Experiencing all of Bumbershoot is like trying to eat a 50 course meal in one sitting, and then washing it down by drinking water from a fire hose.
Even if you had a clone, you still wouldn’t be able to fully drink in every act, every moment, every beat and riff.
At a festivals like Bumbershoot or Sasquatch, it’s easy to regret what you miss. The important thing is to savor the moments you do experience. In fact, you are gonna miss a bunch of brilliant stuff – but the good news is, the stuff that you do catch will be equally cool. When it’s all said and done, it won’t really matter what you saw and heard, as long as you stayed safe, had fun, and got your groove on.
Like last year, stellar weather, along with an eclectic lineup, is predicted in The Emerald City. Three days of live music in the sun has the makings of a magical weekend.
How you approach an event of this scale is up to you. Check out the itinerary and make a plan – get a full helping of each band or sample a little of many – or just toss the schedule and take a more Zen approach. (One of the grooviest things about Bumbershoot is discovering acts that aren’t necessarily on the itinerary.) But If you do want a place to start, here are 7 must-see acts. (Again, schedules may conflict, so pick and choose freely!)
JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound (Saturday, September 1, 2012 2:30pm – 3:30pm @ TuneIn Stage (Fisher Green)
Why you need to see them: The name alone says what this band is all about. Take a little rock, rockabilly, and classic R&B – throw it in a pot, and you have the makings of something very special. Real dudes playing real instruments – tight and in the pocket, fronted by JC Brooks’ smooth and soulful delivery. Ooh yeah, I like it like that.
This band will take you back to a time when making automobiles and music was a real craft, and get you shakin’ your money maker.
The Soul Rebels (Saturday September 1, 2012 4:00pm – 5:00pm @ Starbucks Stage (Mural Amphitheatre)
Why you need to see them: Any New Orleans-style brass band that can pull off a funked up version of the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams deserves our love and attention.
This group of talented musicians from “The Big Easy” effectively fuse contemporary and eclectic music styles from artists like Arcade Fire, Outkast, and Jay-Z, and put together a uplifting and celebratory sound. There’s nothing like the sound of a tight brass band doing their thing to remind you that you’re alive and kickin’.
Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings (Sunday September 2, 2012 1:45pm – 2:45pm @ Bumbershoot Mainstage (KeyArena)
Why you need to see them: Funk and soul is a great American art form, and these cats lay it down old school style. Various members of the The-Dap Kings made a significant contribution to the late Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black. The Dap-Kings appear on the 2012 David Byrne and St. Vincent collaboration, Love This Giant.
Sharon Jones sings from her soul and can scat like Ella Ftizgerald – and has even shared the stage with jam band masters, Phish. Any band that can pull off a brilliant cover version of Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land is on my list of cool. Why these guys are not playing later in the evening during prime-time is beyond me.
Ian Hunter and The Rant Band (Sunday September 2, 2012 7:30pm – 8:45pm @ Starbucks Stage (Mural Amphitheatre)
Why you need to see him: Because Cleveland Rocks and this Brit came All the Way from Memphis with Mott The Hoople. All the Young Dudes may never have heard of this cat, but he and his band made the David Bowie-penned classic one of the top rock tunes of all time. He also wrote Once Bitten,Twice Shy, which Great White made into an MTV hit.
One of Hunter’s solo records, You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic, has to be one of the coolest titles for an LP ever. Ian Hunter may not have been a household name in The States, but he’s had a major influence and is a genuine rock n’ roll treasure.
Deep Sea Diver (Sunday September 2, 2012 7:30pm – 8:30pm @ The Promenade (The Promenade)
Why you need to see them: They are led by the tasty guitar tones and vocal stylings of Jessica Dobson and backed by the powerful rhythm section of Peter Mansen and John Raines, Dobsen toggles back and forth between guitar and keyboards and delivers wonderfully haunting and intense vocal performance.
The Seattle based group has been out on tour with The Shins where Dobson does double duty with both bands. This outfit knows how to make sonically great records with a collection of strong songs but live is where the group’s music shines.
Reignwolf (Monday September 3, 2012 1:00pm – 2:00pm @ Starbucks Stage (Mural Amphitheatre)
Why you need to see him: He’s been getting a crazy buzz lately. With recent stunning in-store performances at Easy Street Records, Sasquatch 2012, an in-studio performance at Jet City Stream, and a brilliant showing at Capitol Hill Block Party, Reignwolf is wowing fans with his intense stagecraft.
He’s a one-man wrecking crew, music highlight reel, and photographer’s dream. When he cranks up his high octane brand of roots-rock, you never know what’s about to happen, but trust – it’ll be loud, in your face, and provocative. He walks a musical tightrope without a net and has no boundaries.
Fishbone Monday September 3, 2012 6:15pm – 7:15pm @ Exhibition Hall Stage (Exhibition Hall)
Why you need to see them: Back in the late 70’s and 90’s, bands like Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Fishbone were burning up the Sunset Strip with their heavy brand of hyperkinetic funk rock and ska. Fishbone shows are legendary events that are almost like live rock videos.
With solid chops, politically-driven lyrics, and tongue firmly planted in their cheek, this band has hovered outside of the mainstream for their entire existence, but they’ve built a loyal following and they still bring it full force.
The Roots even covered their song Lyin’ Ass Bitch on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon while former presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann, walked out for her interview. Seems that the network brass didn’t dig that action. Oh well… That’s rock n’ roll.
Partial Lineup of other acts to check out…
Saturday, Sept. 1: Jane’s Addiction, AWOLNATION, M. Ward, The Jayhawks, The Helio Sequence, City and Colour, The Heavy, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, King Khan & The Shrines, Heartless Bastards. Oberhofer, TheeSatisfaction, Damien Jurado, Sera Cahoone, Don’t Talk to the Cops!, Skerik’s Bandalabra, Alela Diane, The Barr Brothers, TacocaT, Unnatural Helpers, Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Polecat and Nude.
Sunday, Sept. 2: Tony Bennett, Mac Miller, Big Sean, Keane, Blitzen Trapper, The Promise Ring, Yelawolf, Mudhoney, Wanda Jackson & The Dusty 45′s, The Greenhornes with Eric Burdon, Civil Twilight, Fruit Bats, The Jezabels, Why?, Barcelona, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Harmonica House Party with Lee Oskar & Magic Dick, Katie Herzig, Niki and the Dove, AM & Shawn Lee, thenewno2, Gold Leaves, Karen Lovely, Deep Sea Diver, Theoretics, Eldridge Gravy & The Court Supreme, Ty Curtis Band, The Young Evils, Knowmads, Katie Kate and Eighteen Individual Eyes.
Monday, Sept. 3: Skrillex, M83, Passion Pit, Low, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Vaselines, Fujiya & Miyagi, Fishbone, Lights, Rebirth Brass Band, LP, Ty Segall, Hey Marseilles, The Wombats, Ana Tijoux, Foxy Shazam, Bombino, Omar Souleyman, Tyrone Wells and El Vez.
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