Lorde, Weezer, Dillon Francis, Spoon & Friends Enjoy Full Moon Fun + the Seattle Sun
For three glorious days over the Labor Day weekend, great music of all genres took over the Seattle Center under the watchful eye of the iconic Space Needle. Whether you prefer the electronic efforts of Dillon Francis and Flume, the indie rock of Spoon and Weezer, the hip hop of The Roots and Vince Staples, or the genre-blurring likes of Die Antwoord and Odesza, Bumbershoot had something for everyone, as well as a generous serving of new music and artists to fall in love with.
Two ‘classic’ festival stages on Fisher Green and the Mural Amphitheatre (with grass banks and easy access) were flanked by the indoor dome of Key Arena and the outdoor main stage in Memorial Stadium, alongside smaller events, food trucks and shows set to the music of Beyonce, Kanye and Daft Punk in the Lazer Dome tent.
Attendees got to see and hear Die Antwoord‘s mind-blowing light/pyro show and incredible energy, a mind-blowing greatest-hits set from Weezer, the magic trick of Lorde somehow managing to combine the poise of a global music star with modesty of an insecure teen, Spoon making the most of a double slot (vacated by HAIM’s unfortunate illness) to showcase their musical ability to both slink across a dance floor and strut across a rock stage, and The Roots being the tightest, greatest party band on earth, with their own music complemented by covers ranging from James Brown to Guns ‘N’ Roses as final proof of Bumbershoot’s core ethos – that in 2017, musical genres serve as no kind of boundary at all.
Newer artists both found and expanded their audiences, with Watsky‘s energetic, frenetic live hip hop, Pvris‘ soaring vocals and catchy indie electronic hooks, Middle Kids’ intricate art and Australian banter, Léon‘s vocal power and Scandinavian charm, Slushii‘s re-worked musical classics, Con Brio‘s jaw-dropping showmanship, and Lillie Mae‘s delightful new country twang all standing out across an extensive festival ground sampling.
Final word has to go to a couple of very different hometown heroes as standouts – Day 2’s Tacocat, who brought meme-based clothing, bubble machines, dancing friends and wide smiles to an up-tempo pop-punk funfest in the sun and Day 3’s Odesza who brought a bunch of special guests (Leon Bridges, Naomi Wild, WYNNE and Odesza’s own Drum Corps) to their electronic-based, all-encompassing sound in closing out the main stage under a full moon. Both overcame technical difficulties (muddy sound for Tacocat, a full-blown power outage for Odesza) to win over crowds that grew throughout their performances and cried out for more at the end.
Thousands of fans from multiple generations packed the event for all three days, and the only criticism of what was a wonderful weekend that can be made is the one leveled at all the best festivals – at times, two amazing artists were playing at the same time on different stages and it was impossible to see them all…
That is nothing but a good problem to have, as is the fact that it will be hard to wait a full year until Bumbershoot 2018…