Reviews from the massive Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle.
After my interview with Horse Feathers, I caught their set a little later. They sound pretty much identical live as they do on their album. I was definitely surprised when I interviewed Justin because his speaking voice sounds so much different than it does when singing. It was a quiet performance, another reminder that the bands at every stage could have been amplified louder. “Falling Through the Roof” and “Curs in the Weeds“ were especially moving; you could tell Justin and his band were feeling something.
While waiting for Hey Marseilles to come on stage, I saw three guys waiting on the other side of the fence yelling at a kid in the crowd to turn his cardboard sign around that read “Deluxe Hugs 5 cents.” His take on the “Free Hugs” shirt and sign movement. Originally I thought these guys were just some punks that were trying to sneak a peak at Bumbershoot for free. Then I realized these kids were half of Hey Marseilles. Oops. Even though Hey Marseilles’s presence is quickly expanding past Seattle due to touring and the release of their first major record, this was the biggest crowd they had ever played (and it was an impressively significant number of people, as the band remarked). These guys are a tad reminiscent of The Decemberists, but only because of a slightly similar, toned down, lilt to Matt Bishop’s voice that reminds me of Colin Meloy. I think it’s more that the lead singer sounds Irish, which also propels a comparison to The Swell Season, especially when the lead singer of Hey Marseilles goes solo with just his acoustic guitar on stage.
What makes this band special to me is that they have the same optimistic energy (although not as strong) as Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros or Arcade Fire. Face it, you can’t go wrong with an accordion in your band. To add to their intrigue, they did a cover of New Order’s “Love Vigilantes“ minus the new wave style. I am a fan.
I caught a bit of The Bouncing Souls and Slender Means. I knew nothing of The Bouncing Souls but I kept getting reminded of Green Day–must be a 1987 thing. Either way, they were a refreshing change from all the indie bands. I was starting to yearn for something a bit edgier. Slender Means surpassed my expectations. They had a fuller sound than a lot of bands I’ve heard this weekend in the indie rock genre. Plus, it was nice to hear a band inside. My ears missed reverb.
Jay Electronica was hilarious. Let me list the notable moments:
1) Introduced a little kid MC on stage with him who freestyled.
2) Had the audience vote on whether women liked to be choked during sex.
3) Invited the audience on stage (until they bounced the turntables too much).
4) Asked a guy on stage for a hit off of his joint and proceeded to take a couple hits.
Finally, Delorean performed at the Broad Street Stage. One of the few bands who gave an encore performance. They didn’t talk much besides a gracious thank you now and again, but they did move a lot. They danced, the crowd danced, all the things that should happen at a fun show happened. There was even a stuffed pink unicorn on a stick that appeared multiple times through out the day. Thankfully, the Spanish alternative dance band will be back in Seattle this November.