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Bumbershoot 2023: Todd’s Saturday Picks

Posted by September 1st, 2023 No Comments »

Bumbershoot 2023
September 2-3 @ Seattle Center 
By Todd Terry

It is hard to believe that the summer of Barbenheimer is edging toward the sunset as Labor Day, and the much-anticipated return of Bumbershoot, looms on the very immediate horizon.

In my role as citizen journalist, and honorary member of the Riptide Detective Agency, I will be taking some time away from thinking up clever tribe names for my Survivor Fantasy League (last season it was “Billy Idol Hands Across America” and next season I am going with “The Style Council of Rick’s Café Américain”) to check out some culture on a (hopefully) sunny Saturday in September.

My musical act wish list for tomorrow, the opening day of what we just decided to call “Bumbershoot 3.0,” includes, but is not limited to the acts below. You really can’t go wrong though, given the new team in charge of the 50-year-old festival has packed it with a variety of seminal and emerging punk and soul artists. Click here for the daily schedules.

I will share real-time updates from the Seattle Center grounds on’s Instagram and Twitter/X pages too, so watch those spaces for updates.

Puddles Pity Party – I have heard a lot of good things about the melancholy singing clown cabaret / vaudeville act that is Puddles Pity Party. An outdoor stage in the daylight hours may not be the ideal setting for such things, but I am still hoping for some serious Shakes the Clown meets Buster Keaton vibes.

Sunny Day Real Estate – I have lived in Seattle and attended local shows since 1996, but somehow never managed to see Pacific Northwest legends Sunny Day Real Estate. A formative early 90’s band respected by discerning music fans and fellow musicians alike, you might be asking this Gen-X-er, “What is your damage, Heather?” When I look across this year’s Bumbershoot lineup, I see a host of formative Northwest bands I’ve seen countless times, so I’m really not sure how I’ve never managed to see Sunny Day. But I haven’t. And I am so thankful that the new Bumbershoot organizers are giving me the chance. In the eternal words of Cypress Hill, it is finally time for me to “check out the story to the glory of the real estate.”

AFI – My AFI was always more of the East Bay hardcore (Another Fucking Idiot, Asking For it) early days version, as opposed to the later emo / goth (A Fire Inside) model, but I am still pretty excited about all of the punk rock, and punk rock adjacent acts at the festival this year. And I’m guessing AFI still puts on a pretty killer live show.

Ride – This Oxford band’s Nowhere is possibly my favorite shoegaze album of all time. At Bumbershoot on Saturday, Ride will perform their follow up album Going Blank Again in its entirety, so I guess that is a pretty good consolation prize.  

Matt & Kim – I saw Matt & Kim at Bumbershoot in 2009 and they were a bundle of joy and energy. I hope that the last 14 years have not slowed them down too much, but what really matters is that they sing one of my favorite verses:

And in the daylight we can hitchhike to Maine
I hope that someday I’ll see without these frames
And in the daylight I don’t pick up my phone
‘Cause in the daylight anywhere feels like home

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