Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Bumbershoot Is An Umbrella

Legends from across the music spectrum converged at the annual Bumbershoot music festival in Seattle this past weekend. In its 40th year, a vast amount of talent came to celebrate; popular acts like Weezer, The Decemberists, and Drake, local  Northwest talent David Bazan and Hey Marseilles, and even legend Bob Dylan (and legend in her own right, Courtney Love) all spent the Labor Day weekend rockin' out underneath the Space Needle.

Being a poor recent graduate, I really couldn't afford to even attend one day, but with the lineup being especially interesting this year, I just had to be there. It was actually a struggle to decide which day to attend. Having already seen most of the people for the Saturday line up (the lovely Neko Case, and the Decemberists) I decided to skip out on seeing Dylan in order to fulfill a dream from the days of yore; that dream is, of course, to see Rivers Cuomo in the flesh. How can you ever say no to seeing Courtney Love in real life as well?

Sunday at Bumbershoot turned into "Countdown to Courtney". Hole has never been one of my favorite bands, and I will admit that most of the songs I know are strictly because of their stints on TRL. However, Courtney is an icon, and I can always be found diving head first into any situation which puts me in the front row of any supposed train wrecks.

With my only expectation being that Love would come crashing onto the stage in ripped fishnets and pass out five minutes into her set, it was to my great surprise when a nearly regal woman proudly walked onto the stage in a wrap and covered in diamonds, including a tiara. There was no falling over, and as the show progressed the layers were removed, the tiara fell off, and the hilarious stories started to flow.

Love had something to prove to the crowd in Seattle (judging by the gasp inducing fact that people in the crowd quickly held up "Courtney Killed Kurt" signs at one point early in the show) and she definitely delivered one hell of a concert. In what many will recall as a highlight in true Seattle moments, Love looked up at the Space Needle towering over the stadium and began strumming the Pearl Jam classic "Jeremy".

Not a stellar cover, but it sure was ballsy.

Weezer, after over ten years, completely lived up to the wait. The fact that I am not a fan of Weezer's recent popular hits on the radio made being in a crowd of crazed "Beverly Hills" fans horrendous.

The rest of the show recovered by mostly focusing on their hits from the Blue Album ("Say It Ain't So") and Maladroit, with others from Pinkerton thrown in for good measure. In a showstopping highlight, the band began a cover of MGMT's Kids/ Lady Gaga's Poker Face. The band was later joined by Rivers who, to entirely fit the part, came out in a blond wig.

Potential rainstorms didn't stop the crowds this weekend, and as always, it felt good to be a fan of music in the great Pacific Northwest.

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