Who: Georgia Anne Muldrow and Declaime
Nick Feldman Georgia Anne Muldrow
When: 4 p.m.
Where: Fisher Green
Switching from speaking to a gorgeous soulful singing voice in a seamless transition, Georgia Anne Muldrow was the best set I accidentally caught all festival. Taking on crazy positivity with an aggressive edge--an interesting combination--the oft-repeated "one love" and "peace on earth" messages were fun at first, but eventually turned cliché. As impressive as Muldrow's vocals and Declaime's flow were, their performance wasn't as in-your-face as the lyrics would suggest and the crowd (unfortunately myself included) began to lose focus by set's end. My vantage point from the beer garden was the perfect meduim.
Who: Jay Electronica
Nick Feldman Jahyaire with Jay Electronica
When: 5:45 p.m.
Where: Fisher Green
People warned me Jay Elec would be underwhelming live, and while he seemed to lack some experience I wasn't disappointed--in fact, the show solidified him in my mind as the game's current premier lyricist. The emcee cut to a capella during a good number of the songs, and I don't know who else would be able to do that while continuing to captivate an audience--whether or not he actually should have (correct answer: not). It was also real entertaining to watch security scramble as he instigated complete mayhem by asking for the front rows to hop barrier and join him onstage, but the freestyle kicked by little man Jahyaire was a definite benefit. Electronica started the Dilla chant, rapped a Nas cut (is the New York rap beef over?), copped to writing a track on the hallucinogenic drug DMT and spent a solid few minutes debating the merits of choking women during sexual intercourse. He cut the set 20 minutes short, and as quickly as he had appeared was gone, but in the age-old battle of quality versus quantity I'll give him the win.
When: 8:15 p.m.
Where: EMP Sky Church
After this Bumbershoot set, I remain convinced The Physics are still one of the best feel-good hip-hop performances I've seen--in Seattle or otherwise. Their live band, complete with keys, guitar, drums, trumpet and two backup vocalists, added an awesome depth to the upbeat melodies. I usually think of them as sunny day music, so a night show at the Sky Church was interesting placement, but I had no difficulty justifying it in my mind--or enjoying it.