Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Music of Bumbershoot - Saturday



Polecat (local): nice bluegrassy/folk local group. Just saw about fifteen minutes but nice first tunes.

King Khan & The Shrines: Awesome.  They started what because the theme of the shows for Saturday and Sunday - driving bass beats, brass and big voices.  They are showy and his voice (King Khan) reminds me vaguely of Little Richard or the like. The costumes were appreciated though I'm not sure how King Khan didn't collapse from heat exhaustion from running around on stage and the weight of the gold sequins.
I had heard a song or two of theirs before arriving.  There wasn't anything they played that I didn't like. They were the day's biggest and best surprise.

The Heavy (UK): Same stage as King Khan and stellar.  I was barely to the right of center stage and about twenty feet back.  They were really good.  More bass beats, two saxophones.  They had upbeat tunes as King Khan did but with more rap/hip-hop mixed in.
They were using a fill in guitarist, someone local who seriously rocked a handlebar mustache. The frontman worked the crowd with about four songs involving crowd response.  They were well placed at late afternoon when the sun was still up and people we up for dancing.
 I knew more of their songs than I thought and happily sung along. I was hopeful when I saw them listed and they didn't disappoint.  I'm a fan.

Awolnation (Los Angeles): This was our first main stage show.  I like the band and know many of their songs.  They span several genres.  My complaint with this show was that the music engineer and lights engineer must have been partaking in the plentiful amounts of cannabis that were around because the quality of the sound and production were not good.  The reverb was high, the bass and kick drum drowned everything else out.  The lighting was too dark blue and from above for the first half of the show so even on the big screens to either side of the stage it was really difficult to see the band.  Then there were also lots of shadows cast from the scaffolding above on to the screens. The end result was disappointing though the band couldn't be blamed for it.

The end of the day was a bit of three different shows.   
The Helio Sequence (PDX) was very mellow and a good pick for the end of the day.  It was probably more enjoyable for the folks who were half off their heads. The screen projections reminded me of the option on Windows Media Player to see lazers or other graphic imaging to go along with the music.

The Jayhawks(Minneapolis) were ok.  They are very predictable and mellow.

M. Ward  (PDX) was the last we saw before going.  I didn't see much of the show though we were in the beer garden at that stage.  I like his/their sound, though the name gives me less than ideal flashbacks. He had a much bigger sound than I expected.  The songs I knew were more singer/songerwriter-folky mellow but he threw out a couple good rock tunes too.

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