Best of Sasquatch 2012: Damien Jurado

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Damien Jurado, Photo by Kyle Johnson

It’s quite possible that Damien Jurado has influenced more artists who played Sasquatch this year than anyone else. I can’t prove that, but as Jurado has had one of the longest careers of anyone on the Sasquatch bill it’s relatively easy to assume that if a band is folk influenced, they are therefore Jurado influenced. Playing Monday afternoon in the sweltering heat, Jurado showed the unfortunately small crowd which gathered in front of Bigfoot stage why he’s so influential as an artist and demonstrated that he’s still gathering momentum.

His set started a bit late and was met by a slight microphone malfunction, but by the end of the first verse of his first song, the crowd’s ears were met by his distinct voice. Jurado’s voice is one that I would classify as haunting- it echos deep into the crevices of your soul and nestles there, as his lyrics take over your brain. He’s one hell of a songwriter, and the songs he played on Sunday afternoon showcased that. He played a barrage of others from Maraqopa, all of which went over well with the subdued crowd.

Disappointingly, due to the late start, Jurado’s set was cut short and he only played for around 30 minutes. What made those 30 minutes perfection though was that Jurado’s set allowed the audience time to just be, and swim in the moment. After a weekend of performances which demanded non-stop energy, Jurado’s sense of calm and melancholy was something unusual but well timed. Not known for his energy onstage, towards the end of his set Jurado dropped to his knees and really gave his guitar a lashing- the sort of behavior which many have never seen from him before and closed his set in a very memorable way.

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