Sasquatch 2010: My Morning Jacket, Pavement And The Rest Of The Winners And Losers

The march towards the 2010 festival season continues (we’re only about a month away from the South by Southwest Festival to launch it in earnest, and then a month later Coachella will properly kick things off). On Monday night (February 15), the latest lineup was unleashed, this time for Sasquatch, the annual Memorial Day Weekend festival in George, Washington. The annual three-day event has drawn on a number of different sources for bands, and the lineup reflects it: There are plenty of indie favorites (the reunited Pavement, Vampire Weekend), post-modern jam bands (My Morning Jacket, Broken Social Scene), hip-hop (Kid Cudi, Wale), stand-up comedy (Rob Riggle, Craig Robinson), dance (LCD Soundsystem, Massive Attack) and everything in between.

Just as we did with Bonnaroo and Coachella, it’s time to take a look at what bands get us excited about heading out to rural Washington and what groups we just don’t get.

The Best

My Morning Jacket
My Morning Jacket are a positively stellar live act, and if they’re given one of the final night slots, they could turn in a truly epic, career-defining performance.

The more shows, the merrier. The big secret about Pavement was that they were never that stellar a live band, and there are concerns about their ability to hold down a headlining slot at a giant festival. The more practice they get with just such a scenario, the better off they’ll be (and the better chance that they’ll create new music and not just break up once the shows are all over).

The Hold Steady
This will probably be the first high-profile show the breakout Brooklyn band plays with their new keyboardist (Franz Nicolay left the group last month). Considering they’ll also have new songs in tow, it should be an interesting set for them.

Drive-By Truckers
They’re secretly one of the best live bands working, and they’ve got a tremendously deep catalog upon which to draw their live act. Their new album The Big To-Do is one of the strongest of their career, which means they’ll have a new batch of songs to unleash on a festival crowd.

The “Huh?”

They’re extremely popular with the jam crowd, and they’re incredibly charismatic live, but this will be the time when we hit the food tents. We just don’t get it.

Any One of the Dreamy, Droney Indie Pop Acts
A lot of the festival lineups have run into the same problem: They’re still steeped in last year’s predominant indie rock sound. So while bands like Band of Horses and Passion Pit are fantastic individually, the cumulative effect of too many of those groups makes the festival seem sleepier than it should be.

Vampire Weekend
Don’t get us wrong: We really adore Contra. And while they’re improving as a live act, we’re not convinced they can make the jump to being a headlining festival draw just yet. It takes a lot to move 25,000 people at once, and Vampire Weekend still look a few rock moves short.

Public Enemy
The idea of Public Enemy is still great, and Chuck D remains a force on stage, but PE’s version of politically-minded hardcore hip-hop will probably get lost among the good vibes of the rest of the show.

What do you think? Is the 2010 version of Sasquatch a can’t-miss or a can’t-be-bothered? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.