Dave Lake Claire Evans of YACHT.
Despite sore muscles and a bit of fatigue, my Monday afternoon at Bumbershoot started out swimmingly thanks to some free street parking (thanks, Roy between 5th and Taylor!). The experience was also made pleasant by the decidedly less-dense crowd, which I thought might fill out as Hall & Oates' set drew closer, but never did. The smaller audience meant shorter lines for everything, quicker traveling from stage to stage, and a better vantage point once you got there.
Dave Lake Claire Evans of YACHT.
I started my day with a rocking set from Seattle's My Goodness, who made a fine racket for just two dudes. Guitarist Joel Schneider and drummer Ethan Jacobsen steal a page from the White Stripes playbook, both in instrumentation and garage-rock inspiration, but the duo do it well, and Jacobsen could play Meg White under the table any day.
From there I hit a stuffed-to-the-gills KEXP music lounge, where Fitz and the Tantrums blew the roof off the joint. Like a soul band possessed by the devil, Michael Fitzpatrick and crew had the entire place up and dancing, though few in attendance had moves as good as Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs, the group's other singer. Their set included a cover of The Raconteurs' "Steady, As She Goes."
"We just drove here, and now we're here," said Claire Evans, singer for Portland, Oregon's YACHT as the group began their set. "And now you're here. We couldn't have planned this better!" Evans was a vision in white, her bleached hair and fashion onesie blinding in the summer sun. Speaking of onesies, the group owes a debt to Devo, what with their robotic electro-pop and shirts buttoned up to their necks. The band also channel Devo in their light-hearted live show and sense of humor, which was front and center. Before starting their set, guitarist and singer Jona Bechtolt led the crowd in some deep breathing exercises to alleviate the nervousness. The band involved the crowd again about halfway through their set when a fan asked if they could dance with the band onstage. The band agreed. Then another asked, and then another, until the entire stage was filled with a flash mob of dancing hipsters.
I watched Tyler, Texas' Eisley, made up of four siblings and their cousin, who play radio-friendly pop-rock. The three DuPree sisters, who lineup across the front of the stage, blended their voices as only siblings can. But even though the band is a major label marketing director's dream, their songs didn't do much for this Bumbershooter.
I watched a few songs each from Olympia's Lake, who play groovy AM radio gold, Brooklyn's Sharon Van Etten, who laid herself bare via her dark and personal confessions, and Ian Moore and the Lossy Coils, which I mostly just remember because of Moore's awesome guitar faces which complemented his awesome guitar solos.
My Bumbershoot concluded with a set from local heroes Vendetta Red, who had a successful run in the first half of the 2000s thanks to their major-label debut Between the Never and the Now, but who called it quits in 2006. After a reunion gig in March at El Corazon, the band has remained active ever since and are currently working on a new record, a few songs from which they mixed in amongst crowd favorites like "Vendetta Red Cried Rape on Their Date With Destiny" and "Opiate Summer," which found singer Zach Davidson leaping onto the crowd for a surf. Though the exhibition hall was only one-quarter full during their set, Vendetta Red remained undeterred, offering up their best arena rock moves and solidifying their reputation as one of the town's best hard rock bands.
Sorry Hall & Oates, I was Bumbershot and didn't have it in me. But I promise to shave a mustache into my face first thing in the morning as a gesture of what could have been.