Josh C. Bis

Shabazz Palaces opened the fest on the main stage at noon, and it was a fine set—thick bass, live hand percussion and triggered MPC beats, and Ishmael Butler's winding, authoritative raps all booming out in search of a bigger audience.

Vampire Weekend, on the main stage at sunset, was the first performance at which I felt truly stoked to be at Sasquatch! Ezra Koenig's face was huge on the Jumbotrons, floating over the Gorge and the dimming purple sky, and his facial expressions were sized to match, his eyeballs practically pantomiming lyrics. At his command, the entire crowd danced to "A-Punk"; there was even a conga line.

Caribou's first song on Sunday ("Leave House") easily blew away everything I saw the day before. They played an ecstatic set of material from outstanding new album Swim, jamming out on several songs, with Dan Snaith, barefoot, taking a seat at a spare drum kit and locking into the dark, driving dance grooves or else burying their melodies in white noise. That wobbly bass line on "Odessa" just killed. Someone threw a bra at the band. Above them, a disco ball swayed in the breeze, waiting for LCD Soundsystem to come light it up.

Except LCD Soundsystem's set was too short and they never got around to it. (After the set, five stagehands lowered the disco ball and carted it offstage, unused.) They played "Us v. Them," "Drunk Girls," "Pow Pow," "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House," "I Can Change," "Tribulations," "Movement," "Yeah," and "All My Friends." On "Pow Pow," James Murphy ad-libbed about the Gorge and his habit of writing "these long meandering songs that don't go anywhere with lyrics that don't match the rhythm." "Yeah" was all strobes and percussion and that giddy, acidy back half. "All My Friends" just felt sort of compulsory; I would rather have heard "All I Want" for my bittersweet-dance-rock-ballad needs. Painfully abbreviated, but a fucking fantastic show.

Pavement were the perfect mix of sloppy, slack, drunk, and masterful, with Stephen Malkmus affecting a lackadaisical smirk, shaking his hips, and carelessly flinging his guitar around. After two false starts to "Rattled by the Rush," he apologized: "This is fucking pathetic, I'm sorry. I know we could skip this song." It was Malkmus's birthday, and he explained, "Fuck, I'm sorry, LCD Soundsystem had all this champagne backstage..." On "Starlings of the Slipstream," he mumbled, "I fucked that part up" in place of one line's lyrics. But the fuck-ups really are essential to Pavement's charm, and they've always had a rep for sloppy live shows. They get away with it not because nostalgia has made them untouchable, but because the songs are so damn good. And the guys really can play when they're not just trashing things or jamming out with Bob Nastanovich on slide whistle. It was a nonchalantly triumphant set, and anthems like "Gold Soundz" and "Silence Kit" were massive feel-good jams. Rock and roll needs less polite professionalism and more fucking things up anyway. recommended

Read more coverage of Sasquatch! at thestranger.com/lineout/archives/sasquatch.