Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday at Bumbershoot

The final day of Bumbershoot and the weather was still beautiful - not a cloud in the sky. I don't remember having weather this good in the last 5 years of Bumbershoot, I ended up running through the fountain to cool off several times each day and Carina got a picture of her running through the fountain published by the Seattle Times:
Carina in the fountain

On the way in to the Seattle Center a street musician was already at work, so I gave him some change. I've always liked "You Are My Sunshine."
You can hear Carina commenting on the flowers, so I filmed that (and the Space Needle, and a weather station Carina pointed out too) on the way in. No music, but it was visually appealing:

We ran into another group of street musicians on the way in, with a pirate for bonus points:

As we entered the Seattle Center grounds after having our tickets scanned we immediately ran into a brass band playing, I think this was one of the pre-arranged spectacle events:

We followed the brass band up with The Horde and the Harem in the EMP Level 3 stage, up those 3 flights of stairs again.
I like the rich instrumentation and horns, nice sound, wish I had some more by them.

On the way out of the EMP we heard a street musician with an electric guitar covering Summertime, very nice choice:

After that we listened to Motopony at the Fountain Stage, very nice groove, interesting sound, nice composition. The first bit is short:

I also got a full song from Motopony on video:

I like the spacey sound and the way the elements go together, especially the lyrics. Very nice.

We caught Legendary Oaks at the mural Amphitheater, old school folky/country kinds of sound based on the simple bass line and fiddle, very nice. Here's a song that featured some nice fiddle playing:

Fly Moon Royalty has very talented musicians on piano and vocals and dancing girls!

They also did some songs without the dancers that sounded good, maybe not quite as fun to watch but still very good. Apparently I only recorded songs with the dancing girls, imagine that! Here's another one:

Curtains For You back at the EMP Level 3 stage put on a good set of catchy tunes, nice compositions with interesting vocal complexity. The second song on this bit is a little more upbeat or maybe I should say more up-tempo:

We caught Quadron but I only got a short bit of video and the audio isn't very good due to clipping when loud bass notes are played.

Grand Hallway put on an excellent set of intensely introspective tunes, I've seen them 4 or 5 times and like their approach. It's a little bit soft for me but they are definitely talented and write some intricate beautiful songs that worked very well while sitting on the Mural lawn and enjoying the heat and the music.

I missed Ravenna Woods set earlier so the YR Radio booth gave me a backup chance to catch them:

I only recorded a tiny bit of Ravenna Woods, hopefully I'll catch more of them some time, I like their sound.

Head Like a Kite was fun, dancy upbeat music and they obviously don't take themselves too seriously; that purple squid is silly but fun.

We were too late heading to the Key Arena for Big Boi so we ended up in lousy seats with a poor view so I only recorded a little bit:

We watched YACHT at the Fountain Stage and enjoyed the heck out of it. Their between songs patter was amusing; the female lead vocalist took questions from the crowd and when the question was "Can I marry you?" another member of the band said "Nobody here gets married until everyone can get married!" which was a witty way to turn the conversation to a political topic, nice quick thinking! I got a long song (or maybe it's two):

They also did a cover of the B-52's Mesopotamia, a song I've always enjoyed. Unfortunately my battery ran out in less than a minute so I only got the start:
YACHT was great, I'll have to keep an eye out for another chance to catch them.

I got a couple of short bits from Dom in the Exhibition Hall, pretty good for a performance in the long concrete box, cute young band I;ve never heard of.

This second one has a nice beat and good vocals. Apparently they're breaking in a new lead guitarist and their keyboard player missed the show (replaced by Mr. Computer, according to the lead vocalist), they had a nice tight sound for having their lineup changed around recently.

We saw Dennis Coffee put on a nice set, this little bit at the end of one song:

Followed by a song with a guest vocalist, nice funky sound, worked well for me.

Ian Moore and the Lossy Coils was fun and I love the name. Power trio with a straight ahead guitar oriented rock sound, good rhythm, quite entertaining:

You Am I put on an interesting set on the Fountain Lawn, the tradeoff between the vocals and the backing instruments is cool.

Eisley put on a good show at the Exhibition Hall, according to their PR they're all family members; if that's true then that's a talented (and cute) family.

Lake put on a sweet set at the EMP Level 3 Stage. Interesting lineup with 2 guitars, 2 keyboards and a drummer. One of the keyboard players is using a percussion instrument too, and they may be playing a bass line on one of the keyboards, I can't quite tell. Nice well written well performed tunes, definitely worth a listen or two:

Greensky Bluegrass put on a killer set that had the audience jumping. Nothing but stringed instruments and vocals, I grew up listening to my Dad's bluegrass collection so this is a very familiar style to me, feels kind of like home - which is a very good thing in my book.

I saw Sharon Van Etten at Sasquatch and enjoyed her set, and she didn't disappoint at Bumbershoot. She did some nice solo work with her guitar and vocals:

She also did some songs with her band, which adds a bass and drums to the lineup.
Very nice either way, she's quite talented.

Vendetta Red played at Bumbershoot this year too, I think this was a reunion show after a long layoff. I saw one of their last shows with a daughter or two 8 years or so ago, they still sound good and loud!

The sound was a little loud for my Flip so the audio on the recording is only so so, but the heavier sounding bands like Vendetta Red are pretty distorted sounding anyway. I got 2 other Vendetta Red songs recorded, you can find them on my youtube channel if you're interested.

Urge Overkill was next on the Fisher Green Stage. Nice tight guitar oriented rock, good stuff!

Next up was Fitz and the Tantrums on the Key Arena Mainstage, they're very talented and put on a great show; we figured out how to handle the crowd a bit better and got a better vantage point on the main floor. Sound was very good for the Key.

Both songs I recorded by Fitz and the Tantrums were great, although I only got a bit of Steady As She Goes:

The audience just ate this up.

We zipped over to the Mural Amphitheater to see Over the Rhine out on a nice set, another band I've never heard of that was very good:

...and we were up to the penultimate act, Phantogram. Interesting kind of droning sound with the lights and even the green wand in the audience adding to the ambience:

The final act of Bumbershoot for us was the Reverend Horton Heat. I've been a fan for years, enough so that when they opened their set with the strains of the tune "Marijuana" which has only one lyric ("Marijuana") my daughters recognized it instantly, even before they got to the only spoken word. Not sure if I should really be all that proud of the fact, but I can't help it.

They did selections off of most if not all of their albums, including 2 off of what the critics all said was their worst album, which included this gem:

They took lots of requests too, that's how they ended up doing a Christmas song:

I have quite a few other songs on video from the set, you can find them at my youtube channel.

I'll wrap this up with a bit less than a minute of Psycho Billy Breakdown, recorded from the beer garden - my kids bought me a beer! I love it when a plan works out!

We heard a bit of Grant Lee Buffalo on the way out (no video though) so that brought us up to 30 performances for Monday, and 80 total performances for all of Bumbershoot weekend, with 62 of those being the first time I'd ever seen the band performing and 18 repeats.

Another awesome Bumbershoot wrapped up.

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