Sasquatch 2015, Day 4: Courtney Barnett

Sasquatch, Live Reviews
Jacob Webb
photos by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

From the beginning, much of the praise directed at Courtney Barnett has been centered on her talents as a clever, affecting lyricist. While that praise is completely deserved – you don’t get away with naming your debut Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit unless you’ve got the incisive wit to back it up – her prowess as a guitarist is often unfairly overlooked. That is, until you experience her in a live setting, where her ferocious shredding is impossible to ignore. Along with her backing band the Courtney Barnetts (writing that never gets old), Courtney slashed through "Elevator Operator", "An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless In New York)", "Small Poppies" and a handful of tunes from her first EPs (which are practically greatest hits at this point) during a midday drizzle, but the weather didn't dampen her ferocious performance in the least. In a trio formation, "the CB3" are more punkish and rocky than the studio recordings, and its that jagged energy that has made Barnett not just one of the most outstanding songwriters of the past few years, but one of the most electrifying live acts around too. Sasquatch was Barnett's first United States mainstage festival performance of the summer, but judging by her knockout Sasquatch debut, it seems unlikely that she'll be downsizing any time soon.

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