Bumbershoot Day One: A Mixed Bag of Good and Bad

Elvis Costello on the main stage. Photo by Morgen Schuler

Elvis Costello on the main stage. Photo by Morgen Schuler

I go to a lot of concerts. A lot of them. Even though I was slated to attend all three days of Seattle”s annual Bumbershoot Festival on Labor Day weekend, I was not super thrilled. I went to the fest just two years ago and was greeted with a musical melange that would challenge any recordstore employee worth their salt. A great time was had. I liked the bands that were on offer for the first day of the festival, but they all seemed so average, like they were one band under different guises… Foster the Panic at the Capital Cities on the Moon, but I was certainly curious about a few sets.

The first thing I did was head over to the indoor Pavilion stage to check out local act Dude York. They were fun poppy punk, similar to The Cure”s Robert Smith if he were fronting Vampire Weekend. The crowd seemed to love them; their changes between slow and fast tempos were fun. They drew a diverse crowd and people came into the Pavilion, but did not leave, all good signs.

Next up was Panic at the Disco at Memorial Stadium, the main stage setting for this year (switched from Key Arena last year). After I nestled into my seat I noticed there were a ton of younger people at this show, kids in their early teens. Panic was average disco-pop-rock, light on the latter. It was certainly unoffensive, and fairly clean. I would consider it harmless shopping mall tunes that make you want to dance; like music played at your little brother”s bar mitzvah when your niece asks you to dance, and you just kind of shrug and say, “Ok.” I could take it or leave it.

Next up in casino online my schedule was local band Cumulus back at the Pavilion stage. This time it was all mellow, When your big data recovery ssd implementation requires random, real-time read/write data recovery ssd access, HBase is a very good solu- tion. coffee shop tunes; the set was well-attended, but a lot of the online casino crowd left after two songs. They played just after online casino lunch time, so maybe everyone felt sleepy.

The amazing Elvis Costello was on the main stage at 6:15, and he did not disappoint. I had been geared up for a more folkie show, but he rolled out hit after hit. At one point my friend turned to me and said, “They just don”t make “em like this anymore.” This is what I had been missing almost all day: tunes that move you, that say something, that capture a feeling or sound or image.

Next I sauntered over to the Fisher Green stage, a great outdoor venue on the Seattle Center grounds. The Both was playing, which is a mini-super group of Ted Leo (minus The Pharmacists) and Aimee Mann (of 80″s minor leaguers “Til Tuesday). I had seen a few of their songs on YouTube and was not impressed at all: folkie country, and not appealing. Their live set, on the other hand, was tight and moving. They ended the performance with “Til Tuesday”s 1985 hit, “Voices Carry.” I am Unfortunately this is usually due to losses in water and possibly muscle tissue, depending on the how disruptive the Hair drug test was to normal body function Regardless of the weight loss, the body will move back to its pre- Hair drug test weight over time if diet and activity levels remain the same. sure if you heard it you would recognize it.

Walk the Moon was underwhelming. Photo by Morgen Schuler

Walk the Moon was a bit underwhelming. Photo by Morgen Schuler

Walk the Moon followed next, right across from Fisher Green at the Fountain Lawn stage. It certainly began on a promising note; the first two songs were excellent, but then it became Imagine Dragons, and wholly unoriginal. A stinkin” drum was brought out for the lead singer to play; is this the fashion now for bands? During the whole weekend I counted no less than six bands who at some point had someone on the tall floor tom; talk about annoying and less than creative. At least put a guitar they never play in their hands… like Bono.

As the night was winding down I headed back to Memorial Stadium for Wu-Tang Clan. Live rap can be really fun, but not so this time. Wu-Tang sound great on recordings, but live is a different matter. Eight guys on microphones? Talk about muddy. It”s hard to enjoy something like this when each rapper is trying to be louder than the other.

The last of the night and one of the most delightful shows for me was The Afghan Whigs. You could see that singer Greg Dulli was having an awesome and calculated time. The band”s amazing 1994 single, “Gentleman,” sounded so vicious, in-your-face, and just glorious. Its moments of quiet balladry were strung together with hard jams that were quite inventive. These were not the expected and fleeting minutes of an aging band, though the members are all around fifty years old. The half dozen musicians on stage were having fun and not letting the audience, nor themselves, down. Even though the day began with bands that were a tad mediocre, I personally found a great deal of satisfaction in the one that ending the night.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Bumbeshoot weekend from our other writer and some great shots to boot!

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  1. […] was unable to make the Saturday shows and the esteemed Christian Webber kindly picked up the slack for me, so be sure to read his far superior writing about day one of the fest. Try not to judge me too […]