Sorry Kevin, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do… By which I mean I’m just as floored as you and simply COULDN’T keep all these important ideas and opinions to myself. I mean, someone’s gotta want to hear these… right?
First off, a background on my history at Seattle festivals. I’ve been a regular attendee of the Folk Life festival for the past 4 years and have always enjoyed going to the Seattle Center to run into a lot of “Oh hey let me just give you the head nod cause I don’t ACTUALLY know you”s, get just a little bit too high every year, and end up staring at the fountain for a good hour. That being said, I also enjoy the overpriced fair foods (Pirozhkis out the ying yang) and tracking down the Seattle Scarf Man for an annual Free Hugs sign. However, until yesterday I had never been to Bumbershoot. Why? I suck, that’s why. I’m a huge loser and don’t like fun.
Continuing on, Bumbershoot. To quickly explain for those of you that don’t know Bumbershoot is a 3 day music festival held at the Seattle Center that features a mixture of local and underground as well as bigger, more mainstream acts. So when I arrived at precisely 2:34 PM (You have to keep a tight schedule if you don’t want to have any fun) I was pleased to see that music aside, this was quite similar to the Folk Life atmosphere. Girls wearing little to no clothing (some guys too), tons of drugs (decidedly did not partake this year), and yet there was something missing. Lo and behold, no Scarf Man… I shed a quick tear for my lost comrade.
But we pushed forward! Now then, the music:
If you don’t know who M83 is they’re that French band that’s been all over the radio with that one song that has the random scream-like sounds that sound exactly like the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time.
Yes that one. Anyways, I wasn’t a huge fan of them at first (partially because that sound reminds me of sleepless nights waiting for this) but also hadn’t really taken a good listen yet. Well guess what, I’m fucking stupid, because these guys kick absolute ass. We started out in the nosebleed section of seats and decided we were better than that, so we found some seats lower down (where the above picture was taken from), and then eventually made out way onto the floor like the rest of the sane people there. And again, seriously, M83 put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Their whole performance has this crazy mix of electronic keyboards and synths with a very pure set of drums, guitar, and the occasional saxophone. It’s very French, very nuanced, and very catchy. Not in an obnoxious sort of way though. The band sort of sneaks these incredibly addictive sounds into their songs that have left me obsessing (first person to tell me what that song is gets a post about why they’re awesome). And the band got so into their performance, climbing on drum sets, skanking for like 8 minutes straight, and just giggin. They also did something I hadn’t really seen a lot of previously, which was a consistent switching of roles and instruments. Which was cool, it was like each band member wanted a different piece of the action for each song. Along with this whole crazy performance they had an amazing light show. The band was staged in front of a dozen or so lit up poles that resembled what I can only hope is the awesome hybrid of bamboo and LEDs (let’s go scientists). The crowd was frequently assaulted by euphoria inducing waves of lights that only egged us on even more. Oh yeah, I forgot. Speaking of egging us on, the band was so incredible, that this happened.
After a long late-afternoon hanging out by the fountain and catching up with some old friends (shouts out to Emma Spence) we made our way to the Tune In stage to watch Canadian singer Lights perform.
She put on quite a show for us if I do say so myself. For those of you that don’t know her (shhhh, it’s ok. Don’t be embarrassed, I didn’t either… There there) Lights’ music consists of poppy, electro beats and cute, love songy lyrics to accompany them. Her whole set was actually pretty spectacular. She’s got a really great voice and totally knows how to work with the crowd. She sort of reminds me of a more indie, less commercialized, more Canadian Katy Perry. Not to say she’s a KP knock off, she’s totally got her own sound and persona. Keeping with the theme of new experiences here, Lights threw me and I think the whole crowd off when she started throwing dubstep drops into the middle of her songs. The first time was sort of a knock to the head: “Whoa…, hey wait what was that?” but by the second and third time it was more of an outstretched hand that said “Hey there, it’s ok, I meant to do that.” at which point the crowd was like ksweetthanx. Overall, she’s an excellent performer and a perfect act to open up for…
Passion Pit. So let’s get the record straight here. I originally had planned on attending Skrillex. Yup, I said it. Having been to enough electronic concerts I figured a Skrillex show would be nothing short of an insane 2 hour long dubstep orgasm (according to reports, it was). Anyways back onto topic, the friends I was with convinced me to stay (“C’mon Seth, be cool, for once in your life”). So Lights ended and we had about 45 minutes in between sets. We (along with every-fucking-one else around us) wanted good spots close to the front for PP and decided to stay and wait. But don’t worry it was worth it. The whole band came out and opened up with their latest hit Take a Walk. Needless to say, everyone got pretty pumped up at the point. Their set as a whole consisted of mostly new songs off their just released album Gossamer aside from their older hits Sleepyhead and Little Secrets. The band was spot on and the whole crowd was jumping and swaying to every song. Also, if you haven’t ever seen these guys perform, the lead singer is hilarious. I assume it’s because of how high pitched his singing is, but his mouth is stretching in ways I thought not possible and his tongue flails about in all directions.
Although Passion Pit wasn’t quite as nuts as Skrillex might’ve been, they made up for it with a killer performance and a sensational positive vibe about the whole thing. My only big disappointment was the lack of a significant light show. Maybe it’s too difficult to set something like that up outside in the open but I was bummed there wasn’t more trance-like visual effects. Ah well, maybe next time.
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For those wondering, yes I did have fun. I also got Dicks afterwards. Suhhhhwagggg