Monday was by far the longest of the three days gallivanting around the Seattle Center, as it started at 12 Noon sharp. I met up with some people over at the Fountain Lawn stage for Motopony, one of Seattle’s newer phenomenons. I saw them play live for the first time last summer and recently heard their song “King of Diamonds” on 103.7 The Mountain, which is pretty big actually.
Frontman Daniel Blue can really put on a show, I’ll tell ya. Their early (and I mean early) afternoon show made me wish they played more around the city.
My camera and I moved over to the Free Yr Radio stage for Lake’s acoustic set, since I knew I couldn’t make it to their main set later in the day because of such a full schedule. While I found several times that weekend the people doing the short impromptu interviews at the stage were quite awkward, Lake was so chill that it made the set that much more enjoyable. I’m sure it was easier for the girl doing the interview as well.
Curtains for You was next, and they were one of the main bands I was looking forward to on that Monday. They opened for the Head and the Heart back in January at Neumo’s, and the atmosphere at the EMP Level 3 stage on Monday was just as warm and inviting as the Neumo’s show. It felt so intimate and fun – almost like a living room show.
After that was a trifecta of local talent – starting with Grand Hallway, whose brand of indie pop can only be described as majestic, with the strong instrumental melodies and orchestral quality.
I then headed over to the Free Yr Radio stage again for Ravenna Woods, since I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it to their set later. I’ve seen them several times, so I didn’t feel that bad. But their acoustic set was fantastic. Again, dealing with the awkward interview, frontman Chris Cunningham laughed it all off with a giant smile, after rocking out to my favourite of their songs “We Want It All.” Which reminds me, I need to see if I can get into that Nirvana Nevermind exhibition, because Ravenna Woods is playing at it.
Back to the EMP Level 3 stage I went, and this time for Lemolo, who had quite a long line waiting to get in to see them by the time I got there, and it was already at capacity. It warmed my heart to see so them – like so many local bands that weekend – get such a strong audience. The two girls put on a lovely show, like always. The best part was when it sounded like everyone in the room started singing along to their song “Open Air.” It was a bit surreal, even for me.
After my heart was thoroughly warmed, I ventured into the Exhibition Hall for the first time that weekend for Eisley’s set. To tell you the truth, I used to listen to Eisley about 4 years ago, but have since moved on with my musical tastes. Because I hadn’t listened to them in forever, I was expecting something completely different at their show. I was not expecting them to rock so much. Thankfully I did see their show, or else I would have gone on thinking that they still did breathy lite indie pop. These girls have come a long way since Room Noises in 2005.
Vendetta Red was also in the Exhibition Hall that afternoon, and even though it wasn’t much of my style of music – this classic Seattle alternative punk band rocked the house. It definitely was nice for those fans to get to see Vendetta Red play live after their four-year hiatus.
The final act I got to see in daylight was Sharon Van Etten, who I had never seen before and didn’t know what to expect. While for the first couple of songs, it was only Sharon and her guitar on stage, her charm commanded the audience for a fantastic, rather stripped-down set.
Then the next hour of my evening went like this – ran over to Phantogram, stayed for a few songs and they were amazing. I was surprised because last year when they played Musicfest Northwest it was a bit underwhelming. After that, a couple of my fellow photographers and I ran across the Seattle Center to see Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside at the EMP Level 3 stage, and she was adorable, even if she admitted to being a little hungover. Then literally as soon as we were done shooting, we skidaddled over to the Key Arena to find some seats for Hall & Oates. Yes, Hall & Oates.
The main reason I saw Hall & Oates was not because I had been dying to see “Maneater” live, but merely the fact that I could say that I’d seen Hall & Oates play. The audience inside the Key Arena was hilarious – the exact opposite of the teenagers the day before. It was a bunch of middle-aged women singing their middle-aged little hearts out, which was endearing to say the least.
So it was the end of Bumbershoot 2011. It was a wild ride, but my week was far from over, as I’d be driving to Portland two days later for Musicfest Northwest the rest of the week. Stay tuned for that coverage coming soon!
For more photos from Monday, go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/abbigshmail/sets/72157627482031965/