We have plenty of time to digest the lineup over the next couple months, so I'll start by giving my opinion on the top tier, and discuss another couple highlights. Feel free to give your opinion on the lineup (or your opinion on my opinion) in the comments section.
Top Tier: At first glance, this is the only disappointment of the lineup. 2010 was too good to be true, and the headliners (Massive Attack, Ween, My Morning Jacket) were three of the best shows I saw all year. Those headliners, along with Pavement and a stacked undercard, is why so many people living outside of the Pacific NW chose to make Sasquatch 2010 their first. It's also why the festival sold out in record time. That was last year though, so comparing this year's lineup isn't exactly fair. If we must compare the two, this year we get a fourth day to hang out with our friends at one of the biggest/friendliest parties on the planet, discussion over.
It's a bit of a shame Arcade Fire isn't on the lineup. Word is they were in discussions, but something happened at the last minute. Whatever happened occurred within the last two weeks, so the lineup probably looks much different than expected. Does that mean we can expect a giant addition, not really, especially since the festival might be sold out by the time you read this. It would suggest there is some extra money laying around. Death From Above 1979 might have gathered that extra cash, since a month ago, no one knew they were getting back together, and they are a HUGE addition (they weren't on the original poster).
I'm completely down with Wilco, they are a huge draw in the NW, and the Flaming Lips playing the Soft Bulletin is gigantic. I follow the music scene pretty close, and I don't recall the last time they did this album live. It is one of my favorite albums of all time. I'm one of those people who have seen the Lips enough times to think, "maybe I don't need to see them again." I've seen them indoors and outdoors, during daylight and while dark, with the UFO and without, with the hamster ball and without, with naked women on stage and without, but I never thought I'd have a chance to see the Soft Bulletin live. That is THE highlight.
Death Cab For Cutie isn't really my bag, but they also have a huge following in the NW, and the dance tent lineup this year is stacked. Relatively smaller headliners isn't that big of a deal when you have other grand alternatives. I'm somewhat disappointed I've missed so many EDM acts the past two years, because I've spent so much time on the main stage. I've seen some below average Modest Mouse shows (the band I've seen live the most), but the last time I caught them 18 months ago, it was pretty great. And the Foo Fighters might be the second most entertaining main stage act of the weekend (behind the Flaming Lips). I've written much about the Foos on this blog already.
Other highlights include Wolf Parade's first ever last show ever, Rodrigo Y Gabriella (I'm not sure why more people aren't talking about this), Bassnectar, Guided By Voices, Archers of Loaf, and an undercard stacked as usual. Speaking of Guided By Voices, they have not played too many shows since their recent reunion, but I was lucky enough to catch one of them last fall, and wrote a review. It's a fair assessment of what you might expect. I should warn you, I'm very PG-13 on this blog, but I can get a bit adult oriented on the Cog. You'll see what I mean reading the intro of this review. Read it here.
Much more to come over the next couple weeks. I've seen many of the bands on the lineup live, or listened to them extensively, so I have a lot of opinions. In time, I'll see if I can get a mini review of every act on the lineup. However, sometimes it's just really tough to say anything good about certain acts.
What do you think about the lineup?