OK – I’m way behind again, but there was too much good music at Bumbershoot not to get around to it. I had an incredible amount of fun on my $22 economy ticket. Yeah, I do wonder what it would have been like if I sprung for the full ticket and caught some Bob Dylan as well as Solomon Burke and Ozomatli. That was just it though. They scheduled some great music at the same time, and I wasn’t sure if I would have made it anyways, and it would have been $18 more, on my very small budget.
So, I didn’t decide for sure which ticket to get until a few days before (and actually just before they announced the full tickets for the mainstage that day were sold out). I figured it would be easier if I bought in advance and they held it at will call. Wow was I wrong!
I built a little time in, and even with the bus being late, I as there an hour before Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs were due to take the stage at the Mural Amphitheater early Saturday afternoon. The sun was now shining, while earlier it was raining. . .and. . . the Will Call line was a couple blocks long and slowly moving on the Mercer Street side of Seattle Center. As a half hour, 45 minutes went by it was starting to look rather grim.
Did I mention that Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs were one of the main reasons I bought a Saturday ticket and I was eagerly looking forward to hearing them play with the new line up, even before the rumors that Mike McCready of Pearl Jam would be joining them for a few songs? Oh, yes, I even blogged a rave about that, and in a timely manner (which, as you know, is relatively rare for me).
I finally got to up the will call window and got my ticket less than 10 minutes before they were due to hit the stage, and while I was trying to dash back to the entrance near the EMP (OK, I am not in dashable shape), I did not think I would make it in time. I got there, though, just before they started!
OK, now I know Bumbershoot has apologized and hopefully got Will Call right for the next two days of the festival, but. . .as I rushed by the ticket sales at the gate near EMP, I realized I would have had no line to wait in if I had waited and bought my ticket there. . .
Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs were awesome! Even before first Carrie Akre, then Mike McCready joined them.
Here they are with Mike for Wolves in Disguise, the first of two videos I took:
and All Alone in This Together, their closing number:
I wandered around some before heading back to the Mural for The Maldives, finally finding the traveling hot shop from the Museum of Glass, but without enough time to check it out, yet. Also ran into Amnesty friends, with their children. I do want to give Bumbershoot praise on this one – letting children in free with their parents on the economy ticket! Great idea.
Mayor Mike McGinn introduced The Maldives (which was kind of cool). Here they are with Blood on the Highway at Bumbershoot, video from Tacoma Rock City:
Then it was time for some old time soul and funk with Wheedle’s Groove a super band composed of members of at least 6 or 7 of Seattle’s biggest soul band from the 1960s & 70s. They came together for a documentary, which will be showing soon on PBS, and are still playing gigs around Seattle. It was great seeing an all generation audience grooving on them at Bumbershoot!
Here’s my video of (Stop) Losing Your Chances (and the audio is better than the video on this one):
With no break again, it was back to the Mural Amphiteater for Justin Townes Earle.
Justin and his band were in fine form! I had not seen Justin before, and what surpised me was that he went in the opposite direction from his famous dad, Steve Earle, than I expected. I figured he’d throw in something “young” like indie music or hip hop; but instead he went back to the country roots with a depression era sound (which seems to be coming back in style these days).
Here’s Justin Townes Earle with Mama’s Eyes from KEXP‘s Music Lounge broadcast earlier that day:
It’s a beautiful song, and I don’t mean any disloyalty to his father, who I’m also a fan of. I know it’s also an ironic song, in light of Justin’s own recent struggles with addiction, but he’s the first to admit, and in the song itself, that he’s following too closely in his dad’s footsteps that he’s so critical of.
On the other hand, at my age, I’m starting to have a different perspective. First, you start realizing your parents did the best they could , based on their own parenting and childhood, as well as whatever else was going on in their lives and causing stress. Often trying to do better. Then you look at their parents and their lives. . . Then you start realizing your children, or the children of your contemporaries (for those of us who have none of their own), are complaining about their parents; while already starting to make some of the same or different mistakes themselves, with their kids. . .
After that, it was time for some wandering, and I finally searched out the mobile Museum of Glass hot shop that was happening throughout the weekend. Of course, they lacked the groovy giant cooling tower of the actual hot shop down in Tacoma, but just like there, you get to watch the glass artists create their pieces from start to finish.
I wasn’t sure which band I wanted to see next, but had several possibilities. I decided to head over to the EMP and start there. On the way, and nearby, I caught some of This Providence. They were good, and verrry young.
Here they are at Bumbershoot with Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, video by shutterbugTrin:
I headed over to the EMP’s Sky Church to check out See Me River.
They sounded really good, and were really intense.
Here they are with their song Ed Jackson at The Tractor Tavern last year:
As I left the EMP, I caught the Circus Una Motorcycle Thrill Show right outside:
Then I headed back to the Mural Amphitheater to see Solomon Burke, in what I just realized was his last U.S. performance. He died October 10, while on tour in Amsterdam.
They darkened the stage lights to bring him on stage in his wheelchair, and he performed on a throne, the man and his voice still majestic. He had a bucket of roses he had assistants pass out to women in the audience.
Here’s a clip toward the end of his set by SMI TV, ending, appropriately enough, with When the Saints Come Marching In:
I ended the evening with Ozomatli, the band that made Seattle dance! I was realizing I’m terribly out of shape and was having a hard time keeping up.
Here they are with Malagasy Shock, video by satherp5 (and the band itself has such tremendous energy!):
They brought children up toward the end as well, who were dancing all around the stage with them.
I headed home, having really gotten my money’s worth out of my economy ticket (and hearing mixed reviews about Bob Dylan, who I’m not sure if I would have caught even with the full price ticket, between Solomon Burke and Ozomatli).