Live Review: Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle – September 1st & 2nd 2012

Bumbershoot Day 1 – September 1st 2012

2:20 pm Missy Higgins = I wanted to know what the BFD was as I had only heard one song from her from a TV show. She has amazing vocals and a great touring band, however, the stage charisma wasn’t there. I am glad that I didn’t do the 90 minute set at the Commodore last weekend based on a recommendation. 10 minutes was a good sampler. Peter and I were also staking out a spot for Gotye, my 4th time seeing him, his 1st REAL TIME seeing him. It was cool to see this Aussie open for another Aussie.

3:15 pm Gotye = I wanted to see if Gotye could actually be a headliner and pull off a full arena show, which he can’t. His brand of showmanship and his desire to interact intimately is more suitable for a theatre and not an arena. The songs were there and I was really into it, however, there was a lot lost in translation due to venue. The audience was appreciative, however, they didn’t seem willing to fully invest in the other material outside the big hit. In fact I could see the audience getting increasingly impatient as the set went on as the hit was played near the end. The sing along were really weak, especially during “Thank You for Your Time.” When it finally came time for the big hit, the audience didn’t know what to do and missed their cue by a whole bar. When they did sing, it was only a few and far between. After the song, 1/3 of them left in large numbers. He did play to 7K more people than he did in Vancouver the night before, however, it was the wrong type of audience. Gotye knew this and felt as though he was a stop over and not being someone’s musical priority. The banter was bare and unlike the Vancouver show in which he was joking and was all smiles, he just went through the emotions. Vancouver got some really rare tracks whereas this time they were skipped.

4:20 pm = Not part of the official Bumbershoot lineup or activity, however, Peter and I went to the King Tut exhibit as it would’ve been stupid of us not to. I remember studying ancient Egypt in high school, one of my favorite subjects, therefore, to see the Egyptian statues and coffins in person in life was one of the most amazing things ever. I can’t believe that these carvings were done over 3K years ago in such detail. It was kind of funny that Peter, being of British decent and myself, Muslim were walking as friends together in this museum. The English stole from the Egyptians and Muslims. I am surprised that most of King Tut’s stuff is still in good shape since the English melted most of the gold down. It was well worth the money as I knew walking in that I would/will never see anything like that again. I love looking at the gold jewellery and the craftsmanship. I can’t believe how tiny Egyptians as a race were. They’re even tinier than I. It took us a whole 90 minutes to get through.

8:30 pm John Waters = This was the most “alternative” crowd that I’ve seen assembled together at B-shoot so far. The minute that J.W. walked out on stage you couldn’t help but notice his white plaid suit that only he could pull off and be honored for being on Mr. Blackwell’s worst dressed list. I wasn’t sure what to expect and assumed when it was initially announced on the B-shoot site that it was just a Q&A. It was John Waters stand up. It was hard for me to tell if it was an act or if he’s really that messed up. He went to places that just shocked me. I don’t shock easily, however, I respect a man who can. When Peter and I talk we go into areas that most shouldn’t and we shock each other, Waters took it to a whole new level. I had a sex ed lesson that thankfully is not taught in schools. His eyelinered mouth is filthier than a whore’s taco.

10:10 pm = Speaking of Taco’s, the best fish tacos are on site beside the main stage area…halibut tacos are addicting. I ate more fish tacos than my ex boyfriend did during our 8 years together.

10:20 pm Jane’s Addiction = I saw Jane’s in 2001 when the Stereo MC’s opened up for them. It was a very good show. This time around, it was a train wreck times 10. To be honest, I am over Jane’s and have been since 2003. I just wanted to see what the BFD was and give a fair review since most of my friends came out for this night specifically for Jane’s. The audience was bored, the songs were played horribly, there was a cold chemistry between band, Navarro spent most of his time off to the side of the stage while playing close to the guitar tech and Perry was just out of it. Even the hit singles were played so bad. 40 minutes into the show and it was 1/3 full ’cause people knew that it was a bad show. Gotye had more people after his hit single was played.

Bumbershoot Day 2 – September 2nd 2012

1:00 pm Flatstock Poster Market = I’ve always admired poster artists ’cause they’re just as much part of the show as the rock stars themselves. A lot of the artists are very talented when it comes to poster art and some are highly collectible. I did manage to grab a Breaking Bad silk screen, 93 out of 100 by Jon Smith. I am surprised that there was anything Breaking Bad left. I enjoy talking and putting a name to a poster for some the artists, however, I’m finding it very difficult to find anything original as many rip off each other, especially from the LA street art scene.

1:55 pm Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings = I saw them, or rather freeloaded their last Malkin show. Hearing them and seeing Sharon work it made me regret not seeing the show properly and actually paying. She’s got an amazing soul personality and vocals to match. It was one of the best shows at b-shoot. She worked that crowd for herself and not the audience, her own personal mission. She moved like a machine. She got the audience into the show. It was a 180 sound in comparison to the other acts at B-shoot. The energy of the Dap Kings were so so, however, Sharon just worked it and did all the heavy lifting. If John Waters can give me a sex lesson from the night before, Sharon gave me the dance lesson.

2:15 pm = Eating a bunch of rainbow-colored fortune cookies while watching Sharon Jones. Artificial food coloring overload. Like a unicorn I’m going to be shitting rainbows tonight.

3:30 pm Tony Bennett = I was the youngest one in the audience, even though my blue hair matched the majority of the audience. I was really surprised that Bennett can still hold a note extremely well and perfect, better than some of the younger performers today. I was warned that his vocals weren’t up to par, however, I as well as the rest of the audience were proven wrong. This was the quietest audience I’ve ever been to. People were just engaged and hypnotized in the songs, the voice, the stories and the emotion. There was a toddler being disruptive behind me, therefore, Peter and I had to move. Before moving, I turned to the mother and said, “Being of a younger generation we would like to hear what a legend like Tony Bennett has to say and not listening to your disruptive kid.” Soon after another lady followed and changed seats. Eventually her disruptive kid forced the mother to leave the show. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect and kept my expectations very open. I got a lot out of it than I thought that I would. The next time Bennett plays I will gladly pay $100 to see him at the casino although that may not be the case. B-shoot supposedly has a curse as Soloman Burke & Billy Preston both did their “final” shows at the fest. The stage jams were constructive and not annoying fillers like you get at most shows. The audience went ape shit when he twirled around like Chris Martin from Coldplay. I appreciated his songs, especially the lyrics which were like poetry, the extended love letter that says everything that you’ve wanted to say to the love of your life, just better. I don’t cry at shows ever, however, I cried when he sang “San Francisco” and “Smile.” I watered down my gaga like eye make-up.

5:30 pm = Button making workshop…enough said.

7:00 pm Futurama Panel = I didn’t get as much out of this as I had wanted to. Most of it was behind the scenes production from start to finish, most of what I already knew from film school. They didn’t get too much into the network politics that I was hoping for. It was also way too technical that it lost some people. They did have an extensive Q&A, however, that ended up being somewhat disorganized as the panel host was all over the place between the audience and his own questions. There were some standard questions, however, they really liked mine regarding copyright and lawsuits. I found it easier to ask questions for this than John Waters as I know more about the technical side of film and animation than the politics and the nitty-gritty of J.W. It went overtime causing me to miss most of Ian Hunter.

8:22 pm Ian Hunter = Ian was the right hand man during Ziggy Stardust and the Spider’s from Mars. Being obsessed with Bowie and everything Bowie related, missing this was not an option for me. I was really shocked at the low turn out and how easy it was for me to just make my way close to the stage. The sound was great, Ian played great, the rest of the band were fantastic and everyone was really into it. The songs are still there for me. The crowning moment was at the end when he performed Bowie’s “All The Young Dudes.” All my memories of seeing Bowie multiple times on the last tour and the joy it brought just flooded me emotionally.

9:15 pm Keane = were awesome. The vocals were awesome, sound was fantastic, the band played great. The songs are still there for me and are well crafted. Keane are one of those bands whose songs stick with me always. Hearing Keane reminded me of the Winnie the Poo movie.

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