It’s our annual trip to Seattle for the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival. We go every year, since 2001, making this our 17th year in a row. And we love it more than ever. This year our granddaughter Josephine went with us again. Also traveling, our friends Cal, Laura, Marie, Mama O, Aunt Sam, and Margaret.
I’ll post some pictures soon, but first, here’s what we did on our trip.
Thursday August 31st
Early in the morning we took the Super Shuttle (aka Blue Van) to the Sacramento Airport. We ate a little food but the choices were poor. We flew Southwest to Seattle, from there taking the convenient and cheap LINK light rail downtown. We checked into the Worldmark Resort (The Camlin) and even though we were three hours early our room was ready so we took everything up to our top floor room. We headed out via the monorail to the Seattle Center, to the will call for the Bumbershoot Festival ticketing, to happily resolve an issue before the festival. Next we went to the Armory Building on the Seattle Center grounds and had a late lunch (linner?) with very tasty vegan options. We sat by and watched the International Fountain for a little while, peaceful and relaxing. The we went across the street to the Metropolitan Market (formerly Larry’s) and bought some supplies for the week. We headed back to the room via monorail and snacked in the room. Mama O and Aunt Sam stopped by and brought us some fresh flowers from Pike Place Market. Thanks! Then we called it a day. Gotta get ready for the festival tomorrow!
Friday September 1st
Day one of the Bumbershoot Music And Arts Festival! I wait all year for these three days. On the way we stoped for lunch at Veggie Grill and then went to the Seattle Center, where the festival happens. During the day we sampled some festival food, bought some merch, checked out the VIP areas, and more, but that’s all side stuff. We saw a lot of great entertainment all three days. Today started with a Northwest Band, Peach Pit. I’d never heard of them but their thirty minute set was very good. We bought a 7″ vinyl. Then Petra and Josephine headed over to see some modern dance, Continuum (Jerboa Dance), while meanwhile I caught the end of a set by Deep Vally (two woman punky stuff) and Pvris (modern-ish rock). We all met back up and went to the Main Stage to see Foster The People, known for their Pumped Up Kicks hit. That was a few albums back and they’ve evolved a bit since then. Good stuff.
Next up we saw part of a set by Broods, female fronted rock with a moody pop bent. As we headed to the Mural Stage we caught the end of a set by Filthy Friends, with members of REM and Sleater-Kinney. They didn’t do much for me. But the next act did. It was ZZ Ward, who we had seen there a few years ago and really liked. And she didn’t disappoint. Great songs, bluesy rock, and great showmanship but still humble. And we got the set list too! Go see her! Last up for the day was Flo Rida, who Josephine wanted to see. I’m not a big hip-hop fan but it could have been much much worse. He didn’t drop the f-bomb or anything, but was still cliche to me. Josephine was happy, though, and that counts for a lot. It was a great day for music, even though we had expected it to be the weakest day of the festival. That’s the great thing about Bumbershoot, there’s so much there, known and unknown, to enjoy.
Saturday September 2nd
Veggie Grill again (it’s a long story, but we all like it). Then the monorail to the Seattle Center for day two of the festival. Yow! First off we saw some short films from the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). This group was called Films For Families. Then we saw Saint Claire, a pop singer who also plays violin and piano. He’s very entertaining and has a really good voice. We bought his CD EP. Then Josephine and I caught a little of a panel discussion called Ghosts Of Seattle’s Past, but we moved on shortly and met back up with Petra. We watched the Filthy Femmes Marching Band for a while then headed into the Main Stage for the rest of the day. This was the headliner day for us. First was Kaleo, who we didn’t know, but they played a very good set. Then came Weezer. We saw them a few years ago and they were great. This time, there were some sound issues the first couple songs but after that they really got going. A few songs were just good but the rest were very strong and catchy “nerd-rock”. Then came the headliner Lorde. I love her Pure Heroine album and the new one’s pretty good too, and in concert she was very, very good. Poised and confident, she performed strong and powerful versions of many of her songs. This was probably the best set of the festival.
Sunday September 3rd
And we’re back for day three, the last day of the festival (sadly). It was another strong day, starting with The Dip, an all-white soul R&B revue, horns and all. The were really good at that type of music. Then came The New Respect, black, family, and great voices and harmonies. Then we saw pop singer Léon, who was ok but not that special for me. Next it was over to the Main Stage for X Ambassadors, a radio-familiar band known for a few songs including the big hit Unsteady. Petra loved them and I thought they started a bit slow but ended up quite good. We had some festival food and then I watched part of a set by country-folkish Lucie Silvas (got this set list too) while Petra and Josephine checked out Solange. Yeah, Beyonce’s sister. They didn’t really like her that much, so they ended back up with me. We chatted with Margaret by the International Fountain while listening to Spoon’s set. They were pretty good but I had wanted to see Haim after them. Too bad they cancelled due to laryngitis. We watched the projections on the fountain and then headed back to the Camlin. That was the end of Bumbershoot 2017, another awesome wonderful fantastic three days. Heck, we already booked a room for next year!
Stay tuned for part 2 …