No main stage on Monday for me. Started off the day with my coffee at the Starbucks stage, taking in the sounds of yet a couple more local groups. One of the bands quickly on the rise with their catchy accessible rock is Hot Bodies in Motion. The crowd was thinner for day three but the crowd that was there took the advice of the band’s name and danced across the now matted grass. Following them was Seattle mainstay the Maldives. They’ve added more energy to their recent songs to complement many of their country-folk tinged slow burners. The highlight of their show is still “Time is Right Now” but “Come On, Come On” is a contender.
While I would have liked to see alt-j, that would have required standing in the main stage line for MGMT, something I wasn’t willing to do. I saw MGMT previously and while they sound great on a recording, they are not a strong live act. I prefer acts and bands that are better live than on a recording. Instead I enjoyed the funky, world beat dance party music of Red Baraat and the all out rock of Lissie. I made the right choice on that one. Both acts were awesome and definitely deserve to be listened to.
I caught Baroness on the Fountain Lawn Stage and they brought it. They went all out heavy metal and their crowd won the moshing and headbanging championship for the weekend. They played tons of cuts from their most recent release, double album Yellow & Green. “March to the Sea” was my highlight of the set.
Next up, I caught my only comedy show of Bumbershoot at the Bagley Wright Theatre. Bumbershoot always curates the best comedy line up year after year and this year was no exception. Patton Oswalt was the top draw of the weekend and his Patton Oswalt and Friends show was hilarious. He brought along three other comics to open. The best of those was Mike Drucker. He was up first. He’s a writer on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and one hell of a stand-up. Patton Oswalt was great as always with some great bits including the re-telling of a horror story of a gig in front of 400 drunk gamblers at Tulalip Casino. His performance at Tulalip evidently consisted of audience members basically yelling his IMdB credits at him, Patton confirmed them, the crowd cheered, he did this for about half an hour, didn’t tell a joke and got a standing ovation. Imagine hearing that in Oswalt’s voice and delivery, it was hilarious.
After leaving the comedy show it was time for one last marathon lap around the grounds to catch as many acts as possible starting with the lush harmonies of Ivan and Alyosha on the Plaza Stage. I made it back to the TuneIn stage to catch Allen Stone perform a few great songs like “Celebrate Tonight.” What a voice that guy has. Justin Townes Earle, son of Steve, was on the Starbucks Stage treating the crowd to his traditional style of country folk rock. Deerhunter makes some of the most unique, accessible indie rock around right now. They drew a large crowd in and around the International Fountain and Fountain Lawn. If you had to define the sound of Bumbershoot with just one band, Deerhunter may be it.
Trampled by Turtles slightly reminds me of Mumford and Sons but original, not cookie cutter. I think their banjo/mandolin player almost burnt a hole in the Starbucks Stage with the speed of his picking.
Unfortunately I closed out my Bumbershoot 2013 experience with one last slight disappointment. On the way out I caught The Joy Formidable on the TuneIn stage. They sounded great for a few songs then something got unplugged. They said they’d be back in a few minutes. Five minutes later, when they still weren’t back on stage, I decided to take off.
Bumbershoot 2013 was a wrap. Still many more successes than disappointments. This was probably the best, most diverse music lineup since their 40th Anniversary year with Bob Dylan, Mary J. Blige, Rise Against, Solomon Burke and more. I hope that Bumbershoot keeps this up. I felt the genres were perfectly balanced this year. I’m already looking forward to next year.