Tag Archives: Bumbershoot

The best band I saw at Bumbershoot

The best band I saw at Bumbershoot wasn’t a headliner (it definitely wasn’t Stone Temple Pilots, that’s for sure) and it wasn’t a folky singer-songwriter or a hip-hop heavyweight like Del Tha Funky Homosapien.

Nope, the best band I saw at Bumbershoot was SHIM.

Actually, I’m currently quite smitten with SHIM (I’m wearing a SHIM shirt to work today) but I am sure the small band crush I have will go away soon.

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you the new local group that I’m really digging at the moment and let you know that even hardened, curmudgeonly music critics like myself fall in love with bands.

I think part of my crush has to do with the fact that three of the band members are from Wenatchee (where I currently live and work) and that no one from my newspaper had heard of them (which is strange because Wenatchee is a small town where everyone knows everyone, and newspaper reporters especially know everyone). I think another part of my little band crush has to do with the plain and simple fact that SHIM flat out rocks.

I plan on writing more about SHIM later, but I’ve got to run to the day job. Here is a video of SHIM performing at EMP’s Sky Church to hold you over until my next SHIM post.

Bumbershoot hangover: The Offspring

The Offspring is a band that I grew up listening to and I have seen Dexter, Noodles and co. live multiple times, so I was actually pretty excited to see them rock the main stage Monday.

The band was fairly energetic and actually pretty talkative too. Although Noodles seemed to only want to play dumb and talk about how drunk he was. Intoxicated or not, The Offspring blazed through every one of their hits and had the Memorial Stage crowd riled up with rock throughout its 60-minute set.

The band played some new material, but most stuck to its hits. The highlights all came when the band played its classics off “Smash,” one of the touchstone rock records of the ’90s. “Bad Habit” was my favorite, and yes I did shout the profanities at the top of my lungs like everyone else in the crowd. When in Rome, right?

The Offspring also played its sort of lame material from the late ’90s including “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” and “Why Don’t You Get a Job.” The set ended with “Self Esteem” and as the song was nearing its middle I looked to my left and saw a 12-year-old girl singing along to every word (I don’t even think she was born when “Smash” was released). Sometimes classics are timeless I suppose.

Bumbershoot hangover: Paramore

Paramore on the main stage at Bumbershoot.

Paramore fans are short people. That was good news for this 5’7″ music writer because when everyone is 4’9″ you can see the stage over the crowd.

All joking aside about the youthful, exuberant crowd that was at Memorial Stadium to see Paramore’s last U.S. show of the year, the band was an early highlight of Bumbershoot’s final day.

I didn’t know the words to any of the songs (Sorry, I have yet to but Paramore’s “Riot.” Actually, I don’t think I am allowed to purchase it because I am taller than 4’9″ Okay, so maybe I wasn’t done making short jokes.) but it didn’t matter because singer Haley Williams was such an energetic spitfire of a force on stage I felt like I had been rocking out to Paramore for years.

I suppose that’s the appeal to this young group for the Warped Tour generation. Their music is pop-punk in its purest form and ask anyone who grew up listening to blink-182 or Green Day (that would be me) and they will tell you there’s always a market for youthful, loud and punky rock music.

Bumbershoot hangover: Speaker Speaker

Some could claim I have a conflict of interests in writing about Speaker Speaker because they performed at my birthday concert a few months back. I completely disagree.

Speaker Speaker delivered a solid set of power pop-punk full of finely tuned songs. The highlights were “Radio Days,” “Loveland, CO,” “We Won’t March,” and surprisingly the new, unreleased songs they performed. Typically when a band tests out new material live the crowd becomes disengaged. That was not the case with these new Speaker Speaker tunes. The crowd loved them, and while they sounded similar to other material by the band (it’s tough to vary your sound if you’re gonna stick with the pop-punk genre) the songs were delivered with sincerity by the band and they kept in the same excellent spirit of poppy Speaker Speaker past, which isn’t a bad thing.

Really the trio sounds as superb live as they do on record. In fact, it’s almost like when you listen to the band it sounds like Nirvana and The Posies are having a battle of the bands inside your stereo.

Wait, where have I heard that last statement before? Oh yeah, it was written on a sticker on the front of their CD.

Oh, and since I wrote that statement and all, you might have read it here.

Okay, so there could possibly be a conflict of interest …

Bumbershoot hangover: The Blakes

I have yet to see a proper The Blakes show and when I do I am guessing I will be blown away.

The last, and first, time I caught the band that released one of my favorite records of 2007 was at this year’s Sasquatch! Festival. Unfortunatley their set followed a knock-you-on-you-butt set by The Cops, so there was just no way they were going to top what came before them. To The Blakes’ credit, they sounded decent, but The Cops were just that much better on that day at The Gorge.

At Bumbershoot The Cops performed at The Exhibition Hall stage, which has the worst sound of all the stages at the festival. The brotherly rock of The Blakes was able to overcome poor acoustics and the set was solid, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.

For some reason I expect more energy out of The Blakes. For a band I consider to be Seattle’s version of The Strokes but with balls, there wasn’t a lot of passion that could be felt by the music. Something tells me that this the passion is more than palpable at a The Blakes show when it is held at The Tractor Tavern or a similar venue. So next time I see The Blakes, a band I really, really enjoy, I vow to see them in a dark club while drinking a few beers and rocking out to some awesomely dirty rock ‘n’ roll.

Bumbershoot hangover: The Shackeltons

One of the greatest things about Bumbershoot is walking over to a set not knowing what to expect and leaving completely entertained. That’s what happened when I stumbled upon The Shackeltons at the Rock Star Energy Drink Stage Sunday.

The energy coming from the stage during the three songs I saw (I walked in on the end of their set) was amazing and it made me realize that music can be used as a weapon. In the case of the Shackeltons, their music can be used as a powerful, love-spreading virus.

Wearing old military uniforms (I’m told all of the uniforms were once worn in combat) the band’s singer, Mark Redding, was an uncontainable force of positive punk rock energy. He preached positivity and love and it was blatantly clear the crowd was more than buying into his rock ‘n’ roll sermon.

The stage was decorated with tree branches and flowers and as the set ended Redding began tossing the loose foliage into the crowd and waved branches high above his head as if that piece of the Earth was a massive Shackeltons flag.

I only wish I had been there earlier to catch more of their fascinating live show.

Photo gallery: Bumbershoot 2008

My good buddy Steven Friederich took a bunch of photos while at Bumbershoot (for some reason I didn’t even think to ask for a photo pass).

Below is a gallery of some of the bands he shot, including: Death Cab, Flobots, Ingrid Michaelson, Jakob Dylan, The Offspring, The Maldives, Superchunk, Sweetwater, Thao, and The Hands. You can see more of his pictures here.



More Bumbershoot coverage to come

After three days at Seattle Center, catching 22 bands and making it safely home after the two and a half hour commute, I have to face reality and return to work in a few minutes.

That means, aside from the Death Cab review that was posted earlier (see below), there won’t be much Bumbershoot posting today.

However, I will say that in my opinion, Bumbershoot 2008 was the best Bumbershoot ever, or at least the best BShoot I’ve been to (I have attended 10 total).

To make up for not live blogging the festival, I plan to blog a bit about every band I saw during my three-day bender of music. So in the coming days you can expect to read about the following bands:

The Whigs
Howlin Rain
The Shackeltons
Speaker Speaker
The Blakes
The Maldives
The Offspring
Blitzen Trapper

Bumbershoot 2008 Day 3: Death Cab For Cutie and Superchunk

I posted my Death Cab/Superchunk review on my other blog earlier this morning (I’m not reposting it here because it is property of the P-I).

As expected, Death Cab delivered the goods and it was a great show. The jist of what I wrote is that it seems like Death Cab has grown up and is no longer your favorite indie band next door.

You can read the review in full by clicking here.

More Bumbershoot 2008 coverage to come

Looks I’m in the same predicament I was in yesterday with Bumbeshoot coverage. There’s too much to write about and not enough time before I have to head back to Bumbershoot to write about it all.

I guess that’s what happens when you’re a one-man blogging army frantically typing up quick burst band capsules for two blogs and decide not to live blog the festival because it would make you miss much music.

So expect to read all about everything else I saw during the second day of Bumbershoot 2008 Tuesday which will include Shim (easily the best band I’ve seen at Bumbershoot so far.), The Shackletons, The Whigs and Speaker Speaker.

You might have to wait until Thursday for the rest of my Bumbershoot coverage because, well, a guy’s got to sleep, and I do have something called a day job that takes up my non-blogging time.

But today’s Bumbershoot looks like the best day so far, and if it delivers on its promise on paper it’ll be worth the wait to read the coverage. Plus, I’ll have a photo gallery too. What, you didn’t think I went to Bumbershoot without a camera, did you?