Bumbershoot 2010 Review
Monday, September 6
Monday saw smaller crowds, which made it easy to get around. With our 6 and 4 year-olds in tow, we ventured to the Broad Street stage to see personal faves Bobby Bare Jr. He was in fine form for such an early set, adorned with a stylin’ green polyester suit and cowboy hat and backed by an equally scruffy lookin’ cast of Blue Giants. He got right to it with an acoustic version of "Nashville, Tennessee" and then did the full-on dirty, distorted version of "Terrible Sunrise" before settling in for some of his patented between-song banter. Highlights included the suggestion that everyone kill the one they love and asking the crowd if there were any necropheliacs in the audience. Songs from his brand new album A Storm, A Tree, My Mother’s Head sounded better live with a full band and he threw in staples like "I’ll Be Around" and "Valentine" to boot.
Just up the path was the Starbucks stage, where the wifey’s college mate Eric and his band Trampled By Turtles were adeptly rippin’ through some spirited bluegrass. They are such good players that you sometimes overlook how good of a songwriter Dave Simmonett is. "Empire" is a standout that turns samey-samey finger-picking in to something more memorable. By the end you had a decent crew of people two-steppin’ on the damp grass, but nothing like their barn-burning sets at the Tractor Tavern.
My favorite show of the day came from the Thermals. They played a mid-afternoon set at the KEXP super secret location for a live broadcast, which meant comfortable, tiered seating and excellent sound. They ripped through the first side of their new one, Personal Life, and they threw in a few old favorites before signing off. The Wifey and I remarked on how young they still looked; the same observation we had when we saw them do Bumbershoot in 2003.
Mad props to my little ones for making it through three full sets of music before they got to spend a couple hours doing crafts an yoga in the big house. They didn’t have energy to stay for the English Beat’s KEXP set, but it made for fine scoring on the short drive home.