After one long day in the van and three obligatory days of rest Kevin Vanstone is back to review the best of the 2014 Sasquatch Music Festival. From Outkast to Die Antwoord Friday opened the festival with an array of legendary and notorious musicians. 

Chance The Hype Boy

One of the most unfortunate concert conflicts of the day involved Chance The Rapper and one-man band Shakey Graves. My love for guitars and musicians from Austin, Texas swung me in favour of Shakey, however after sneaking over to hear what Chance The Rapper had to say I found myself slightly disappointed. Chance bounced across the stage with energy and enthusiasm, but when it came to his lyricism there was much to be desired. Specifically, the words themselves.

Chance The Rapper morphed into Chance The Hype Boy, spitting bursts of words without cohesion or flow, leaving little to string his raps together. At times Chance would miss key lines leaving fans to rap along themselves, at others he would rap over himself as the track played along. It was a raw performance from a young musician and it showed. The music was there, the energy was there, but the execution and delivery were not nearly as polished as the legendary duo to come later in the evening.

Shakey Graves Shines

One-man band Shakey Graves began his afternoon set alone onstage but by the time he was done a good part of the Yeti crowd was singing along in the sun. Shakey harnessed the energy of the small bowl and fed it right through the speakers in a lively evening set that was all about one man. Featuring signature song “Roll The Bones” the set was rambunctious and soothing, bringing together the healthy crowd. While a duo of talented musicians complemented Shakey’s solo sound, the music was at its best when Alejandro Rose-Garcia stood alone onstage armed with a guitar and kick-drum looking calm and comfortable.

Outkast - Fresh and Clean

We all heard about how Outkast’s festival tour started on a sour note earlier this summer at Coachella, but Big Boi and Andre 3000 brought it in a big way to close out the Sasquatch stage on the opening day of the festival. Opening with B.O.B. the legendary duo from Atlanta, Georgia hit the crowd with a battery of classics before breaking it down with a smattering of hits in between other crowd favourites. Where Chance The Rapper lost his way forfeiting flow for raw energy, Outkast delivered verse after verse like veterans. Those hoping to hear hits like “Hey Ya”, “Roses”, and “Ms. Jackson” had to be patient, but the second half of the set was well worth the wait.

Andre 3000 made a statement in a black jumper reading “Everything Is Temporary” adorned with a “SOLD” tag, while Big Boi kept it fresh with a mammoth gold chain and a Chicago Bulls hat illustrating the diverse style of two musicians that have meshed together so effectively for over two decades. Where their return to the stage at Coachella was loose and under-rehearsed their set at Sasquatch was smooth and practiced, reflecting the amount of hours the two have spent making music together. Outkast weren’t given the honour of last show of the night, but they closed the evening’s festivities with authority as thousands danced along from The Gorge’s glorious amphitheater.

Die Antwoord

I am concerned for the sanity of those that can enjoy Die Antwoord sober. I just don’t get it.