Monday, September 03, 2007


Mel and Me
The happy Bumbershooters

With some regret, I decided to go to Bumbershoot for just one day this year. I chose Saturday because the lineup looked most appealing to me, but there are a few things I'm sad I'm missing today and Monday. And like most years, the schedulers created really annoying conflicts for me, so I missed Carrie Akre, The Cops, The Lashes, and Menomena. I didn't even try to see any of the comedy after watching people stand in line all day last year.

I started off the day at the mainstage at Memorial Stadium for back-to-back Crowded House and Shins action. I met up with Melanie and Shannon in the stands and we sat back to enjoy the show. Crowded House sounded wonderful and almost everything they played was a hit. Stupid VH1 called them one-hit-wonders in one of those lame specials a couple of years ago, which still makes me go ballistic. They were hit machines! Anyway, it was a lovely show. Three Imaginary Girls reports that Eddie Vedder joined them for "Something So Strong," but I completely missed that. It was hard to understand the stage patter, and I was a ways from the stage, but it's funny that I was oblivious to the guest star. I did make a little video.

Don't Dream It's Over

Shannon took off for the comedy stages and Mel and I joined her friend Erin on the other side of the stadium for The Shins. We'd seen them once before, also at Bumbershoot and before they were big, and they were really great. They played the Key and were talking about how it was the biggest venue they'd been in and asked the crowd to to the wave. We did. This year's show was good, but I kind of think their music got lost a little outdoors. It's all certainly pretty, but they're not that interesting to watch and I kind of spaced out while listening.

The Shins
The Shins

After that, we wandered into the Center House to say hello to Michael, who was working an arts and crafts booth for Art With Heart, an organization with which he volunteers. After catching up and crafting our wish hearts, we grabbed mediocre Thai food and found our friends Elizabeth and Jasper, who I hadn't seen in too long. The four of us went out to Mural Amp and caught the last half of the The Avett Brothers, a quirky bluegrass/country/rock band. They were very good, and I'm interested in hearing more from them. Evidently, I'm the last to hear about them because the biggest crowd I can remember at that stage was there.

Mural Amp is crowded
Packed Mural Amphitheatre for Avett Brothers

After a quick spin through Flatstock and a free sample of pumpkin Frappacinos, we went back to the Mural Amphitheatre for the Gourds. As expected, they were super fun. Mel and I agreed that we 2/3 love them and that certain people we know would love them for exactly the 1/3 reason we don't (jam-bandyness). The crowd was definitely lacking in hipsters, which is kind of refreshing. Maybe I've been in Wyoming too long, because I kept wanting to move the emo bangs out of the kids' eyes all day. Or maybe I'm just getting old. Anyway, the Gourds were entertaining for sure. I wish my video of "Gin and Juice" had turned out better, cuz I'd link it. Instead, I'll tell you that in the picture below they're singing about fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and titties. As you do.

The Gourds
The Gourds

After the Gourds, Mel and I hoofed it up Mercer to where I'd left my car. I had wanted to see Devotchka, but I was both tired and satisfied and it was kind of nice to get out of there before dark. I had a good, if too-brief Bumbershoot experience this year. We totally went the non-indie rock route this year, so it's no wonder I never ran into King Jumpsuit. If only I'd gone to see Menomena! Next time...

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