Trip Report: 2008 Sasquatch Music Festival (Part 2)

On day two Lance Bubo and I left early since we knew we would not be staying the whole day. By the time we got to the Gorge and waited out a brief morning rain shower we discovered that the Lawn’s economic policy had shifted yet again, from paper currency based off a beer standard to currency instead based off your ability to be a complete jerk to other people on the lawn. The unit, a "Butthole", was trading at 2.13 Ouncies to the Butthole. The value of the Dollar was still plummeting, it being worth .14 of a Butthole.

I’m not making this up.

For people who don’t understand the population of the lawn at any given music festival/concert amphitheater experience, I have included a helpful taxonomy of its denizens. These are all the various people you will encounter at some point in your time on the lawn:

Lawn Ornaments

These are the people who are so ridiculously hot they give off an almost Greek god like vibe as they move around, usually on their way to their seats in the reserve section, but sometimes I think just to taunt everyone else with their own self knowledge of their hotness. The men are generally tan and muscled, with hair and eye colors that stand out. There might be facial scruff or not, but they tend to be so hot that even if you don’t like that you’ll inevitably hear "it sure looks good on that guy." The women are all in between the best boundaries of curvy or lithe and wearing just that perfect thing to strike the balance between showing too much and showing just enough. Sometimes you get a force multiplier of three girl lawn ornaments hugging, holding hands, or otherwise falling all over each other in which case everyone forgets they are even at a concert.

People instinctively draw away from their path when they move through the crowd, and as they pass all heads swivel to watch them go.

Being no Brad Pitt myself, deep down I hate these people, but they sure are fun to watch. It’s also hard to get pictures of them, because unless you are paparazzi, they are too hot to show up on film…

Lawn Show

These are the people that, for whatever reason, are there to put on a show for you. In the case of Sasquatch it was "Jumping Guy". Now normally, Jumping Guy could have fallen squarely in Lawn Ornament classification if he had not been so absolutely intentionally silly and entertaining. He would spend enormous amounts of time jumping up and down and trying to get the crowd around him to do the same thing. Of course the most the crowd was willing to do was simply throw up their hands like him in time with his jumps, which only served to encourage him to work harder. He literally spent most of the day jumping. Up and down. Really fast. All the time. As someone said behind us on the lawn "Jumping Guy over there makes me a better person just by existing."

I will also include in the Lawn Show for Sasquatch the herd of people wearing animal hats. There were a lot of them and we spent a lot of time trying to spot how many different animal hats there were. There were at least a dozen or so. There’s just no other way to explain them other than this:

Photo Credit: Kympossible

Lawn gnomes

The opposite of the Lawn Show are the Lawn Gnomes. They want to be like the Lawn Show, but fate has dealt them a cruel hand. They have the rhythm, they know the beat, but they are carrying a hundred or so pounds too much to really do anything effective with it except endanger themselves and others. As a result you get the almost train wreck dynamic of watching them gyrate wildly as people around them scatter to avoid the inevitable slip and fall. And when they do fall it almost always resembles a hefty bag filled with beef stew being dropped from a height of four feet. It’s not going to burst, probably, but no one can really avoid watching it happen.

This guy wasn’t quite as big as most lawn gnomes, but he shouldn’t have been dancin’ nonetheless.

Photo Credit: Kympossible

Lawn Trash

I like to sit on the lawn when I go to a show with a lot of friends because it gives you an expansive view of the venue, and you can chat and general enjoy a more communal experience with people you like. Lawn Trash exists to destroy that experience. These are the people who talk loudly over the concert, such that as the music gets louder they get louder. Or who arrive so shitfaced that they immediately fall on people or otherwise make a huge nuisance of themselves. This was summed up with perfect cutting sarcasm by Kympossible when two pieces of lawn trash rolled around behind us, collided with several people, attempted to make out, then kind of realized they were being lawn trash.

"OMG we are like…sooooooo trashed" the woman says. There’s an imperceptible pause before the dry and perfectly timed "Really?" from Kymberlee. It was one of those so perfectly delivered moments, all of us actually kept an ear out for its recurrence.

We got to hear it a couple more times as there was more lawn trash than usual at this show. Hence the economic power of the Butthole in currency trading.

Lawn Grass

These are the stoners. The odd part is that they go from being invisible to being all over the place very quickly. You get the first hint of something, probably clove, before you start to smell the pot. Then next thing you know, there’s a guy sitting next to you with a gallon ziplock bag of green, a small blowtorch, and a pipe with a bowl that looks like it could hold most of a 40. He then starts to generate enough pot smoke that you don’t remember the rest of the night, just waking up a few hours later naked except for a blanket, a fistful of Buttholes in your hand, and Kympossible’s other pitch perfect comment in your ears: "Fucking hippies."

All of these folk were pretty much already out in force on the lawn when Bubo and I arrived so we decided to hit the comedy tent to see Tim Meadows of SNL, and more recently Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story fame. For those who have been waiting, here’s where the graphic pantomimed monkey rape occurred.

The UBC Comedy tour had it’s own tent with Air Conditioning and a bar set off to the side nestled in between the three stages setup for the festival. This meant in general you could hear music at all times in the tent, but overall you could hear the comedians pretty well. It was hit and miss right up until Jerry Minor took the stage. He started off pretty Bill Cosby family friendly, doing a bunch of simple monkey jokes and riffing off asking the audience their favorite monkey. Before long he was wondering aloud if it was possible to have sex with a monkey.

Here’s where the pantomime begins, as he walks us through a date with the monkey. It starts off with wine and a roofie, then he proceeded to pantomime the monkey giving him a blow job. It was at this point that the audience kind of realized the lead up was just the safe material. That only now did we realize the restraints on this ride are as much to trap us as they are for our safety. He starts to get graphic with the dirty talk with the monkey then gets rough as the monkey changes its mind then, three feet away from an entire row of people he graphically pantomimes raping and strangling it, ending with "why monkey? Why did you make me kill you monkey?" Then gets up and finishes his routine.

It’s important to note that the audience was laughing so hard during this entire spectacle that no one could breath, both at the audacity of what he did and the graphic nature of how detailed he did it. His final comment lest anyone judge his comedy was that he just raped and strangled a monkey in front of an audience that did nothing but laugh loudly and didn’t lift a finger to help it.

I thought it was brilliant.

Refreshed from the spectacle of violent monkey rape, there was really nothing that could energize the crowd further except maybe seeing Matt Besser dressed as the pope swinging a tied, apparently used, condom over the crowd screaming in a German accent "oh NOW you don’t trust the condom" as everyone scattered and ducked to get out of the way lest it burst.

After all that, Tim Meadows was a disappointment, although he started off his routine by noting he’s terrible at standup. So at least our expectations were set. After that Bubo and I rejoined everyone on the lawn.

The highlight of the day music wise for me was The Presidents of the United States of America, the last show before we left. They were really terrific. I had no idea they had a new album coming out, all the new tunes they played were great.

Although I wanted to stay for Death Cab for Cutie, Bubo and I decided to head back at a decent hour since it’s a 2.5 hour drive back to Seattle. We got home just before 9 and squeezed in some Rock Band before crashing.

All in all it was a really awesome experience with my friends.

I just don’t know where I am going to be able to exchange all these Buttholes back to Dollars.

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