Bumbershoot 2008

Album Cover: Various Positions

"Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya."
Leonard Cohen / Hallelujah

Posted on September 07, 2008 10:08 PM in Music
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Beck at Bumbershoot 2008

My buddy Mike and I made our annual trip to Bumbershoot last weekend. This year was our third year in a row, but unfortunately for us, the third time was not a charm.

We showed up at around noon, and I ended up having the same thing for lunch that I had last year: bratwurst with sauerkraut. I also had a small cup of what tasted like Minute Maid lemonade that cost around $3. The lunch was good, though.

Unfortunately, and somewhat inexplicably, they decided to forego on one of the sound stages they had the previous two years (and likely many years before that) so that they could put in a vert ramp for skateboarding. The only problem with this decision is that the professional skateboarders they hired only performed for two half hours the entire day, and while it was entertaining to watch, the rest of the time resulted in far fewer options in terms of musical acts to enjoy.

Mike and I walked the grounds of the Seattle Center quite a bit more than we did in previous years, mostly because we were killing time between acts and hoping to find something interesting to look at, listen to, whatever. We managed to stumble upon Flatstock, which was pretty cool because there were all kinds of concert posters on display and for sale. However, there really wasn't all that much else to see outside of the few musical acts playing at any given time.

Even the musical acts left a little to be desired this year. We listened to Grynch perform as we ate our lunch, and while he was entertaining, his raps didn't quite live up to some of the beats he was rapping to, which were pretty impressive.

After Grynch, we ended up walking around and killing a lot of time before we finally ended up in Memorial Stadium, which is where all the main acts play, a little after 6 o'clock. We caught Band of Horses, whom I'd never heard of, first, and they put on a pretty good show. Their sound was really good, which I probably wouldn't have even noticed had it not been for the set that followed.

The headlining act for the night, and the main reason Mike and I decided to choose Saturday for our annual Bumbershoot experience, was Beck. I had seen him before in a much smaller venue when he was touring for Sea Change, but I knew this set would likely be much more upbeat given his new release, Modern Guilt.

The main reason I now can comment on the decent sound of Band of Horses' set is because the sound of Beck's was anything but. His microphone was cutting out throughout the first handful of songs and every now and then a high-pitched feedback would burst through the speakers. Other than the drums and bass, the rest of the band sounded like nothing but noise. Luckily, there was a brief interlude of about three songs in which the entire band was at the front of the stage, wearing headsets and playing all kinds of sounds on what Beck referred to as 808s, after which the sound problems had been mostly taken care of and we were able to actually enjoy the music.

The combination of the sound issues and the sparseness of musical acts to listen to throughout the day made for a less than memorable Bumbershoot this year. I had a good time catching up with my buddy Mike, though, and I'm sure we'll give it another shot next year. We'll probably just be a little more careful about the day and lineup we choose.

Red Beck courtesy of Flickr user mash187.

Comments

ytkvtcar on May 15, 2017 at 5:22 AM:

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