Archive for September 6th, 2011

September 6, 2011

Random Reflections: Our Thoughts on the New Priorities of Bumbershoot 2011

While there are certainly those who’ve been outspoken about the lack of relevant big name acts (sorry Hall & Oates) at Bumbershoot 2011, we’re seeing the silver lining in the fact that local acts have been given access to a potentially larger and more appreciative audience.

While the Black Eyed Peas or Katy Perrys from previous years drew in thousands of screaming fans, the presence of mainstream radio enthusiasts didn’t translate into increased interest in what makes Seattle music festivals so great – The intermix of homegrown local talent with lauded artists (musical and otherwise) from all corners of the world.

The lack of pop radio powerhouses, outside of Wiz Khalifa and a few others, brought an admittedly smaller crowd. Of those in attendance, however, a larger percentage was at Seattle Center to experience the variety of all Bumbershoot has to offer. From visual art to comedy to film to theater to music and beyond, at Bumbershoot 2011 there was certainly something to keep most everyone happy.

Could the festival have scored a few more buzz bands to help the festival’s reputation and attendance? Certainly. But all in all, with a widespread variety of acts ranging from Little Dragon (see our Day 2 recap) to Charles Bradley (see our Day 3 recap), we fully support One Reel’s initiative to focus on smaller bands and not spend exorbitant amounts on disappointing sets like Bob Dylan’s from 2010.

Be sure to check out our Bumbershoot 2011 coverage.

September 6, 2011

Scenes from Bumbershoot Day 3

We’d be lying if we said we woke up Monday morning feeling anything but drained. Sure, we were excited about getting to spend another day outside in gorgeous weather listening to some amazing musicians but we needed some serious extra energy to get us through the day.

Luckily for us, the performers we were lucky enough to see on Day 3 at Bumbershoot had more than enough on-stage dynamism to power the entire city for at least the day. To say there wasn’t a shortage of charisma and showmanship among the day’s best bets would be a gross understatement.

Keep on scrolling to see some of our favorite shots of the day’s very best acts and don’t forget to skim through all of our Bumbershoot 2011 coverage here.

Kicking the day off with interpretive dancing and assured gesturing recalling the Andrew Wood-era of Seattle frontmen, Daniel Blue and the rest of Motopony played to an appreciative crowd, many of whom had just rolled out of bed minutes earlier.

While area hipsters were waking up from the floors and futons across Seattle, mom and dad were starting their day off with Seattle folk band The Legendary Oaks at the Starbucks stage.

There are simply no words that can sum up the raw power and emotional force that is seeing Charles Bradley live. As one of our friends mentioned, this guy is “the real deal.” The 63-year-old “Screaming Eagle of Soul” is a performer you absolutely must see live to fully appreciate. KEXP’s forthcoming video of his music lounge performance should tide you over until he’s back in town. We’ll be sure to add the link once it’s live.

For a city that’s notoriously stationary at shows, Fitz and The Tantrums worked their new-soul charm and had the entire KEXP music lounge dancing and clapping along to every saxophone-driven tune.

What Sharon Van Etten’s set lacked in energy, she more than made up for with beautiful tales of loss and heartbreak.

With sets nearly as full of humorous asides as they are with impressive fretwork and dynamic percussion, Ravenna Woods certainly knows how to put on a fun show. One gem of a joke from drummer Matt Badger: “Why did the farmer start a band? He was tired of Haulin’ Oats.” The band then jokingly, with a splash of sincerity, checked to see if Darryl Hall or John Oates were in the audience to make sure they hadn’t offended the legends of yesteryear and headliners of the evening.

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