SEATTLE — The prominent line of thinking for Saturday at Bumbershoot 2013 was such:
“The music is great. But the sun,man. The sun is freaking awesome.”
It’s hard to say the bright, 80-degree day was anything short of perfect for Seattle’s premiere outdoor music and comedy festival. Tank-tops, sunburns and short shorts were as abundant as Bumbershoot’s six or seven music stages. The sounds of elephant-ear grilling, crowd murmuring and amp reverb crowded the ears. Puffs of fragrant smoke could be seen from the depths young adults endlessly cramming toward a stage. Kids and parents alike frolicked in the fountain. Suds and buds flowed in the fenced in beer gardens.
Not enough description, yet? Just look at those pictures, baby.
Since the sun was so high, it seemed silly to head indoors for the comedy acts, no matter who the headliner was. No, I mostly stuck to the outside and listened to my share of high-minded jazz, over-the-top indie pop and a little bit of hip hop. But, I did see Kendrick Lamar and Heart on the Main-stage, as both played to crowds of very different, but equally rabid fans.
Bands of note — if it’s possible to name a few — were the Robert Glasper Experiment, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires and !!!.
The Robert Glasper Experience opened their set with a long, high-energy Radiohead cover. But it wasn’t like any Radiohead song I’ve come to know. Infused with instrumentals, trumpets and synth, the band gave new meaning to psychedelic, high-intelligence jazz free-form. New meaning to what, you say? A great way to start off my day, the band offered a little bit of everything and fans of both rap superstar Kendrick Lamar and the aging rock tunes of Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience enjoyed the jazz.
!!! has long been a stalwart on the indie scene. Singer Nic Offer came out wearing only boxers, and quickly followed up with stunning dance moves. For a band I first heard in mid-high school, it was tough to imagine they could still put on a show that would excite me, given I haven’t heard much of their new music. But they did. They even RE-excited me on the music, as I downloaded THR!!!ER, their April release, last night. Good on you, !!!.
The true show-stopper of the night has to be Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires. Now, I’ve always been a sideline funk fan, listening to Funkadelic in the basement with my father at a young age. But to see a funk show live, to grove with an impeccable band and gritty, sultry vocals put me into the game. A lifelong James Brown impersonator, Bradley’s first album debuted in 2011. Bradley takes no second billing to the Godfather of Soul. Download his music, now.
But enough yapping and random thoughts. Here’s some pictures:
Q13 Photographer Jerry Green
Freelance photographer Tom Roth