Bumbershoot: a whimsical term for an umbrella

Music festivals are my favorite part of summer. Unfortunately, I ended up not going to Sasquatch this year, but I made it to two days of Bumbershoot! The giant eyeballs above are from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs show. One of them bopped me on the head. It was a highlight. Despite the morning rain both days, it wasn’t a damper (ohhh pun!). It stopped soon after the first act both days and only ever came back really lightly.

Now, in chronological order, my Bumbershoot 2009 experience.

September 6, 2009.

Sweater Dress: Thrifted / Wet Seal.
Tank: Target.
Tights: welovecolors
Boots: Old Navy

This is me. I was raining so I put on a coat. This sweater dress is one of the warmest things I own. It might be short, but it insulates.

Hey Marseilles are probably my favorite music find of the year thus far. I love that they have a viola, trumpet, cello, accordion, and a melodica! They definitely have a French-folk feel, and it’s lovely and gorgeous. I love seeing them live too because you can see the joy on their faces. It’s wonderful and if you ever have a chance, you should definitely see them.

I have to admit, YYY are more my sister’s band than mine, but Karen O does know how to give a great show. Her energy was infectious and everyone was just dancing and singing along. I was debating whether to see Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band instead, and part of me wishes I had. It’s just that feeling of the unknown.

After that, I met up with some guys and went to see USE, a local dance-electronic band described as the ‘happiest band in Seattle’. I’ve never heard them before, but definitely a fun crowd.

After that I ate and saw a few minutes of No Age.

Then Michael Franti and the Spearhead! Michael Franti had some great stories (I love when I get stories at concerts! Stories and band banter are my favorite) including the tidbit that Malia Obama has a butterfly on her window.

After that set, I walked over to Raphael Saddiq and left before the two encores because Jason Mraz joined Michael Franti for “Say Hey (I Love You)” and it made me want to see some Jason. Raphael Saadiq was pretty glorious (the crowd wanted two encores, which he gave). There were a group of older people who were drinking rum from their water bottle while they were responsible for their grandchild. It was odd. They were also dancing. But Raphael’s soulful voice was a great end to a night.

Except I caught the last song of Jason Mraz.

September 7, 2009.
Another day, another set. This day was much shorter for me because I had to get back and try to get some reading done for the next day.

This is what I wore because you need to wear plaid to Bumbershoot at least once.

Dress: Thrifted / F21 ($9)
Sweater: Levi’s ($20)
Boots: Old Navy ($5)

I stayed over at my friend’s house because even though I live about 40 miles south of Seattle, I don’t have a car with me right now. I usually belt this dress, but forgot it at home.

I started this day out with some of The Knux. The band was more awake than the crowd, even though they didn’t start until 1:30! They kept trying to pull some noise, movement, and energy, but only got so far. They pulled a few kids up on the stage (and most of the crowd were kids – 16 and under), but even some of them were a bit stoic.

The Lonely Forest. Favorite find from this festival, I think. I had a couple of their songs before, but seeing them live brought up my love for them ten-fold. And I found out a girl I had a class with freshman year (and who lived with my friend last year) has been dating the drummer since high school. Small world. I heard about her drummer boyfriend, but didn’t connect the two until someone told me the day after I saw them. Anyway, you should all listen to them. Bonus points for having an attractive lead singer/keyboardist/guitarist. Very attractive. I hope he doesn’t find this.

The room was packed and they have a great performance presence. I’m still on a high regarding this band.

After that I wandered around and bought some posters and other goodies from Flatstock.

Thankfully caught the end of Mirah, who was also a storyteller and ended on “The Garden”, a song used for a So You Think You Can Dance dance. Plus she went to the college in my hometown (and a bike’s ride away from my parents’ house).

Even tough I hear Modest Mouse was a great show, I’m very satisfied seeing Janelle Monae last. She’s just a little ball of awesome and quite the performer herself. She painted a piece of art while singing and crowd surfed a little. She threw the painting into the crowd, which I thought was a little dangerous. She dances like a “futuristic ballerina” I heard someone describe, while also being able to belt like a trained singer (which I think she is). Guts and talent, we need more of this in the recording industry.

Hope you enjoyed! See you next year Bumbershoot, and good bye summer.


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