Fewer than 15,000 people live in Quincy, Wash., and its surrounding areas. It might be quiet about 360 days of the year, but then Sasquatch! Festival happens.
It’s a big one, too. Like Coachella, it occurs over two weekends, though in a different format: for $325 a piece, you can do Sasquatch over Memorial Day weekend or Fourth of July weekend. Besides the holidays its organizers choose to surround the event, Sasquatch shows its patriotism in booking the bands who might be trying hard to succeed at the American dream: lesser-known indie bands (Junip and Mutual Benefit, for instance). On top of that, Sasquatch has groups of old coming through for a second heyday (New Order, Kraftwerk), as well as artists that, well, I imagine the organizers thought a bunch of Pacific Northwesterners would like (Frank Ocean, Action Bronson).
Though the May and July lineups are entirely different, the five artists noted below are all playing Independence Day weekend. Why? Because July is more summery and probably going to be the most attended, and thus more important in my book. The following artists ought to have the best sets around at Sasquatch’s second weekend.
1. Soundgarden (July 4)
Grunge is coming back to its home state with Soundgarden. Even if “Superunknown” (which is getting reissue treatment this year) is the only album you know, and/or “Black Hole Sun” is the only tune, seeing Soundgarden at Sasquatch — the band’s from nearby Seattle — probably doesn’t require you to be that massive of a fan to have a good experience. I wouldn’t be surprised if the crowd was full of dudes relating their stories about hanging out with the band’s lead singer Chris Cornell back in high school.
2. New Order (July 6)
New Order doesn’t need much introduction, so I won’t give it a long one. Largely the result of Joy Division members moving on after lead singer Ian Curtis’ death, this über-successful project was an innovator in electronic dance music. More than half of what any music nerd listens to anymore though is dappled with this band’s influence. Furthermore, 1983’s “Blue Monday” is the best dance song ever written, hands down, that’s final. No arguments.
3. Chastity Belt (July 5)
The conspicuous band name alone here gives you an idea of its ideology. This crew is also Seattle-based, giving their set at Sasquatch undoubtedly a local lens. Think of the band Beach House but punk and with less feelings of falling into space. Floating along with the bellow-croon dynamic of Julia Shapiro sounds like a quintessential music festival activity to me.
4. Mac DeMarco (July 4)
From his solo 2012 debut “Rock and Roll Night Club” to his fresh, super-spooky single, “Passing Out Pieces,” Mac DeMarco has continually crafted tunes that he sort of strides through. The laid-back — and sort of raunchy — personality of DeMarco is becoming in garnering new fans, and more importantly making music that epitomizes “chilling out.” If Sasquatch’s show is anything like last year’s Bonnaroo’s set, fans will certainly be enchanted.
5. Deltron 3030 (July 5)
This hip-hop supergroup, comprised of Dan the Automator, Kid Koala and, perhaps most notably, Del the Funky Homosapien, is making appearances in places I never thought it would, including a spot in some festivals. Probably set to play in support of September’s “Event II,” Deltron 3030 might turn more heads and ears with cuts from its 14-year-old self-titled debut. I imagine it will, though, and it will be phenomenal.