It’s been ages since I’ve last posted on the blog. No worries though, I think this starry late night remix of Passion Pit should do the trick. Given that two of my fellow bloggers gushed over their Bumbershoot experience, particularly regarding Passion Pit, I checked out a few of the latest tracks off of Gossamer. Although I was surprised by how much I enjoyed their work, I think that the reinterpretation of “Constant Conversations” by St. Lucia is delightful. If you thought the original song’s chorus was good, you’ll adore the extra synthy sound during those “oh-oh-oh-oh’s”. Check it out, stick around, I’ll be back again soon enough.
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.
See? Sleeping. No 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:
Oh hey M83, what’s that? I’m sorry I can’t hear you. One more time? [Insert sounds of head exploding]
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.
Dear Lights, Can I have your number you Canadian vixen of song and dance? Love, Seth
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.
Meh, I guess we thought they were alright
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.
Although this review is only my own opinion and what I perceived the whole event as, I am pretty sure that I can speak for most, if not all, attendees in say that Bumbershoot is the fucking shit. Yo this year was absolutely nuts. Closing day of this 3-day September adventure, you can feel a definite buzz in the air. Oh and also the tired look on the faces of the people running the booths. Now I had the fortune of attending another big music event a couple weeks ago (107.7 The End Summer Camp)and as much fun as I had at that one, Bumbershoot will always prevail. The cool thing that sets Bumbershoot apart from other music events is that while you do come for the vast amount of popular artists, and their music, you end up staying for the entire vibe of it all. There is such an overwhelming sense of pure bliss whilst walking around, hearing music blasting from every corner of Seattle Center, seeing the vast crowds of thousands, jam-packed onto a lawn. It’s just so…damn beautiful. Now that may either be the legit vibe you get or the smoke from the weed wafting up into your nostrils. Whatever the reason, Bumbershoot is just so damn fun. It is the greatest culture event out there. Nothing makes you feel cooler than walking around, strutting your shit, and listening to some of your favorite bands with some fellow fans. Not only is the music great, but the people (except the obnoxious drunk dudes), food and booths are as well. Bumbershoot should never be relegated to just music, as there is so much to do, it’s just fun to explore and look for things. There are booths out there where you can get a bunch of free stuff. Who doesn’t like free stuff right? Just cruising throughout the entire Center is fun in itself. I mean people take your photos for free too!
Two guys digging the event! The guy on the left smells bad too.
It is just a wild party that everybody should go to. Doesn’t matter how old you are, what music you like or whatever else. Go for the good times and the memories. Now about the music. Although I liked many bands that were playing, I did not go to many of them because I prefer discovering new things. Also I hate lines. Speaking of lines, before we get into music, I was considering going to Skrillrex. But it cut into Passion Pit time. So no go. Thank goodness not. Skrillex’s act started at 9:30. The line opened up at 6:00. By 6:30, there were already at least 1000 people waiting in line. By 7:30, hoards of people were waiting and the line stretched way past Key Arena. So yeah, you get the idea.
The Wombats performed twice during the last day, once with KEXP at the Toyota booth and later at the Exhibition Hall. I didn’t make it to the exhibition hall one and I was surprised. The performance at the Toyota booth had less than 75 people watching. The line for The Wombats for their main performance was around 3000. Yup. This 3-piece band from Liverpool is mostly known for their super upbeat, dancefloor hits that’ll get you moving, but on that day, at a special 20-minute performance, we were treated to a softer side of them. Relying on acoustics, everything was definitely toned down, but still pretty awesome. Best part had to be when they played their hit song “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” in what they called a “Hoe-Down” version, essentially an acoustic, country sounding song. Pretty damn cool. Since they were doing their acoustic thing, no real jumping around, but still had the crowd sing along!
I had no idea who these guys were. I walked over right after The Wombats and came face to face with this World/Ethiopian Funk type band. It sounded kind of weird at first and I strolled over to check it out and was definitely surprised. At first I thought it was some abstract band just making some kind of A capella song, but they were actually playing with violins, saxophones, guitars, drums, accordions, trumpets, sousaphones! And they sounded really great! Good enough to make me jump straight into the middle of the crowd and start to do some stupid dances with a bunch of hippies. As ridiculous as it sounds, it was very very fun! The funk of the band was overwhelming and just engulfed me. I couldn’t stop dancing to them. They had me paralyzed or something. Paralyzed with Dance-Fever! Something was entrancing about the band and I am sure I can say it was the funk. Damn, I loved it. Hippie dancing is fun too haha. But the lead singer actually came out into the crowd and danced with us! How often do you get that? Mad respect.
THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART
I stood off to the side and admired her. She’s real good at singing and playing the crowd. For a more in-depth analysis of the performance, check out Seth’s post! He saw the whole thing!
Passion Pit was flipping awesome. From the beginning to when I had to leave early, the crowd was rocking along with the band. By that point in the night, there were so many people just high out of their mind, either from self-stimulation or second hand. But no one needed that to enjoy Passion Pit’s performance. Just really damn good. Great stage presence the entire time up there as well as a lot of crowd interaction as well, which was very cool. For a more in-depth analysis of the performance, check out Seth’s post! He saw the whole thing!