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Great Moments in Bumbershoot History: Tony Bennett (2012)

Posted by August 27th, 2014 No Comments »

Photo by Jason Tang

By now, it’s obvious how Bumbershoot’s lineup depth can make it possible to see acts you otherwise wouldn’t. Sometimes you drop in to headlining sets for artists you don’t know well to test your cursory knowledge of their music. Other times you’re given the chance to see a legend and you honestly can’t pass it up.

OG crooner, Tony Bennett, had Key Arena full on a Sunday afternoon. Though that day is historically well-attended, the constant flow of neon youths was replaced with a politely stagnant collage of gray. Much of the audience seemed to be older women (duh) but there were more young folks than I expected, which may have had something to do with the fantastic opening set by soul-singer dynamo Sharon Jones.

Bennett’s entrance was classy as hell. He came out waving like royalty, bedecked in the mandatory uniform of a Swaglord lounge icon. The spotlight hit him and people went crazy because he transported everyone to a swanky Vegas show in a matter of seconds.

His show had the same rhythms and structure as a Jay-Z concert. (Or is it vice versa?) Bennett would launch into a golden oldie only to stop mid-verse to tell a story, either about how the song was written or about his career, and then resume the performance. He’d be in the middle of a bar and stop to be like “Y’know Sinatra is the one who originally gave me my stage name,” then shift right back to the song. The man was incredible and, had the crowd been just a little spryer, it would’ve been raining girdles the whole time.

This year’s Bumbershoot lineup includes Wu-Tang Clan, Elvis Costello, Afghan Whigs, Schoolboy Q, Mavis Staples, Capital Cities, The Replacements and hundreds more. Tickets are still available. 

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