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Bumbershoot 2008: Saturday

I had a pretty good time at Bumbershoot this year. I was going to do a single post about it, because I thought I could keep it short, but of course it's just gotten longer and longer as I write. So, I'm going to do separate posts for each day after all. All of my photos can be found in my Bumbershoot 2008 set on Flickr.

Read about Sunday at Bumbershoot 2008.

Read about Monday at Bumbershoot 2008.

Saturday

Beehive had an unenviable slot, opening Bumbershoot at noon on Saturday, and a difficult space, being on the smallest stage, tucked away in a corner of the Seattle Center out of sight or even hearing from most of the festival. So I was concerned whether they'd have much of an audience, but fortunately the seats were mostly full by the time they started, and stayed that way through the set with additional people wandering up too. Beehive went for a heavier rock sound to start and covered Queen's "We Will Rock You" as well as the Beatles' "Helter Skelter", presumably to help warm up a crowd unfamiliar with their work. They've been playing "Helter Skelter" for a while and bring their own sound to it, but I felt "We Will Rock You" didn't fit so well with the rest of their songs. Still, it was a good set overall and they definitely won over some new fans. [Beehive photos start here.]

After Beehive, I wandered a bit, running into the dance troupe acornDance doing a funny performance, until I met up with my friend Gina, and we went to see Barcelona. Quite simply, Barcelona sounded like they heard Jeff Buckley's song "The Last Goodbye" and said, "Let's make a band!" Sure, they picked a good song to emulate, but... they needed a little more than that. Gina and I wandered around for a while after that, and stumbled across a performance of Byron Au Yong's "Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas", which involved musicians playing percussion in the Du Pont Fountain pool and playing the water itself as a percussion instrument. That was pretty cool, and I wish I'd seen more of it or caught another performance later in the weekend. However, Gina and I both wanted to get some food and try to catch Nada Surf in the secret KEXP Lounge, so we didn't stick around for the whole thing. While we were eating, we missed out on getting spare tickets into the Nada Surf show, which perhaps is poetic justice. [Photos of acornDance start here and photos of "Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas" start here.]

Gina had to leave early, and after hanging out with David and Alethea of Beehive for a while, it was time for me to catch Mono in VCF. Despite spending at least 10-15 minutes on a sound check before their set started, the band suffered from feedback problems for the first half of their set. Several of the songs also sounded a bit rushed, as though they just wanted to get through as many songs as they could, which was unfortunate as their lush, expansive music needs space to breathe to achieve its full effect. On the positive side, the EMP's SkyChurch performance hall is well-suited to their sound and image, and undoubtedly they made a better impression on new listeners because of it than they would have on one of the outdoor stages. They played a couple new songs and brought out Mark Pickerel as a guest vocalist to sing a duet with Kim Miller, the Lee Hazelwood song "Some Velvet Morning". It was a good set, but I've heard them play better, and much as I love their debut I'm still eagerly awaiting more new music from them. [Just three photos of Mono in VCF, starting here.]

After Mono in VCF, I left Bumbershoot for the day, as I already had plans to go see Freezepop at El Corazón. I'll write up that show once I've finished the rest of the Bumbershoot reports.


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