Some old, familiar faces greeted me at the gate on day one of this year’s Bumbershoot festival.
One was my old Ellensburg neighbor and former Almost Live host, John Keister. I’m sure a guy coming up to you and stating "hey I was your neighbor 16 years ago while you are distracted at the gate with your guest would be enough to make a man a little annoyed," but he was as pleasant as I remember. Keep the humor alive, Keister!
I also saw local legend Derek Sheen, who is doing a comedy night at the Sunset Tavern called "The Drinky Show." I wished them both well and me and Katy were in the door. Bumbershoot was our oyster on a half shell.
The first band we saw was Brite Futures, formally called "Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head." This band is incredibly tight with a tremendous energy. They’re like a Ritalin kid on a sugar high riding a pogo stick. It’s just bouncy, sweet and fun music.
We caught about four songs and headed over to the Fountain Stage. (I failed to mention that after I drank two cups of coffee and Camera Girl Katy smoked a cigarette I accidently stepped on a small white dog. It let out a weird little yelp and the owner apologized. At least the dog wasn’t in a stroller.)
Next we caught a bit of Craft Spells, a Seattle band who’s name unfortunately sounds a bit like "Craft
Services." So I was expecting a lot of grub. Sadly, it was only food for our ears.
This band is a bunch of young dudes who play pleasant
enough music, but I can’t shake the fact that the lead singer wore a sweater. He looked miserable in the heat. (Attention people: do not let image give you sunstroke)
Despite the singer’s ridiculous choice in attire, Craft Spells reminded me of two artists I dig very much: New Order and Morrissey. But it was a little too early in the day to be mopey and, since
they weren’t handing out donuts or cheese fries, we decided to get some metal on.
I noticed in the
Bumbershoot pamphlet that it stated that the metal showcase was brought
to us by Dana Sims from El Corazon. I also noticed that Witchburn, a band Dana plays drums in, opened up the showcase and his other
band, Plaster was playing El Corazon on Saturday night. That is one hard working
dude. Thanks for bringing the metal to Bumbershoot this year, Dana.
Portland’s Red Fang
did not disappoint the heavy rock fans either. They showed up on a smokey stage with lasers, Odin-like beards and
guitars aplenty. Since I was balancing my time between acts we only stayed four incredibly heavy songs. But they were heavy. Heavy like lead paint at
an abandoned mental hospital. Crazy heavy.
With the metal ringing in
my ears and the smell of beer, beards and sweat affixed to my nasal hairs,
we bounded into the light of one Mr. Andrew Bothwell, aka
Let me just say that this guy will be a mega star. He is handsome,
funny, extremely talented and puts on a show that is fresh, vivacious
Yep, Astronautalis can throw down and his charming charisma
doesn’t make me want to throw up. In fact he reminds me of Justin Timberlake. I
wanted so badly to hate on him, but then he was on SNL and then I was
laughing and now we’re like total besties.
This guy, though, he was jumping
from the stage into the crowd and back and forth and then telling jokes
about making babies during the Hall and Oates show on Monday night. He just had
the audience the whole time and we loved every minute of it.
is rap, but not really. There is an element of The National-vivid storytelling, a bit of Soul Coughing’s rhythmic virtuoso, and unabashedly
original melody lines like Modest Mouse. I will buy his new album when
it comes out on Fake Four Records September 13.
By the time we got to Vasen, the sun was just perfect and their sweet
music was an ideal accompaniment. This acoustic three-piece plays ditty folk music, but with
instruments from their homeland of Sweden. The tie-dye set just loved it! They were swirling and kicking away and all the world was good for a
moment. There were smiles on everyone’s face. It really was a wonderful moment, but, like most Bumbershoot moments it ended quickly because we had to get to the next band. Pronto.
That next band was local outfit Pickwick, and they played one of my favorite sets of the day. These guys have channeled 60’s soul perfectly. They could have easily
slipped in an Otis Redding or Sam Cooke cover and no-one would have
batted an eyelash. I am downloading their music right now so I can listen to
it on my next road trip. I’ll combine it with other old 60’s stuff; some Grayson
Hugh and Simply Red; and, just because I can, Weezer’s "Buddy Holly."
We also caught PS I Love You, a rocking
Canadian duo that blazed through some songs, used a bunch of neat loop
effects, and sang and screamed. Lead singer Paul Saulnier used a
double-necked guitar to do some lead on one and (at the same time…
showoff) play chords on the other. While he was doing all this he was also using his pedals for effects and singing. The guy is a
As we sat by the fountain, holding the Shrinky-Dinks we made at a Toyota tent ,we admired the college kids who had
made sleds out of food trays and were sliding down the ramp into the
fountain and crashing into water bottles like they were bowling. Vetiver
was in the background playing some wistful, Wilco-styled music as the
air got chilly, the people got closer and the sun turned in.
I urinated in one of the many sani-cans, got a cup of coffee, Katy had a smoke and we closed it down for the evening.
Check out more pictures from day 1.