Sasquatch! Music Festival, Day 3: SISTERS

Gabe Pollak
all photos by Matthew B. Thompson

The Gorge's rust-colored cliffs are about as far from the city as you can get, but, with the right artist onstage, they can feel just like home. On Sunday afternoon at Sasquatch's main stage, Seattle electro-pop outfit SISTERS captured the warmth and informality of a cozy family gathering (sans drunk uncle's and arguments about who is on dish duty). The group's fun, all-inclusive sound, embracing both driving, Prince-style synths and the anthemic choruses of Arcade Fire, gave the crowd plenty of reasons to get together and get down.

A guest spot from fellow Seattle artist Porter Ray enhanced the friendly feel of the show. Wearing a floral bowl bucket hat and a loose-fitting sleeveless tee, the Sub Pop-christened rapper delivered the contemplative first verse from his song "Dissolving in a Dream," overtop SISTERS' wistful "Back 2 U." Beyond the heartwarming effect of seeing two up-and-coming Seattle artists, who each released fantastic debut LPs this year, show each other love onstage, it was also just a smart musical pairing. Ray's voice rose effortlessly above the swelling indie pop, lifted up like a feather in the wind.  Then again, it's no surprise that the song sounded so smooth; SISTERS played with Ray (as well as Pickwick, Manatee Commune, and more) at one of their two record release shows earlier this year.

Switching instruments before the celebratory  "Queer Life," Emily Westman and guest-instrumentalist Lena Simon (La Luz, Thunderpussy) got their cables crossed. Westman laughed the mild technical difficulty off with a short anecdote. "Andrew was like 'make sure you guys don't tangle cords when you trade places,' and then immediately said 'was that man-splaning?'" said Westman. "And then we just tangled cords. So now I'm not sure." The crowd laughed with Westman and what would have been a moment of awkward silence became a chance to feel closer to the lovably quirky and immensely talented band onstage.

Between the the banter, the guest spots, and, most of all, the music, SISTERS made the fest feel like home, and fellow fans feel like family.

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