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Sasquatch 2008: R.E.M., The Cure, Flaming Lips Light Up the Gorge

May 27, 2008 4:16 PM ET

With its sweltering heat, pouring rain, vast views and tons of music, the Sasquatch Music Festival is a three-day slice of Northwest highlife. This past weekend, 60,000-some revelers converged on the sold-out Gorge, a beautiful natural amphitheater carved out of the Grand Canyon-esque Columbia River Gorge in eastern Washington, to check out headlining sets from R.E.M. and the Cure. Both bands mined their catalogs and flaunted their pop-icon status, while the Flaming Lips arrived on Sunday evening with an army of jumpsuited technicians to erect their massive "UFO Show" production, taking over the festival a full 24 hours before their set. Their eye-popping Monday night finale proved that Wayne Coyne is committed to bringing a full-scale party to every Lips experience.

For Rolling Stone's full report, check out the Sasquatch 2008 photo gallery, stocked with info on all the major sets.

The Gorge's massive, sloping mainstage lawn is perfect for blanke-spreading, people-watching, sunset-basking, and music-hearing, but much of the action took place at Sasquatch's smaller stages. The Wookie Stage leaned more towards electro, with the trifecta of Battles, Jamie Lidell and Ghostland Observatory closing out Monday night. The Yeti Stage hosted smaller, mostly Seattle-based acts, suggesting that festival organizers are intent on keeping at least part of Sasquatch local. Then again, it's easy to stay local when your region is home to Death Cab for Cutie, the New Pornographers, Built to Spill and Modest Mouse.

Read actor Rainn Wilson's Sasquatch blog here.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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