by looping vocals ("I Never Learnt To Share"), crafting swirling rhythms ("CMYK"), or simply allowing Blake's heralded bass arrangements to do the heavy lifting ("The Wilhelm Scream"). Including a new song in the set (the dance-y, mournful "Radio Silence") was surely a plus for new fans, but for the most part, Blake's set played to his strengths. Of course, when you're one of the predominant electronic musicians of the moment, that's quite a compliment.

photo by Matthew B. Thompson

photo by Brittany Bollay
photo by Brittany Bollay

photo by Brittany Bollay

photo by Brittany Bollay

photo by Brittany Bollay

photo by Matthew B. Thompson

photo by Matthew B. Thompson

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