By Glenn Alderson
September 1, 2017
The sun was baking down on the Seattle Centre for the first day of Bumbershoot 2017 and music fans were out in full festival form, ready to soak up the heat and take in the creative and diverse lineup of musical acts for the festival’s 47th year.
Bumbershoot truly is an all-star musical celebration for people of all ages. All located on one festival ground, it’s spread out with five main stages conveniently within walking distance of each other, not to mention the countless other theatres and venues housing things like comedy, film and even laser shows.
Kicking off the Friday to a surprising turnout of young female fans at just 3 p.m. was North Vancouver’s Peach Pit. On their way back home from a short US West Coast tour, the four-piece sounded tighter and better than they ever have, performing songs off their upcoming LP, Being So Normal, slated for release later this month via Kingfisher Blues. There’s really nothing normy about these kids though when they drop the guillotine on all their adoring fans, who are quickly building thanks to their quirky online persona and well executed videos. And props to them for the commitment to their carefully selected on-stage wardrobe, even in +30 degree weather a turtleneck still looks quite fetching on guitarist Christopher Vanderkooy.
Another hot Vancouver act next on the program, I M U R immediately took control of the escalating crowd over at the Western Washington Honda stage. The trio looked and sounded amazing, pushing big sound in a big stadium environment with their danceable electronic tracks and hot vocal hooks. Their outfits were on point and everyone watching was hanging on to singer Jenny Lea’s every word. Make sure to catch this future soul train at their next Vancouver performance for Thrive Festival on Sept 16.
Big Sean, infamously known for being a quality guest rapper but not always that hot on his own, proved he had what it takes to turn day time in to night time. Dressed in a red tracksuit and a modest amount of bling, the Detroit emcee took fans through a journey of all his best verses, even pausing for a moment of silence for the water crisis of Flint Michigan and for the people of Texas, who are still feeling the wrath of Hurricane Harvey.
Other notable acts really driving the festival vibes hard in to the night were Australia’s Flume, Foster The People and New Zealand indie pop duo Broods.
Ending the evening was the forever freaky Die Antwoord, who unbelievably are still a thing, As much as you may want to turn your back on them or write this South African comedy duo off as a novelty act, you really can’t look away. The bass inside the Keystone Arena for this show was so unnervingly gut rumbling that even noses were vibrating. With their infamously coined word “ZEF” lit up in giant letters across the stage and DJ Hi-Tek tucked away at the top of their colourful pyramid, the show packed a sonic punch. Ninja and Yolandi Visser truly are next level when it comes to the amount of energy they put in to delivering each show. Countless outfit changes, incredible lighting and very aggressive crowd interaction kept everyone on their toes until the final burst of confetti filled the room.
After such an intense day, the only thing to do was go home and listen to the new LCD Soundsystem record and rest up for the remainder of the weekend because Bumbershoot is only getting started.
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