Xander Deccio's Blog
So with this being my third time I have covered Sasquatch, and my first time for Buzznet. I thought I would go ahead and share what I overall thought of this year's festival. I noticed Yasi did the same thing yesterday. So why not share mine, being I have covered this three times.
- Alabama Shakes is much better live.
- Shooting/Hanging out with my Seattle colleagues is always fun.
- Hanging out with Yasi and Travis on Day 3 and shooting Zola Jesus for them.
- Ted Leo and The Pharmacist's actually blew me away!
- Deer Tick's lead singer, wasted beyond all control during their first of two sets.
- Zola Jesus is really pretty, and I wouldn't be surprised if she does become the next big thing.
- Beats Antique rules!
- Grouplove wanting me to get their tattoo on my arm and even offering to pay for it.
- Seeing Tenacious D hanging out at the Yeti Stage for John C. Reilly's show.
- Mogwai cancelling at the last minute.
- Feist not working with the photogs in the pit and deciding to hide behind a mic.
- The 1 1/2 hour traffic jam on Friday, making me miss half of the bands I wanted to cover (Honeyhoney, Wheeler and Zander, Yellow Ostrich, Of Monsters and Men etc.).
- People with media passes dancing in the crowded photo pit, and not shooting... Especially the drunk chick who decided to dance right in front of me during TuNe yArDs making it hard for not only me but my colleagues to get any work done... Take it outside if you wanna dance.
- Dude in the pit shooting with his iPad... Yes it did happen and Morgen called it!
All in all I have to say this year was pretty good. Of course i'm sore as hell from walking up and down that hill, but the way I see it; if you can survive shooting Sasquatch any show is a cake walk... Including Warped Tour. However, I would like to see them go back to the three day festival or even try the two weekend thing that Coachella is doing. And on a side note, I think it's time I got my feet wet and covered SXSW next year.
When they say "save the best for last," they weren't kidding! Day 4 of Sasquatch went out with a bang, and a big bang indeed! The last day of the festival was nothing short of a spectical. The weather was nice and it showed with nothing but sunshine and ans warm temps to let us know, that summer was definitely on it's way... Especially with the akward weather that has been happening in the Pacific Northwest as of recent. However, that didn't stop Mr. Wind from making yet another appearence in the evening. But at least his presence wasn't as bad.
Day 4's lineup was stacked! Featuring Grouplove, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Cave Singers, Feist, Silversun Pickups and rounding out the end of the festival; Tenacious D and Beck.
I was lucky enough to be able to shoot two accoustic "Endsessions" that Seattle station 107.7 The End was putting on in their own private tent of Grouplove and Silversun Pickups. Both bands were playing mainstage and being that I didn't have mainstage photo, this had to do. Both put on amazing sets but I had to leave during Silversun performing "Panic Switch" to shoot Fun.
Speaking of Fun. The band put on what had to be one of the most energetic sets I had seen all day! I wasn't too familiar with the band but to say the least they fit their name perfectly!
Another big surprise was finding out that John Reilly and friends was none other than well know thespian John C. Reilly of Boogie Nights and Chicago fame. Hell, he even named his guitar "Dewey Cox." LOL However a couple of my colleagues were wondering if anyone would turn up for his set, or would catch on who "John Reilly" was...
Then this happened... Yes, that crowd spread across the grounds that lasted to the concession stand and covered the media area. My colleague Morgen said it was bigger than Foster the People's the prior year when they played the Yeti stage.
However, I was a bit disappointed to hear Mogwai whom was supposed to be the last act of the night on the Bigfoot stage, cancelled at the last minute. Instead Deer Tick decided to play another set of nothing but covers. I also learned that on Saturday, STRFKR played a second set as I Break Horses cancelled as well.
As for a favorite band, I really didn't have one as I enjoyed all the bands I shot and seen that day, ending another great year of Sasquatch! Be sure to stick around, as I will have individual galleries of all the bands I shot, interviews, and "People of Sasquatch." Now if you'll excuse me, I have a ton of photos to edit and sleep to catch up on LOL.
I didn't get home till late on Sunday, hence why this is being posted today. Day 4 will be up later tonight and throughout the week, I will be posting individual band performances, interviews and the ever so famous "People of Sasquatch" gallery. So stay tuned for those!
Day 3 to me was a bit slow. The lineup although good, was a bit lacking and thanks to security taking their sweet-ass time to check my gear I missed Reignwolf's set (yeah i'm not happy about that and even let a few my buddies at CMS know about it). This was also the first of two days where Mr. Wind decided to make his stage presence known.
I also finally got to meet/collaborate with Yasi, whom was nothing short of bad-ass and even sat in as the photog for her interviews. Also my favorite moment of the day was interviewing and shooting Grouplove, whom also wanted me to get their tattoo on my arm and would even pay for it. I assumed they were kidding around, but I'm game to do it if you guys pay for it the next time you are in Seattle!
Anyways Day 3 featured acts like Beirut, Bon Ivar, Reignwolf, Deer Tick, The Walkman and my personal favorite, Wild Flag which featured Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia fame along with fromer Sleater-Kinney and Quasi drummer Janet Weis. It was the closest thing to Sleater-Kinney without Corin Tucker (Am I the only one who thinks they need to reunite?).
Deer Tick's performance was something special. Lead singer decided to drink all day before taking stage which made for some great stage banter and an awesome performance... No he didn't fall of the stage unfortunately.
Wild Flag tore it up to a packed crowd. As I said earlier it was the closest thing to Sleater-Kinney that any of us will get for a while and seeing Carrie Brownstien play live was nothing short of awesome.
Another band that caught me by surprise that I am pretty sure will be the next big thing was none other than The Walkman. At times they reminded me of The Killers, without Brandon Flowers and his obnoxious ego.
The second surprise performance that a colleague and I said this girl could be the next Florence+The Machine was none other than the beautiful Zola Jesus. Yasi has an interview with her that should be hitting Buzznet net in a few days, along with my mini photoshoot I did.
So with Friday's show being a bit slow, Saturday kicked off with a huge bang! Thousands and thousands of concert patrons from all over flocked to The Gorge for Day 2 of Sasquatch. Saturday's lineup included, The Shins, Jack White, Dum Dum Girls, Alabama Shakes, Portlandia Blitzen Trapper and TuNe YaRDs whom I had never heard of but was really entertained by.
The weather started off a bit on the cloudy side, but the sun shined on throughout the day, keeping the temps in a mid to low 70s. Perfect for hoodies, cargo shorts, and Chucks.
However, I was a bit disappointed to find out that unless you had a photo pass, you're weren't allowed to shoot The Roots. Which was a bucket list band for me. But the rest of the day's festivites made up for that.
My favorite performance of day 2 had to be a tie between Alabama Shakes and St. Vincent. Alabama Shakes had this grungy blues sound to them and knew how to keep the crowd happy.
St. Vincent on the other hand was a sight to be seen. One minute she would grace the crowd in song, and then all of the sudden rip into a guitar solo that would have made Prince happy. And to top it all off, the light show that came with her set was pretty spectacular.
All in all Day 2 of Sasquatch kept fans like myself happy, and with 2 more days left anything is possible.
First and foremost, I need to appologize if there isn't many live performance photos. You see, there was a really nasty trafic jam trying to get into The Gorge Amphitheater, that it took me longer (1 1/12 hours to be exact) to get to the venue. Because of that, I missed most of the bands I wanted to cover (Honeyhoney, Wheeler and Zander and Yellow Ostrich). However there is some good news in regarding Honeyhoney. I will be interviewing the band tomorrow afternoon that will be up on Buzznet sometime next week.
Anyways, Friday's festivities were pretty crazy, yet also pretty chill for kicking things off. This is the second year that festival organizers have decided to make it a four day festival, instead of the regular three. Last year when it was introduced, The Gorge was packed! But most of that was due to the Foo Fighter's, and the reunited Death From Above 1979 playing that night. This year, it wasn't the same. In matter of fact it was pretty chill as everyone decided to wait till Saturday when things kick off with a bang at 12PM.
Some of the bands who played last night included; Girl Talk, Of Monsters and Men, Beats Antique, STRFKR, Pretty Lights and Santigold. The two main bands I was really looking forward to were, Honeyhoney; which I missed thanks to the traffic jam. And Mark Lanegan from Screaming Trees whom I was really enjoying but the crowd was pretty small, to which I found out was due to STRFKR having the same time for their set as Mark's.
However, my favorite set of the night was none other than Beats Antiques. I wasn't really familliar with the dance group, but after talking to a CMS staff member who happened to be a fan, she told me I was in for a real treat. And that I was! It wasn't the normal dubstep dance craze that all the kids are digging these days, but more of a Middle East meets Techno vibe which I totally dug and top it off with one a belly dancer dressed in a creepy mask, made out for a memorable set.
Overall, Day 1 was pretty enjoyable for what it was. Not too crazy like last year. But could have really done without the traffic jam getting to the venue. Day 2 is where the real fun begins!
In case you missed last night's 2 hour season finale of American Idol, which was pretty stacked with performances that couldn't be missed. Phillip Phillps was crowned American Idol last night after a record breaking 132 million votes were cast leaving 16 year old powerhouse Jessica Sanchez as runner up.
The crowd inside the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles went nuts after Phillps, a pawn shop worker from Georgia was announced the winner in a season where it was anyones game to win.
“I wasn't thinking about anything, not even the song," he told the press backstage, People magazine reported.
"I wasn't really wanting to sing or anything. I just started thinking about the whole journey and how far all of us have come, and how we've made it. It's so overwhelming."
Phillp deserved this win for sure as he was the better singer in the finals compared to Jessica Sanchez whom many said dropped the ball during Tuesday nights show. Add on to her lackluster single that the judges were mixed on, pretty much sealed her fate.
Overall, this was a pretty good season now that I think of it. At first, I wasn't too happy about the contestants as last season had all the talent and this could have easily been compared to the disasterous season 9 which saw Lee Dewyze winning with Crystal Bowersox coming in second. But with talent like Elise Testone, Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips and Colton Dixon rounding out this season, it made for some fun times.
What do you guys think, did America get it right by choosing Phillip, or did they get it wrong by not giving the win to Jessica?
This is it, the moment we find out who is crowned American Idol for Season 11. This season has been really interesting to say the least. The talent this season wasn't as great as last season and some can say it was worse than that of Season 9. But there were some awesome singers who did make it to the Top 10 like that of Elise Testone, Colton Dixon, Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillps. How Joshua isn't in the final 2 and Jessica Sanchez is, but that is another story. But anyways lets do this!
Round 1: The producers had Jessica take on another Whitney Houston song... This time with I Have Nothing. To me this felt really really flat. It was really pitchy in some areas to where she couldn't register the high notes that Whitney could. Then again, why the hell is Jessica covering Whitney to begin with? I understand she had a really good performance the first week with a Whitney Houston song. But for her to sing two more on this season, is just ridiculous. Plus her attitude is starting to suck more and more. Grade: C
Round 2: Jessica took on The Prayer... Are you kidding me? Didn't we just hear this done on The Voice finale? Anyways this was actually alot better than I expected but still didn't really enjoy it per say. I 'm still clueless why she chose to cover a song that was already done on The Voice, instead of something that would showcase her vocal abillities better. I can take it or leave it. Grade: B-
Round 3: The song they gave Jessica is called Change Nothing. I have to agree with the judges this song was not good. For me it was too Kelly Clarkson and it didn't fit her style. I understand the singles they give the contestants aren't the greatest... In matter of fact I can't even think of one single the top two has released that was good. But this was not a good choice and I didn't like it. Grade: D-
Xander's Quirp: This Jason DeRulo song sounds like a really bad Coca-Cola jingle... In matter of fact you can easily compare it to the crappy Kraft jingle that has been playing on TV as of recent that has made me want to throw my TV out the window everytime it comes on...UGH! (Update: I spoke too soon! It is in fact a commercial jingle)
Round 1: Phillip took on the Ben E. King classic Stand By Me. This was a different rendition from the one everyone remembers as it had more of a chillax ambient vibe going on. It was very smooth and all around enjoyable. Not as great as his Damien Rice cover from 2 weeks ago, but still very enjoyable. I just hope if he does win this, he doesn't turn out to be another Lee Dewyze. Grade: B+
Round 2: Phillip revisited a song he covered during Billy Joel week with Movin' Out. His rendition was pretty damn good... But it was also pretty bad-ass when he did it during Billy Joel Week as well. I enjoyed it then and it was still the same now. Grade: A
Round 3: Phillip's single is called Home. When I saw the title, automatically that Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros song comes in my head. WOW! You know when I said earlier that I didn't like any of the singles that the top two released? I take that back, I really dug this song it reminded me alot of Mumford and Sons and Arcade Fire... WOW! If Phillip releases an album of material like this single, I'm buying it!... WOW! Grade: A+
Who Won Overall?
Personally, I thought Philip had the stronger performances tonight. His version of Stand By Me was a bit out there for me, but his last two performances were nothing shorth of Awesome and that single he did, WOW! Jessica did the same thing like she's been doing every week, which also got her nearly eliminated. Her single was really not something she should have chosen either which added on to her less than stellar performances she put on with her other two songs.
Winner: Phillip Phillps
As for who will win, to be honest with how people are voting anyone can win. I just hope America gets it right this time and gives the W to Phillip and not Jessica.
With season 11 coming to a close next week and with rumors circulating that Jennifer Lopez may be leaving American Idol, it's crazy to see who the final two will be; and who will win American Idol Season 11. It's been anyone's game this season and a toss-up to who will actually win it all.
In another shocking elimination, Joshua Ledet, whom was picked to win this season, was sent home coming in third, leaving the top two between nearly eliminated diva Jessica Sanchez and female fan favorite Phillip Phillps. This is the first time that someone who was saved has made it to the top 2. Phillip, who has never been in the bottom three, had one of the best performances of the night with his rendition of Bob Seger's We Got The Night, which Randy echoed was his best of the season. Jessica on the other hand struggled with her selections and bombed on two of her songs.
I'm really shocked by this, I had it picked out to be a Phillp vs. Joshua in the final two with Jessica finally getting the boot (like she should have had a few weeks ago). This would have never happened if they never introduced the judges' save, which would have had a different outcome than what we are seeing today. I'm officially hoping Phillip wins this season as Jessica shouldn't even be in the top 2, let alone in the competition this long.
What do you guys think of the final 2? Should Joshua have not been eliminated, or do you think someone else should have been sent home? Lets hear your responsnes!
Is J-Lo leaving American Idol after this season? Sources have told E!'s Marc Malkin that she's planning on leaving after season 11 wraps next week as she is "too busy."
Although a rep for FOX has declined to comment on the story, it's not surprising why she would want to leave being she's a mother of twins and will be embarking on a world tour with Enrique Iglesias this summer that would be around the same time that season 12 auditions would be filming. Another speculation is that she want's more money after Britney Spears was offered $15 million to be a judge on The X Factor which is the same amount J-Lo gets for Idol.
However this isn't the first time J-Lo has cried wolf. Last year she stated that she might leave Idol after her first season, only to return for season 11. However, J-Lo was on Ellen this week and when asked about Idol she stated "I really do enjoy it...now this is my second year…I don't know if I can go for a third year. I miss doing other things. It really does lock you down. Which was nice the first year with the babies being [young], but now they're more mobile. They're about to go to school. I just don't know. I don't know."
This is also after last week FOX announced that there would be some "creative changes" made to season 12.
I don't know about you, but the last few weeks on my Idol posts, I have constantly complained about how the current judges panel needs to be dropped as the current panel is a joke. With all three judges constantly kissing ass to one contestant (Jessica Sanchez) whom even if she screwed up a performance, they still never gave her constructive criticism. Or would lambast another contestant for something stupid (Elise Testone or Phillip Phillips). Either way it's time for a new panel of judges excluding Randy Jackson. Maybe bring back Kara Dioguardi or add Jimmy Iovine to the mix. Another thing that needs to go is the judges save.
What do you guys think? Should J-Lo come back for season 12, or do we need to change the judges panel?
Chart topper, Gotye will now be playing the mainstage of the Saturday, 9/1 show at this year's Bumbershoot. The announcement was posted on the official Bumbershoot web page earlier this morning.
Joining him on the Saturday schedule will be Eight and a Half. This Canadian trio features members of Broken Social Scene and The Stills. Last but not least, DIY sensation Kina Grannis (winner of MTV O Music Awards’ “Best Web-Born Artist” in 2011) plays Monday, September 3. According to the announcement.
And if you think that's not good enough, more bands will be announced later throughout the summer so we might get some more surprises to the already stacked lineup that was released last week. So stay tuned!