Yeah, Bumbershoot is suddenly four days away. Look for our comprehensive guide on the racks tomorrow, and consult Bumbershoot.org for show/schedule/ticket info right now. Here's what I'm putting at the top of my list:
Neko Case, 7:15 p.m., Saturday, Mainstage
The best Neko Case show I've ever seen was at Sasquatch! 2006, and it was interrupted by a now-infamous hail storm. Every other set I've seen from here--with the exception of her runs with New Pornographers--have been a letdown. Her fantastic, large ensemble roll through the songs as if they were trying to re-making the record. Nothing feels improvised. Everything feels like it was done the same way the night before. I go to see her every chance I get hoping she'll unleash her band, and have a bit more fun with one of the finest catalogs of songs around today.
Bob Dylan, 9 p.m., Saturday Mainstage
I know, shocker. Dylan's updated arrangements bring new life to some of the most tired songs of the 20th Century. He also employs a steller backing band. But I'm most interested in seeing this set because his booking at Bumbershoot seems more appropriate than any other I've ever heard of, and I'm curious to see if he packs Memorial Stadium in a way that we haven't seen since Beck's crowd broke every fire code in the book in 1997.
Unnatural Helpers, 12:30 p.m., Sunday, Broad Street Stage
Because I want to see how these scamps perform during brunch. Someone please make sure leader Dean Whitmore gets his waffles before the show. There's nothing quite like a set of powerful pop to go down with your OJ.
Fences, 6:45 p.m., Sunday, EMP's Sky Church
I'm reserving judgment of Chris Mansfield's self-titled, full-length debut (Sept. 28). I have a feeling this set might bring the songs into focus.
The Moondoggies, 5 p.m., Monday, Starbucks Stage
Because it's been too long.
Laura Veirs, 8 p.m., Monday, NW Court
January's July Flame--the best-case scenario for what happens when indie rockers borrow lightly from folk/Americana--is still among the most spun albums in my space. It's haunting, beautiful, meticulous, and I've yet to see it performed live.