Bumbershoot 2009: Seattle, WA (09/05/09)
Words and Photos: Drake Le Lane
Bumbershoot’s first day is in the books, and it couldn’t have gone smoother. Weather threatened to dampen the day, with downpours through the morning, but as the gates opened, the clouds stayed at bay until well after De La Soul played their final note. Here’s a few photos and brief review of each performance I managed to take in.
Akimbo @ EMPSFM’s Sky Church stage
My day started late, but I made sure to get in for Seattle’s hardcore superstars, and to bring my ear plugs. The riffs were loud and the EMP-SFM Sky Church was packed wall-to-wall with their dedicated fans. As usual, ear-drums were bleeding by the end of their set, but no one was complaining.
Matt & Kim @ Broad Street Lawn Stage
Matt & Kim were all smiles and energy, and I swear I saw kittens and rainbows coming from the speakers when they played. After sending makeshift M&K beach balls into the crowd (Toyota branded inflatables re-branded with Matt & Kim-markered stickers) the married Brooklyn duo played through their happy, happy set while beaming big, big smiles. It was like a box of fluffy puppies for the tween audience, and they were lapping it up, beach balls and all.
The Whore Moans presents: The Black Atom! @ EMPSFM’s Sky Church stage
The Whore Moans have started a Bumbershoot tradition for themselves, with a one-time only theme for the festival. After last year’s Celebration of the end of the Bush Era’ theme, this year’s is a theatrical soul revue called “The Black Atom!” Besides the Soul Punk song execution, the audience was treated to the band in depression era zoot suits, gospel like intros to songs, added keys & sax along with backup singers (Prisilla Ray and Duffy from the Cute Lepers) decked out in 20’s style flappers. Whore Moans For. The. Win.
Os Mutantes @ Fisher Green Stage
My most anticipated act of the festival didn’t disappoint… well, perhaps a little. Since it’s down to just Serge Diaz from the original lineup (and drummer Dinho Leme, who joined during the post-Rita Lee prog years) the set list was tailored to fit Diaz’s guitar playing, which kind of took the air out of the set at times. The fun, early material often gave way to long guitar solos and more selections from their prog-rock years. New material from their album coming out next week sounded great, including “Querida Querida” and “2000 e Agarrum,” and it was great hearing “Baby” sung in Portuguese (and having Obama as “El Justicero”). Unfortunately, much of the fun of “Bat Macumba” and “A Minha Menina” was lost through extended guitar solos. Yes, Serge is still impressive on the axe, but not every song needs a demonstration of that.
World Party at Mural Ampitheatre Stage
I knew I was only going to catch one or two songs, as I had to get back for De La Soul, so it was nice that Karl Wallinger decided to treat us with “Put the Message in the Box” as the first song. I’m sure “Ship of Fools” came some time later, but I had already moved on to that other fave from the late 80’s…
De La Soul @ Fisher Green Stage
This was my other big anticipated set for the night, thanks to it being part of the much celebrated “20 Years and Rising” tour, celebrating the 20th anniversary of 3 Feet High and Rising. De La Soul has never gotten high marks for their live shows in the past, but this tour has been a revelation for the band. By incorporating a live band into the act, their Daisy Age sound is much more realized than with just Maseo’s turntable mastery. Posdnuos roamed the stage like he was 20 years younger, while he and Trugoy ‘passed the mic.’ By the end of the set, the moon was out and the Space Needle loomed over us all, pointing homeward, where we all headed just in time to beat the next downpour of rain. Thank you, oh Gods of weather, for your kind deflection of precipitation (and more of that Sunday, please!)
Many more photos of Akimbo, Matt & Kim, The Whore Moans, OS Mutantes, World Party and De La Soul from Day of 1 Bumbershoot after the jump.
Akimbo at Bumbershoot (09/05/09)
Matt & Kim at Bumbershoot (09/05/09)
The Whore Moans at Bumbershoot (09/05/09)
OS Mutantes at Bumbershoot (09/05/09)
World Party at Bumbershoot (09/05/09)
De La Soul at Bumbershoot (09/05/09)