Bumbershoot Monday: Unsurprisingly Good
posted by September 2 at 12:07 PMon
Monday at Bumbershoot was solid but offered few surprises. I would have loved to have been wowed by Blitzen Trapper and Feral Children, as they were my first-time hopefuls, but found myself unfortunately un-enthused by both their sets (Sorry Dave, but memorable is not how I would describe Feral Children. I found their songs to be a lot of random snacks when all I wanted was a proper meal). Monotonix were too rock and roll for Bumbershoot. Though it was funny that they were the first band Iíve ever seen be asked to stop playing at the festival, it would have been more awesome if, like, they could have kept entertaining the hundreds of people who were eating them up.
Black Eyes and Neckties by Chad Syme
Black Eyes and Neckties absolutely killed their radio session for KEXP. Singer Brad Lockhart was sporting a wheelchair and a foot brace, still reeling from his Total Fest tumble. There was a bit of apprehension towards the end of the set as to whether guitarist Josh Holland was going to jump up on the broadcast table and do something stupid to all the KEXP laptops, but thankfully for everyone involved he limited himself to surfing the prop table the band brought along with them.
Battles were the best band of the weekend. They canít help it; theyíre just too good to be anything less. There are too many elements to nerd out on: the skills, the gear, the riffs, the grooves, the inhuman hi-hat/snare prowess of John Stanier. And after a Sunday plagued with terrible mixes thank god Battles were personally on stage a half an hour early tweaking every knob and amp until their sound was perfect. I keep coming back to see them every chance I get and I am never the slightest bit disappointed I did.
Iím sure itís never fun for any band that has to follow them, but Minus the Bear gave it a good effort. Though I was mocked by some of the journalists leaving the backstage area to go see Death Cab, I actually like Minus the Bear. It took a few songs for them to get warmed up, but they always find ways to remind me why Iím still a fan: the tastefully dirty chorus of ďThis Ainít a Surfiní Movie,Ē the exploding start and stops of ďDouble Vision Quest” complete with u-ziq keyboard ending, the still-perfect-after-all-these-years futuristic power ballad ďAbsinthe Party.Ē The Ian Williams/Dave Knudsen DL-4 party was a nice way to finish out the long weekend, even if the bill probably should have been flipped. I’ll take unsurprising, as long as it’s unsurprisingly good.