Baroness at Bumbershoot ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
Ladies and Gentlemen, hold on to your hats, this is for all the marbles….
“You’re Not From Around Here…Are You?” – Best Live Performance By A Touring Act
Winner(s): Goodie Mob. Coalesce. Baroness. Almost Winner(s): Jay Electronica.
Judging by the fact that I have multiple winners listed, this was a difficult decision to make. Goodie Mob gave me a reason to believe in the concept of “reunion tours” again. I graduated from the school of thought where if you break up once, you should probably stay separated. Unless you’re a fan of daytime television or have the desire to construct a Greek tragedy in which you are the star, it’s probably in the best interest of all parties involved. This Goodie Mob tour could’ve went a lot like a Naughty By Nature (who?) reunion tour. But it didn’t. Big Gipp rocking a bullet proof vest in tongue and cheek fashion. Cee-Lo playing the part of the big bad wolf by blowing the “house” down with his vocals. It was a thing of beauty. Coalesce took a decade of mockery by yours truly and shoved it down my throat and into the pit of my stomach. I’m still removing the crow from my teeth and the show happened back in May. Baroness may be the crown jewel of this trio. They braved the elements. an unfavorable set-time (competing with lots of other acts at Bumbershoot) and still came out as the undeniable kings of the mountain. They literally destroyed generations of people. Never have I seen someone who isn’t old enough to know the mathematical concept of “multiplication” rock out so hard. They performed with a precision and charisma that was unmatched in the calendar year of 2010. Kudos to them. On the other hand….
The Thermals at Bumbershoot ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
“Who Are You Boning For Your Success?” Worst Live Performance By A “Touring” Band
Winner: Free Energy. Almost Winner: The Thermals.
For as long as Free Energy are in existence, this is their award to lose. The kings of pomp. How many Mick Jagger “How To Be A Frontman” VHS tapes can we watch in one night? No. Let’s choreograph the moves we see in RockBand. Maybe if we wear makeup, people like us more? Suddenly we’re opening for a souless, cowardly Weezer. Go figure. The Thermals are a band that I enjoy, at times. Here’s where I utter the predictable “I like the first album, but that’s it” go-to critic line. I saw them in the KEXP Bumbershoot Lounge or what have you. Easily one of the most boring, uninspired performances I’ve ever seen. Billy Corgan is looking in the mirror, shining his bald head and mocking toasting this display of live mediocrity. Well done. The well-trained people in the audience clapped after every song. Why? Was it because it was live radio and that was your job as a studio audience? Sheep. I wanted to “boo” and maybe “hiss.” Tomatoes would have been heaved in the Thermals general direction. There is the possibility that the Thermals were saving their passion for the Broad Street Stage later on that tonight. That’s not a legit excuse in my opinion.
Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
“‘It’s Getting Better All The Time…’No Seriously Your Band Is Like That Beatles Song…” Live Show Award.
Winner: Drew Grow and the Pastor’s Wives. Almost Winner(s): What What Now.
I’m just stating the facts. Every time I see Drew Grow and the Pastor’s Wives, they are better than the time before…and they are always really good. After the first four or five times this happened, I was shocked. Now this is just something I expect. It’s too bad for them, they’re fucked by their own greatness. Sooner or later I fully expect Drew Grow to utter this in the middle of a live performance: “While all of you had your eyes closed during It All Comes Right, Seth and Jeremiah have built a spaceship out of your adoration. Look around you. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are currently floating in space…I’m not kidding.” I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest. In fact, I demand that this happens the next time I see them. Don’t mind me. I’m a first child. We’re the spoiled ones.
See the rest of Phil’s live favorites (and least favorites) after the jump… (more…)