The soggy finish: Day 3 Bumbershoot Review

All photos by Lori Paulson | reviews by Jason Kinnard & Karalee Sargent

Monday was a wet finish to the final day of Seattle’s weekend long Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival. As far as Music Festival’s go around here, Bumbershoot is our crown jewel. It’s also the music event that usually marks the end of our Summer too, so it’s also the saddest day in a lot of ways. As we did the entire weekend, we spent a lot of time at the always amazing KEXP Music Lounge. If you haven’t seen one of these you are truly missing out. Today’s Lounge performances might have been a couple of our favorites of the entire weekend. An unbelievable finish to another classic Bumbershoot weekend. You gotta love a strong finish…

Stay tuned here for our full festival review and our Bumbershoot Dagger Awards In the meantime, check out some of the sights and sounds of Bumbershoot Day 3:

Ra Ra Riot – KEXP Secret Music Lounge

Ra Ra Riot was one of the acts I was super excited to see on Day 3 in the KEXP Music Lounge. I’ve always known of this band and even like a lot of their stuff, but I was really excited to see them after listening to their latest album The Orchard. The last time I saw this band was probably last year at Neumo’s when they played with Telekinesis before heading out on their big North American tour. Flash forward over a year and this sounds almost like a completely new band. That bass riff from their new song “Boy” is still sifting thru my head this morning. Damn, I just listened to it again – now it’s in your head. If it wasn’t for the Bomba Estero performance just hours later, this would have been my pick for best performance of the day. – jason

*Bomba Estero – KEXP Secret Music Lounge

Well where do we even begin to get started with this performance. What did we tell you? I had spent some time reading about the band while researching a Song of the Day post for KEXP. This is a classic Kevin Cole selection. I knew they were from Columbia and play a unique blend of latin cumbia-style music with a modern mix of electronic and hip-hop. They’re intentionally hard to nail down genre-wise, but think of M.I.A. with less Hip Hop and more talent and you’ll be pretty close. Their set started slow with some heavy intro material and the radiantly beautiful Liliana Saumet breathing softly into the microphone. As soon as the sound came together (flawlessly I might add), it was like a whole new world opened up for the unsuspecting audience – me included. Having been to a few of these KEXP Music Lounge performances, I just knew this would be good. Nobody left there disappointed I can tell you that. Occasionally, I know what I’m talking about.  – jason *BEST OF SHOW!

The Thermals – KEXP Music Lounge

Portland Oregon and KEXP Favorites The Thermals played one of the most heartfelt and energetic performance of the weekend inside the intimate KEXP Music Lounge (are you seeing a trend yet?). The band ripped thru the entire first side of their new album Personal Life before closing with some old favorites. As a long time KEXP’er the Thermals have been one of my favorite bands over the years and Monday was no exception. Although their songs tend to run a little for me (their overall tone and delivery is pretty similar) this is another one of those bands that just can’t help themselves on-stage. It was good to see a great local band get this spot in the line-up. – jason

The English Beat – KEXP Music Lounge

This was the final KEXP Music Lounge performance of the day and a great finish to a fantastic weekend. Can you believe this could actually only be my 3rd best performance of the weekend? And that’s not to minimize it’s awesomeness either. If you know anything my musical tastes, you know I’m like a HUGE U.K. Music aficionado and of course a band like The English Beat hold a special place in my heart. Even if you weren’t a fan though, this was an unbelievable set that would have converted anyone into a Rude Boy. Do you know these guys have been around since 1978? They played some old favorites like “Mirror in the Bathroom” a song he jokingly claimed was not about Cocaine “I didn’t have the money back then”. They also played the song “Tenderness” which fans would have immediately recognized as the song in the new Target commercial. They made it perfectly clear they weren’t happy with the relationship and had some funny stories about being called out for “Selling Out” which is actually quite funny when you know the history of this band. I’m glad I finally got to see this band live and in such a close, intimate setting. The last 2 songs ended with the entire Music Lounge crowd on their feet dancing and clapping to one of the most historic performances of the weekend. Hell, it was so fun Tom Mara (KEXP) and I did some boogying. I’ve crossed a few boxes off this weekend, the English Beat was a big one.jason

The Spits – EMP/Sky Church

Hmm, they still let these guys play here? The last time I saw The Spits at Bumbershoot it was a wild set with the stage, the band, and all their equipment wrapped in toilet paper; this year it’s blood. If you came to see a real American Punk Rock band in operation, this was your show. Another solid performance from one of my favorite local bands. I know a few things about REAL Punk Rock and these guys don’t fuck around. They’d probably punch me in the mouth just to prove the point. – jason

Wild Orchid Children -EMP/Sky Church (PHOTO SET)

Jenny Lewis – Starbucks Stage (PHOTO SET)

Lisa Dank – EMP/Sky Church

Lisa Dank had undeniably the most elaborate, artistic, and dare I say “beautiful” performances of the weekend. There were costume changes, a giant gay dance collective, people in drag, dance parties off-stage, and hair and make-up everywhere. It was a stimulation of senses to say the least. I may not know where she’s going musically, but I just can’t help but watch how she gets there. Call me, we can talk about it. – jason

Surfer Blood (PHOTO SET)

Anvil – Center Square Stage

Old-School Canadian Metal. Anvil took the Center Square stage to a soggy but well attended crowd filled with American and Canadian flag waving metal fans. These guys have been around for longer than most of you have been alive so while there was definitely some old dude lameness, you have to respect guys that were in it since the beginning. They’ve still got the chops to get after it. What was more amazing to me though was they still have a great “fuck yeah” attitude and I loved what he said about “Metal is here for all of us”. Mad props for some bad ass Canadians. – jason

Greg Laswell – Starbucks Stage

We feel sad for poor Greg Laswell. The man played his heart out, but his set was timed perfectly with mother nature’s poor decisions. Faithful fans stood their ground despite the sprinkle, but unfortunately rain never does a band any favors (unless of course you’re at Woodstock 1969). Laswell played a set of earnest ballads, including his most well-known and heartwrenching cover of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” But even though his audience was meager at best, we salute Laswell for playing like it was a sold-out arena. And we also hopes he gives Seattle a second chance on a nicer day (or an indoor venue… Triple Door, anyone?) – karalee

The Moondoggies – Starbucks Stage

We saw the Seattle Americana-bluegrass heroes earlier today at their KEXP Secret Stage show, but we also braved the downpour for a front row seat at their outdoor set this afternoon. The Moondoggies’ somewhat despairing tunes early in their set were quite apropos for the dreary weather, but they soon dove into their boot-stompin’ hits like “ol’ Blackbird” and “Changing” which had their soggy yet impressive crowd dancing like it still felt like summer. The audience was loyal and most stayed for the entire hour-long set. The Moondoggies have a new album called Tidelands out later this year, and we’re looking forward to the expansion of their repertoire. – karalee

*Bonus Show: The Moondoggies – KEXP Secret Music Lounge

I didnd’t see their larger Starbucks Stage performance later in the day, but I did sit down in the KEXP Music Lounge for an intimate performance by a great American band – The Moondoggies. Although I’ve heard some songs from their great new album Tidewater, it was my first time really sitting down and seeing them up close. Admittedly, I don’t regularly seek out this type of music (I’m more of a “plugged in” kind of guy), but I always appreciate when it’s done well. – jason

People Eating People – EMP/Sky Church

I spent a few minutes checking out local band People Eating People at the EMP/Sky Church on Monday. I guess this was a little different than what I was expecting. As the solo project of Nouela Johnston I was determined to at least give it a listen, I just ended up leaving after about 2 songs. You know how I always talk about bands that wear their passion on their sleeves, the bands that just can’t fake it? This is a perfect example of a band that has to try too hard to get there. – jason

BOAT – EMP/Sky Church

One of our favorite local bands helped us start the final day of Bumbershoot off right – the Tacoma geek-pop band, BOAT. Frontman D. Crane spends his days as a middle school English teacher, so the band’s lyrics are clever, poignant and rather technical. With fun and goofy themes, BOAT is always a pleasure to watch. The Sky Church was stuffed with fans dancing to songs like “(I’m a Donkey) For Your Love,” “Period Backslash Colon” and “Setting the Paces.” The band even announced their forthcoming album is due in March of next year (even to the surprise of a couple bandmates) and played a couple new tunes from the project, including a tribute to King Kong and a tribute to Neil Diamond. Never lacking in the “quirky” category, BOAT was accompanied on stage by an oversized crude cardboard cut-out of Tom Hanks’ head with a speech bubble that changed every few songs. We didn’t really get it, but we loved it anyway. – karalee


~ by clickdagger on September 7, 2010.

One Response to “The soggy finish: Day 3 Bumbershoot Review”

  1. […] via Click & Dagger Monday was a wet finish to the final day of Seattle’s weekend long Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival. As far as Music Festival’s go around here, Bumbershoot is our crown jewel. It’s also the music event that usually marks the end of our Summer too, so it’s also the saddest day in a lot of ways. As we did the entire weekend, we spent a lot of time at the always amazing KEXP Music Lounge. [Read the rest of the review…] […]

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