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Aids At Sasquatch 2011

The Gorge Amphitheatre, easily the greatest venue I have ever been to in my life. Nothing even comes close. There really are no words to describe the beauty of this place, so I'll just leave this: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_a- sLgPP5Coo/THgSeD5BvxI/AAAAAAAAAlc/LeL5mYv- 5o4/s1600/TheGorgeAmphitheater.jpg ... I know, right? This year's installation of the annual Sasquatch Music Festival marked its ten year anniversary, and my second year of attending. An extra (half) day was added in celebration. In classic Sasquatch style, the lineup was heavy heavy heavy on the indie. As some say, it's a hipsters wet dream. Well, I'm kind of a hipster, so I was down. Down as FUCK. The eight "main" headliners were: Death From Above 1979 and Foo Fighters on Day 1 (RAWK), Bright Eyes and Death Cab For Cutie on Day 2 (croon), The Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse on Day 3 (trip balls), and The Decemberists and Wilco on the last Day (+2 indie-cred for seeing both these bands). Rather than give a day-by-day rundown, I am going to rank the shows that I saw enough of to judge, from worst to best (in my most humble of opinions, of course). First I'll start with sets I missed that I would have maybe liked to have seen, maybe. Enjoy, and see you at Sasquatch 2012!
76 Some stuff that I missed
That I maybe would have liked to have seen


(maybe)
75 Bob Mould
Life & Times


He plays on the song 'Dear Rosemary' from Foo Fighters' new album
74 Seattle Rock Orchestra
playing Radiohead


A full orchestra playing Radiohead. If they didn't have a super early start time I would have checked them out.
73The Radio Dept.
Clinging to a Scheme


Great album cover and title
72The Globes
Sinter Songs EP
71The Head and The Heart
The Head and The Heart
70Aloe Blacc
Good Things


our camping neighbours said this was very good
69Sharon Van Etten
Epic


super cute
68Wolf Parade
Expo 86


Maybe their older albums are good but I just don't like this one
67Washed Out
Life of Leisure


I was looking forward to seeing some of this set but, see #66
66Iron & Wine
Our Endless Numbered Days


I really wanted to see Iron & Wine but he was playing at the same time as The Thermals and The Antlers (and Washed Out)
65Sleigh Bells
Treats


lots of you guys like this I'm pretty sure, I wish I had been able to check them out
64Smith Westerns
Dye It Blonde


This album sucks, I'm glad I skipped this set
63Talkdemonic
Beat Romantic
62 Wheedle's Groove
not in the database, interessant


I pretty much only wanted to see them because of Weedle the Pokemon
61The Drums
The Drums
60Tokyo Police Club
Champ
59City and Colour
Little Hell


Alexisonfire >>> City and Colour
58Flogging Molly
Drunken Lullabies


This would have been such a fun set, but I wanted to see Archers of Loaf instead
57Gayngs
Relayted


I wanted to see this band but there was someone better playing in their slot, can't remember who.
56Yeasayer
Odd Blood


These guys are supposed to be cool
55MSTRKRFT
Fist of God


These guys suck, even though I'm pretty sure one of them is in Death From Above 1979
54Ratatat
LP4


I kind of wanted to see this show but I was soooo tired from The Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse, I just couldn't do it.
53Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
The VS. EP


My sister's favourite set of the festival. Mackelmore has this song called "The Penis Song" or something like that and it's actually pretty hilarious.
52Wavves
King of the Beach


see 51
51Best Coast
Crazy For You


I hate this shit, same with Wavves
50Major Lazer
Guns Dont Kill People... Lazers Do


my friend loved this set but I passed on it
49Flying Lotus
Los Angeles


I'm so pissed that the organizers put Flying Lotus in the same time slot at The Flaming Lips
48Rodrigo y Gabriela
11:11


Lots of people said they were incredible but I wanted to see Bonobo instead.
47Other Stuff That I Saw Some Of


Some other sets that I managed to catch some of
46The Bronx
The Bronx (III)


awesome punk band, was not expecting that
45Mariachi El Bronx
El Bronx
44S. Carey
All We Grow


Drummer from Bon Iver
43The Glitch Mob
Drink the Sea


meh
42Sam Roberts
Chemical City
41Twin Shadow
Forget
40Chromeo
Business Casual


Such a fun set, they had the crowd bumpin
39Surfer Blood
Astro Coast
38 Shows I Saw
From Worst to Best


These are all the concerts that I saw enough of to judge
37 Trailer Park Boys
Comedy Tent


---1.5/5--- (Day 2) I'm not sure why I thought I would enjoy this. It was in the comedy tent, but was really not funny at all. Trailer Park Boys is a show that, if you're Canadian, you cannot avoid. It's kind of funny, they?re all drunk and stoned and poor, but it didn't work for a live setting at all. They were just, well drunk and stoned and stupid and it was lame. You literally could have walked up to any random group of drunken idiots at the festival and observed a funnier conversation. Just stupid. I could have seen Wolf Parade instead of this. I don't even like Wolf Parade.
36 DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid
Dance Tent DJ


---1.5/5, 1.5/5, 1.5/5, 1.5/5--- (EVERY FUCKING DAY) Dear god. This guy played on EVERY DAY. At first I was like, yeah man this is ok, but then I realized he only had one fucking song. He even started an hour early on the last day (before Bonobo). Like, why? No I didn't go see him every day, obviously. I just caught bits of his lame shit while passing by the dance tent/chilling in the Red Bull building.
35Matt and Kim
Sidewalks


---2/5--- (Day 2) The music was ok but every time Kim started to sing I just wished I could go back in time and give my mum an abortion. Honestly, this set was that bad.
34J Mascis
Several Shades of Why


---2/5--- (Day 2) I was all "yeah man Dinosaur Jr. is a pretty good band, this set will be sweet." No, it wasn?t sweet. Not sweet at all. Here's every song in his set. Shitty distorted three chord progression, nonsensical lyrics and grating vocals, wait for it, wait for it, overdrive pedal guitar solo. Every song was an excuse for a solo, and he's not even that great of a guitarist. God damn it was bad. The only reason I stayed for so long was because the lineup of fries was massive.
33Noah and the Whale
The First Days of Spring


---2.5/5--- (Day 4) I used to like First Days of Spring or whatever but then I realized that Caleb was WRONG for once in his musical life. Boring set.
32Biffy Clyro
Only Revolutions


---2.5/5--- (Day 1) Their set was ok, some of their songs actually rocked pretty hard. The thing is, the only album of theirs that I've heard is the snoozefest that is Only Revolutions so whenever they started to play a song from that I just got pissed off.
31Pink Martini
Splendor in the Grass


---3/5--- (Day 2) This is where the sets start to get good. Pink Martini is a weird jazz group with a pretty nerdy front-man. I'm not big on their style, but it was a pretty fun set. They were on the mainstage right before I was about to see The Antlers and then The Thermals on smaller stages so I was getting pretty pumped I suppose. It was a nice midday set.
30Black Mountain
Wilderness Heart


---3/5--- (Day 4) Somewhat of a disappointment, I think this might have worked better as an evening set. But then they're a pretty small band so that wouldn't have really made sense. I had drank enough by that point on Monday that I was ready to rock out 60s style so the set was actually pretty fun, I just think I expected too much. LET SPIRITS RIDE.
29Bonobo
Black Sands


---3/5--- (Day 4) One of my most highly anticipated dance tent acts was somewhat of a disappointment. Most of his stuff was really good, but he didn't do a great job of mixing it up enough to hold the audience's attention for his full 60 minute set.
28 Axis of Awesome
Comedy Tent


---3/5--- (Day 4) A really funny comedy group from Australia I think. They were really funny, but pretty much everyone was there was the "Four- Chord Song" song. They actually got pissed off when everyone cheered at the beginning of it. Lots of people started filming it and one of them just snaps: "You fucking know there?s a video of this on Youtube, right? Why are you filming, who?s going to watch that?" I took lots of video during the weekend but definitely didn't during their set. Thank god, I would have gotten reamed out pretty hard.
27Beach House
Teen Dream


---3/5--- (Day 3) Beach House is a great band to play on a hot summer day in a gorgeous outdoor venue. I'm not crazy about their studio stuff but this was a really good set.
26Foster The People
Torches


---3/5--- (Day 4) Ok so, this was crazy. They played on the smallest stage but definitely should have been on the mainstage. The crowd was HUGE. Pretty much everyone there (including me) was there to hear 'Pumped Up Kicks' and they played it last. It ruled. One of the most fun dance parties of the weekend.
25Death Cab For Cutie
Transatlanticism


---3/5--- (Day 2) This is probably my biggest disappointment of the festival, but most of that is my fault. They were good and I enjoyed probably the first six or so songs but then I started to get bored. They played a very long set and I don't like Death Cab For Cutie enough to listen to all their songs that I don't like to get to the ones I do. They played Title and Registration and Transatlanicism last but, like an idiot, I left before then. God damn it.
24k-os
Joyful Rebellion


---3.5/5--- (Day 2) The first set I saw on Saturday was K-os. The festival didn't have very much good hip-hop so this was a really great time. Everyone likes some K-os, he puts the crab in the bukkit.
23Cold War Kids
Mine Is Yours


---3.5/5--- (Day 3) On the album, Cold War Kid's vocals are what turn me off. They're pitchy and annoying. Live, they're incredible. How the hell does that even happen? Great midday set on Sunday on the main stage.
22Skrillex
Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites


---3.5/5--- (Day 4) I had to split my time between The Decemberists and Skrillex but it worked out very well. I saw probably 20 minutes of Skrillex's set and it was pretty much exactly what I thought it would be. It was super fun, filthy dubstep with lots of drugged out hipsters losing their shit at every bass drop. My?name?.is?.Skrillex! Haha good shit
21Guided By Voices
Bee Thousand


---3.5/5--- (Day 4) This was like Pavement's set last year only not bad. They should have had a later set, I wasn't really in the mood for it midday, but it was still great. I've only heard Bee Thousand but I like it. Not 5 worthy like so many of you seem to think, in my opinion, but it's a great album.
20Wye Oak
Civilian


---3.5/5--- (Day 2) I wasn't a huge fan of Civilian, but after catching about 20 minutes of Wye Oak's set I'm definitely going to listen to the album a few more times to see if it grows on me. They were badass live. I never thought I'd call Wye Oak "badass."
19Rival Schools
Pedals


---3.5/5--- (Day 1) The first act of the entire festival was Rival Schools, the project of former Quicksand vocalist. Rival Schools broke up for nine years and just recently reunited to release "Pedals," an awesome, fun, pop- punk/post-hardcore record. This was such a fun set, and I was super amped to finally be seeing some live music, of couse.
18Gold Panda
Lucky Shiner


---3.5/5--- (Day 3) I saw the first 40 minutes of Gold Panda's set before I left for The Flaming Lips. This was one of the best dance-tent acts of the festival in my opinion. Hearing "You" live was just amazing. He took a lot of his songs in different directions live, which was cool, but he sometimes got kind of caught up doing the same thing over and over. He could have, should have, trimmed some of the fat from his set, at least the part I saw. But he was still incredible.
17The Decemberists
The Crane Wife


---4/5--- (Day 4) I had to split The Decemberist's set with Skrillex's on the last day, which was a little unfortunate. The Decemberists were excellent though. The King Is Dead clearly isn't their greatest album, but the many songs that they played from it went excellently with the sunset time slot on the main stage. It was the last day and I let it all soak in. They also played many songs from Picaresque, but not many from my personal favourite, The Crane Wife. I looked at some of their sets before the festival and expected this, so I wasn?t disappointed. I got to see "The Crane Wife 3" live and it was phenomenal. It was one of the best songs of the weekend. Ooh I"m totally making a "Top 25 Songs From Sasquatch 2011" list later.
16Reggie Watts
Comedian


---4/5--- (Day 3) Best comedy act of the festival, easily. His set went something like this: play a cool, spacey keyboard phrase for a while with some dreamy vocals, then stop and start yelling about crazy random shit. I'm not going to try to explain any of his jokes because the way he wove them in with the music made it what it was. It was awesome, I laughed crazy hard. What a guy.
15Bassnectar
Cozza Frenzy


---4/5--- (Day 2) This was the late night show on Day 2 and it was a ton of fun. I guess this guy is a dubstep DJ, I've never really listened to him before. I was skeptical, like I was before Deadmau5 last year, but I was blown away, again, like last year. I don?t know why I ever doubted the guy, he spins some pretty tasty beats. With each bass drop, hundreds of glowsticks would erupt from the audience (it HAD to have been co- ordinated; the timing was perfect). The best part of his set was probably when his music just cut off but he didn't notice (his headphones were still going). No lie, the bass actually flooded the system a couple of times. Like, a wom overload. He would just be standing there with his headphones on, rocking it for like twenty seconds before someone would come on and tell him that no one else can hear what he?s doing. It was pretty rofl-tastic. Apparently the same thing happened at Deadmau5 last year but I definitely don't remember that. That was a pretty messy day.
14Against Me!
Reinventing Axl Rose


---4/5--- (Day 1) A confession: I have only listened to Reinventing Axl Rose. Sue me. So sure, I'm not a big Against Me! fan. But I have seen them before (opening for Alexisonfire and Billy Talent) and I know that their live shows slay dwarfs. Well, their set on the opening day did not disappoint. Their set was super high energy and passionate, as per usual. Bungy, I wish we had managed to meet up because you must have been losing your shit for this entire show. Oh the drummer RULES by the way. The way his face looks when he sings along is creepy as shit, I love it.
13Local Natives
Gorilla Manor


---4/5--- (Day 2) So apparently Local Natives are huge. Their vinyl sold out on the first day and the crowd up front for their set (as well as the dance party they were the catalyst for) was massive. I guess I'm not really surprised because their songs are great and very catchy. They were also the perfect band to be playing a festival such as this, for even if you weren't familiar with their music you'd still be able to appreciate how well it went with the clear skies and unrelenting heat. Beautiful summer weather deserves music to go with it, and Fleet Foxes weren't there, so Local Natives it was (at least for Day 2). It's almost like they wrote these songs to be played at The Gorge. I had a fantastic time just relaxing on the hill for their set and just soaking it all in.
12Wilco
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot


---4/5--- (Day 4) Wilco had the honour of being the very last band to play on the final day of the festival. I was underwhelmed when the schedule was released and I realized that they were the last band because in 2010 it was fucking Ween. So?. Anyway, I don't like Wilco very much, or I didn't. I was very impressed with their set, even though I missed the first bit because I was getting my mind blown (by whom, you ask?). I've since revisited Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and have started to like it more. Even though I'm not that familiar with most of their material, I started to get some of the hype while watching them play live. The main guy, whatshisface, he's really funny. And he's also a great singer and guitar player.
11Young The Giant
Young The Giant


---4/5--- (Day 4) I was very excited for Young The Giant, I knew they were going to be a great mid day set. I was not disappointed. They played early on the final day, so this was pretty much the one day I committed to getting in before 2:00. It was hot as hell, there were no clouds in the sky yet, but much like Local Natives, the music suited the weather. Songs like "Cough Sryup" and "My Body" (which they played last) had everyone singing along to their catchy choruses. The vocalist was pretty much perfect as well, in that he sounded almost exactly like he does on their record.
10Archers of Loaf
Icky Mettle


---4/5--- (Day 3) Archers of Loaf are OG you guys. They're straight up indie rock from the 1990s. But the thing about Archers of Loaf is that they're not bad like a lot of first wave indie bands coughpavementcough (-1 indie cred). These guys just tore it up live. I would have liked more from White Trash Heroes but they pretty much nailed every song they played. I'm pretty sure they were broken up at some point but they sound like they've been playing together their entire lives. Probably the best part of this show was seeing all the 30-40 year olds looking at me impressed as I sang along to songs from Icky Mettle. We sang together, it was dope. I don't hunt cougars but she was niceeeeee. click click click click click Stick a pin in your backbone!
9Robyn
Body Talk


---4/5--- (Day 2) Bright Eyes drove me away from the mainstage and The Glitch Mob weren't really doing it for us, so my friend and I decided to maybe try out this Robyn chick. I got her last album, it's pretty good, but it's just not really my jam. However I had a hunch that this show would be amazing and I was right. I wouldn't go this far but several people I talked to said that this was the best set of the festival. If you weren't singing along during Dancing On My Own then you never ever sing at concerts. This shit was just infectious. So much fun live.
8Basia Bulat
Heart of My Own


---4.5/5--- (Day 3) Alright, a little story. One fine evening in December, Adrian decided to get really drunk at a local bar and rub soap all over the mirrors in the bathrooms. I was not allowed in that bar for 3 months, fair enough. Anyway, about 2 months later, I noticed that Basia Bulat was going to be playing in Victoria (90 minute drive for me). Here's the best part: my dad loves this stuff. He likes Regina Spektor and pretty much all the female vocalists who are similar-ish that I show him. I've never been to a show with my dad and this was gonna be awesome! We bought tickets, drove down, had a nice dinner, got pumped, and then I didn?t get let in to the venue. Turns out, I was not just banned from that one bar, I was on BC's "Bar-Watch Program" (WTF???) and like 70% of the bars in Victoria had me in their system So, no dice. No. Fucking. Dice. (I called the owner of the bar that I originally got kicked out of later and he was super awesome about it and removed the ban, but still). Long story short: lame ass balls. I was really upset, not so much because of the show but because I was excited to experience that with my dad for the first time. Anyway, imagine my excitement when I saw she was playing Sasquatch. tl;dr her set at Sasquatch was awesome. It was very intimate; there were only about a dozen or so dedicated fans that knew the words. I met her afterwards, it was sublime. She's so modest and adorable and played such an amazing set. I love Basia Bulat, check her shit out if you haven?t heard it.
7The Antlers
Burst Apart


---4.5/5--- (Day 2) This was the set that I was most excited for before the festival started. The conflict with other bands was terrible (The Thermals, Iron and Wine, and Washed Out) but I'm glad I stuck around for all 45 minutes of The Antlers. Due to their limited time, they focused primarily on their new album Burst Apart. This was fine by me as that album is quickly growing into one of my favourite albums of 2011; I already like it more than 2009's near-masterpiece Hospice. They played something like seven songs from Burst Apart. The highlights were Rolled Together (so so so so so good live) and my personal favourite No Widows (sounds like an underground level from the SNES Donkey Kong games). They finished their set with the song Two from Hospice, which drew a huge reaction from the crowd. I met the band afterward and got them to sign my poster and CD of Burst Apart, the'?re really great guys.
6The Flaming Lips
The Soft Bulletin


---4.5/5--- (Days 3) This was my most anticipated show of the entire festival. I couldn't believe that they had Flying Lotus playing at the same time, but there was no way I was missing a second of The Flaming Lips. To start, they were 20 minutes late. This wouldn't have been a problem if they were the final headliner for the day, but they weren't. They were set to play from 8:00 to 9:30 meaning that when 9:30 came it was time to gtfo. The final headliner, Modest Mouse, was set to play from 10:00 to 11:30 but it didn't matter if they went long because there was nobody playing after them. The Flaming Lips were supposed to play the entire album The Soft Bulletin and then, on paper, have time for an encore of sorts, you know, a few popular songs from other albums (Do You Realize?). But the late start combined with Wayne Coyne's many nonsensical, albeit humorous ramblings meant that they ran out of time after playing only 10 of the 15 songs from The Soft Bulletin, it was pretty lame. Now, that said, this was an absolutely incredible concert. Everything that you have heard about The Flaming Lips live is true. They started with a super bombastic, psychedelic groove and played it for about five minutes while Coyne rolled around in his hamster ball on the crowd. Then they started playing Race For The Prize as Wayne exited his hamster ball and took the mic, and the show was on. There were confetti cannons going off in sync with the music and giant mutilcoloured balloons everywhere. The background was displaying some of the trippiest shit I?ve ever seen (Teletubbies? Seriously?). I've really grown to like The Soft Bulletin a lot in the last little while. It's no Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, but it?s an incredible album on its own. The Flaming Lips played the songs like they had originally recorded the album this year, with passion and meaning. I was right up close for them and it was magical. But minus .5 for the restricted set. I am positive that the "full" show (the entire album plus more as advertised) would have been easily in the top 3.
5Death From Above 1979
You're a Woman, I'm a Machine


---4.5/5--- (Day 1) They're back baby. They're fucking back. What can I really say about this band live? I mean, it's like the dirtiest, catchiest, most rocking um, rock, that you've ever heard. The drummer wore all white and the bass player wore all black, they looked sharp. That's right, SHARP. They had the crowd going pretty wild, and hipsters don't exactly do "wild" so that was pretty impressive. I took two or three good elbows during Black History Month but I probably delivered a couple as well so it's all good. Man DFA crush skulls, what can I really say?
4Modest Mouse
The Moon & Antarctica


---4.5/5--- (Day 3) I heard that Modest Mouse's live shows were pretty much a coin toss. Half the time they're terrible, half the time they're incredible. Well, the Day 3 headliners did not disappoint; we got the good Modest Mouse. We got the epic, cathartic, gut-wrenching Modest Mouse. This is the only time I've seen them so they're batting 1.000 (I guess they'll suck next time I see them?). Their set was twenty perfectly picked and organized songs. Almost every album was very well represented, and there were very few, if any, "essential" songs missing. Isaac Brock passionately belted out his signature vocals like it was his last day on Earth. It took me a little while to realize it, but Modest Mouse?s set is an easy pick for the top five sets of the festival. I only wish that I went and got into the action instead of sitting on the hill. I was tired from The Flaming Lips, probably should have had more rum.
3The Thermals
The Body, The Blood, The Machine


---5/5--- (Day 2) I missed the first twenty minutes of The Thermal's set because I wasn't about to miss one second of The Antlers (terrible conflict), so I just know I missed an awesome first few songs (I Don't Believe You!). But when I got right up into the crowd, and we started getting rowdy, and the band was LOVING it, that was easily the most fun I had all weekend. My voice was already halfway gone from screaming Foo Fighters lyrics the night before, but yelling "I MIGHT WANT YOU TO KILL!!!!" at the top of my lungs pretty much destroyed me for the rest of the weekend. I have never had a more positive crowd/band interaction then I experienced with The Thermals on Saturday. If we stopped moving around, they would kind of kick it down a notch. Then we'd start getting into it again and they would feed off it instantly. The drummer would be standing and hitting his cymbals literally as hard as he could as we jumped around, bro-pushing each other. Oh man there was also a couple of forty-something guys right up there. It was obvious that they hadn't ever been at a show with that kind of?etiquette (or it had at least been a while). They looked like they were having the most fun they'd had in a long time, the looks on their faces were priceless. Another awesome thing about this set was that I ran into my friend Drew in the pit (literally). We spent the next forty minutes rocking out together and it was the perfect way to get re-acquainted (we didn't drive down together and I had no idea where he was camping).
2Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest


---5/5--- (Day 4) I didn't really like this band very much at all until I started making myself relisten to Halcyon Digest in preparation for Sasquatch. I still didn't get the hype but I started to like it more and more. So I told myself that I would at least see some of their set at Sasquatch; they conflicted with Wilco a bit. They played from 9:00 to 10:00 on the last day and let me just say, mind blown. My brain was splattered everywhere. I can't even describe very well why it was so good. Much like the Godspeed You! Black Emperor show that I saw earlier this year, there really are no words. Deerhunter are AMAZING live. I immediately went and bought Halcyon Digest at the vinyl shack that was about to close (which turned out to be white vinyl yessssssss).
1Foo Fighters
Wasting Light


---5/5--- (Day 1) I almost knew this was coming from the very beginning, and I think you did too. In case you haven't heard, Dave Grohl is basically a living legend, and his band is pretty ok too. As far as straight up rock and roll in our current musical scene, it doesn't get much better than Foo Fighters. This set had everything. Forget the songs (I'll get to those later), the interludes were worth the price of admission alone. For one, Grohl's banter with the audience was hilariously perfect. There was a guitar duel, an absolutely phenomenal drum solo by Taylor Hawkins, a guest appearance by Bob Mould in Dear Rosemary, and so much more. But what did they play? They started with Bridge Burning and Rope from their new album. They played Learn to Fly, My Hero, Times Like These, This is a Call, Monkey Wrench, Hey Johnny Park. It. Was. AWESOME. They played pretty much every hit they've ever had, but also played some other lesser known tracks, a cover, and lots from their new album (I was a bit surprised they didn't play it in its entirety). They were the perfect headliner. With about 8 songs to go Dave said that they were just gonna skip the whole encore BS because they didn't want to waste time and instead just wanted to play more songs. Oh and the last two songs? Best of You. Everlong. My jaw, the floor. One of the best shows I've ever seen.
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