Saxual Healing with Saxsquatch at The Atlantis

Image courtesy of the one and only @Saxsquatch on Instagram.

This past Valentine’s Day (2/14), Saxsquatch and opener, Dougish, delivered an odd yet endearing performance for this holiday of romance at The Atlantis. Saxophonist Dean Mitchell, originally a member of The Marcus King Band, gained viral fame in 2019 for donning a Sasquatch suit and playing covers of pop songs in his backyard in North Carolina. By 2020, Saxsquatch was amassing millions of views across social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Tiktok, and even embarked on the Saxual Healing Tour 2020, a series of outdoor concerts at venues across the US. Saxsquatch has also recorded his own original electronic music, including songs such as “Northern Lights,” “Moondance,” and “Madness,” all of which have been included in popular video games Fortnite and Rocket League. 

This show in DC was the opening night of Saxsquatch’s Bigfoot Rave Tour, Saxsquatch’s second-ever tour as a solo act. Attended by families with small children and millennials looking to escape their daily grind, the concert was about three hours worth of bells and whistles; entertaining perhaps, but not for the entire drawn-out duration of the show. Saxsquatch’s musical talent saved the night from a poorly executed opening set on the part of Dougish.

Opener Dougish inaugurated the Bigfoot Rave Tour with a series of pop remixes and overplayed house tracks perfectly designed to get the crowd of 30-somethings ready for the night ahead. Somehow, nobody seemed bothered by the lack of transitions between songs, or other technical errors on the part of Dougish. The 70 minute DJ set was ultimately nothing to write home about, and left me waiting in anticipation for the main event. How long would it take until I could hear Saxsquatch play his saxophone? 

After nearly two and a half hours after the doors had opened, the legendary Saxsquatch finally graced us with his presence on stage. Armed with his mighty saxophone, he opened the performance with a soulful and intimate rendition of George Michael’s “Careless Whisper”—a perfect song to transform the atmosphere of the night from empty nightclub to soft soirée. Despite my annoyance at how long the audience was forced to wait, Saxsquatch’s obvious mastery over the saxophone salvaged the night. The novelty of the Sasquatch suit and faux pine trees lining the stage were fun, but the arsenal of pop hit covers that Saxsquatch wielded felt a little cheap, as if Saxsquatch needed to rely on nostalgia to get the audience’s attention. 

Despite his humorous stature, Saxsquatch played the saxophone with effortless skill. Songs flowed together, and he executed transitions between songs with suave. Saxsquatch performed memorable solos, and engaged the audience with sections of call and response, where he would play a musical phrase and the audience would respond by singing the melody back. Throughout the concert, I was impressed by Saxsquatch’s ability to play as a one man band. The live performance he orchestrated was clearly thought out, carefully practiced, and inspiring. However, I would not call myself a diehard fan, compared to those in the audience that donned Saxsquatch memorabilia and inflatable costumes.

Saxsquatch’s performance on the first night of the Bigfoot Rave Tour was fun and quirky, and I must say that in all the concerts I have attended, nothing whatsoever has compared to the experience of seeing the Saxsquatch lumber onto stage with saxophone in hand. The Sasquatch suit-wearing saxophonist is certainly talented, but the experience revolves entirely on the novelty of the idea of a Sasquatch wailing away on the saxophone, somewhere deep in the woods. 

Certainly, if you are attracted to unorthodox and creative ideas for live performances, I would recommend a night with Saxsquatch. Perhaps for people that have no strong preference towards any kind of music, and simply would like to be entertained, then this is the perfect experience for you. But, there is not much that one can expect from a Saxsquatch concert that the Squatch does not already deliver in his TikTok and Facebook live streams. Only time will tell if Saxsquatch will be able to innovate and keep audiences interested in his bit, or if donning the Sasquatch suit will fail to deliver once the bit has been exhausted.

Follow this saxual beast on his Bigfoot Rave Tour in the following months!!

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