Several good points made in the comments section, and I agree with almost everything said, good and bad.
First, the bad. The top nine billed acts are as unspectacular as any Sasquatch I've been to, and this will be my nineth. It's not unspectacular because the bands suck, they don't. It's unspectacular because most of the bands haven't been around very long, and have been actively touring. The only real "gets" are the Postal Service and Sigur Ros, but the Postal Service are going to be absolutely everywhere this year (including NW shows later this fall I'm sure), and Sigur Ros hit the NW last August.
I like the top nine bands, at least the ones I can listen to for three minutes without falling asleep, and several are great live. However, I wouldn't pay $50 to see any of them (again), and that's my only beef with the lineup. Would you believe the top nine acts collectively have 21 proper albums? "Now That Is What I Call Music" is up to Volume 45, and the Residents have put out 21 albums since this festival was born.
Most proper albums by the noxious nine:
2-Mumford & Sons
2-Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
1-The Postal Service
1-Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Moving on to the best part of the lineup, the next two highest billed acts, Cake and Primus. Each band has also toured extensively in the last couple years, but are both worth the admission price. It's not often a festival features two musicians who are the best in the world at their chosen craft. Les Claypool is hands down the best bass player alive, and John McCrea playing the vibraslap has no equal. Primus is already the most exciting act on the lineup without their 3D doodad (there are three Ds in the word doodad) they've been hauling across the country since early 2012. One cautionary note, after seeing the Flaming Lips set in 2011, I'm not completely sold "Cake" being on the lineup is actually referring to the band.
After the top 11, most festivals start falling flat on their pony tails, while Adam Zacks continually delivers with up-and-comers, and/or bands who are outstanding live. This is what makes a music festival. More on this in the comings weeks when I start the Quadros series. This year, I plan to at least double the amount of Quadros I wrote last year.
There is a hidden genius in the construction of this lineup, and it goes like this. In order to make this easy to understand, I'll classify music listeners in the following five levels:
1. I don't listen to music because it sucks.
2. I like pop and/or country because silence sucks.
3. I listen to the alternative radio because hearing the same songs every 24 minutes sucks.
4. I'm a music hipster and the radio sucks.
5. I'm a music nerd and music hipsters suck.
Ideally, a festival lineup will have something for each level of music listeners. Now, let me throw out a couple names on the Sasquatch lineup. Mumford & Sons, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The xx, Vampire Weekend, and Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeros. These acts appeal specifically to those level three music fans who listen to a lot of radio. These are gateway bands, designed to give the curious a reason to dive deeper into music nerdery if they choose to do the research, and this year's undercard is stacked and waiting. I envy those who are fans of these gateway bands who are attending Sasquatch for the first time. You'll be foaming at the mouth shortly, and your friends will no longer recognize you. This is why I wouldn't be surprised if the festival sells out quickly this year. Never underestimate the power of the radio.
It's not my favorite lineup, and Primus (or any form of Les Claypool) is my only can't miss when I usually have a handful of can't misses each year. I have a reason to be underwhelmed, but it's still going to be one of the greatest weekends of the year, and just being at the Gorge watching live music will make up for any lineup dissapointments. I really like a bunch of bands on the lineup, but I wouldn't fly across the country for this lineup. If the gateway bands mentioned earlier end up being the flash-in-the-pan 2009 Kings Of Leon, we'll be laughing about how awful this lineup is two years from now.
Post your reactions and opinions in the comments section.