If there were any themes to the second day of Sasquatch festival at the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington State, they were a) clouds suck, and b) girls rock.
There were Dum Dum Girls, who I mentioned in my Best Moments piece, and Brooklyn's tUnE-yArDs, who I saw for the first time, debunking all my preconceptions as an overly pretentious hipster act -- Merrill Garbus straight brought the art-pop zaniness. But then there were the undisputed Queens of Saturday: Emily Haines of Metric and Annie Clark of St. Vincent, who showed us all a little something about rockin'.
First up was Metric, who used their set in the dwindling moments of golden sunlight to introduce their new album Synthetica. "It's the debut of our new record, with you in the sun," gushed Haines, wearing short-shorts, a golden blouse and a neon indian necklace, looking all the gorgeous indie siren. The bulk of their hour-long set focused on the new material, which is a bold move. But the tunes didn't disappoint. They played an unidentified New Wave song that slowly surged into a slick epic, then later announced another newbie, only to fumble the first bar. "Hey, I told you it was the first time!," Haines joked.
Metric then blasted into their new album's first single, "Youth Without Youth." "Have you guys heard this?" Haines asked the crowd. They responded with a hearty "yes," then proved it by singing along. They also played their album's electro, synth-tastic title track.
The Canadian quartet led massive sing-alongs on "Gimme Sympathy" and "Help I'm Alive," the best songs from their last album. "My heart's beating like a hammer!," 20,000 fans chanted.
St. Vincent, on the other hand, beat her guitar like a hammer. She's a quaint lil pixie with a soft voice and presence, but onstage she's a BEAST ON THE GUITAR. Her band laid atmospheric sounds and dancey rhythms, while Clark ripped through bass-heavy, super-distorted solos and head-banged her brown curls across the stage. The set's highlights included a hearty helping of tracks from her new album, Strange Mercy, one of the best releases from last year. Many tunes even sounded better live, like "Chloe in the Afternoon," which forewent gentle nuance for heavy riffage, and "Cruel," the show's undeniable highlight with its hooky, bright guitars.
During a pause between songs, Clark then told the crowd that she wrote the next track, Strange Mercy's "Year of the Tiger," with her mom. Apparently mom's got chops, too. See, these women can't help but rock.