Bumbershoot Music Festival 09/01/12 – Seattle, WA
The first day of the annual Seattle labor day tradition of Bumbershoot was on a perfect late summer/crisp early fall in the air, sunny, Northwest afternoon and night. Crowds were still plenty thick even with the Huskies home opener, and PAX in town. You have to love music festivals though! So much to hear from the bands finding their voices and grooves, those hoovering on great-dom, and those who are seasoned professionals.
POLECAT: A Bellingham, WA local performed their energetic country, bluegrass, world, reggae brand of music! They were definitely our find for the day. Polecat made you sway to the bluegrass under the sun and they made you want to jump to reggae beats the next with effortless connection some how. They are worth driving two hours north to see and keeping an eye on what develops.
GOTYE: I hesitated to see Gotye. His single, Somebody I Used to Know, is so F&*%ing overplayed it makes me sick. Somehow though, I made it over to check out the Aussie. I have to say, Wally De Backe is quite the talented musician. He played many types of percussion and an assortment of random instruments from keyboards to a weird hosed accordion looking thing. He opened with a thunderous intro and didn’t let go my attention even with the animation that was playing in the background which could have proved as a distraction. The videos that played in the background reminded me of the artist, M.C. Escher, and his 50’s lithographs of cube like designs morphing into crows. Gotye’s trance, mood music lent itself to the liquid images. To which effect positively worked well with the music ebbing and flowing. I thought Gotye was much like Foster the People, in the way both bands have this chill vibe on their produced albums but live, have this strange, welcome, energy! Unfortunately, when he played the overplayed single three songs away from the end of the set, half the crowd dispersed. I’m not sure if that half should be scorned for being rude for leaving before the set was over or I was on a different page than others.
THE HEAVY: I knew the singles, How do you Like Me Now, and Sixteen before seeing their show. I was not prepared for the energy, the fun, the show, they put on!!! It was James Brown mixed with like a Flogging Molly type of energy. Kelvin Swaby commanded the stage and the audience! He knew how to get the crowd to participate well and consistently! That can be tricky up here in Seattle I’ve found. It was so much fun being a part of the crowd, watching rhythmic arms in the air to the beats like metronomes but, with rock infusion! I have to note, because I’m a sucker when the band communicates with the crowd (Broken Bells, I’m still mad at your performance over a year ago) I tend to fall head over heals for them! As I have with The Heavy! It also helps that they are English.
AWOLNATION: I personally was a fan of their single, Sail. I was hyped up to see them at work, in their element, and my hopes and hype quickly dwindled. They seemed to me to be another LA guitar rock band. The crowd in front seemed young, and ate up the front man’s crowd surfing antics and vocals. I however, wanted more substance for my favorite, Sail, and it didn’t take off.
JANE’S ADDICTION: I am not a fan of Jane’s Addiction. I know the major songs but, I do not own an album or even a single. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy hearing the singles but, have never been connected. They were a blast straight out of the 90s though last night!!! Nude female silhouettes in the back ground, two Asian stripper like hotties parading around the stage in lingerie, Dave Navarro at full effect, random theatrics in the background (for example: an actor was slopping clay over his face to create a mask to cover his face, then poking holes for the eyes, feathers stabbed into his forehead). It was an old fashioned rock show! And for that I enjoyed it. Dave Navarro is a legend to be seen and appreciated with my own eyes and he did not disappoint.