Holy Fuck ::: Photo by Abbey Simmons
If the first day of Bumbershoot reminded me of a renaissance festival, then the second day reminded me of last-minute shopping at your local mall. The day felt a bit odd because there was noticeably less people than on Saturday, but somehow it felt more crowded. Blame it on the rain that came down so aggressively, but at one point I felt like I was back in the southeast. I was in a state of befuddlement. The press room conjured up memories of freshman year in high school, as I paced the carpeted corridor trying my best not to make a fool of myself. Barely seen, definitely not heard. Just give me a plate of pita chips, a cup of coffee and a quiet corner and I’m good. It was funny seeing people with Rolling Stone and Spin press passes. They reminded me of sailors who were getting ready to board the Titanic, I didn’t have the heart to tell them their ship was going to sink. Worst part is, at least in the two aforementioned cases, they were boarding ships that sank more than a decade ago. Tragedy.
For the record, concert goers look at people with press passes like vestibules to the rockstars. Whenever I journeyed beyond the guardrail, I saw many eyes that said “How come you get to do that?” like some small child feeling injustice for the very first time. It was a weird dynamic that I’d never experienced before. When asked I would tell them the truth, only the self-involved can hang with the like. They understood.
Despite the afternoon torrential downpours and the bitter winds that came in the evening, the spirit of the music didn’t suffer one bit. I missed Cold War Kids for the umpteenth billionth time but didn’t really care. I missed the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s in favor of Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band, which may or may not have been a mistake. I’ve heard mixed reviews on the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s set on Sunday, but when I saw them a couple of years ago they were majestic. Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band have become local darlings since their cryptic YouTube videos debuted a while back. I’d never seen them before but after Sunday, I’ll keep one eye on them, the other eye closed.
After years of being a fan, I finally got to see the transcontinental jam connection that is Extra Golden on the Fisher Green Stage. They were astonishingly crisp and tight. From now on, every LP they release should be a live recording. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way but the Fisher Green Stage was easily the best stage the entire weekend. Dyme Def and Common Market were great on that stage. Every live set I witnessed seemed to be energetic with good crowd participation. Maybe the Vivian Girls would’ve been better served if they moved their set from the Broad Street Stage to Fisher Green. Then again, probably not. I must say that the Vivian Girls are the most boring and rehashed group to ever play music. Ever. Yes, I said ever. While I enjoyed their voices, I think they need to put down their instruments immediately. Shame on any media heads that have given kudos to this band. You’re inexplicably boring or you’re being paid off, you’re definitely a dick that’s for sure. Cut it out. Seriously.
Sleepy Eyes of Death are sonically the completely opposite of Vivian Girls and they put an impressive show at the Sky Church. Sleepy Eyes’ intro was crazy, it sounded like cicada’s with synth strings serving as their marionette had suddenly entered the room. Lights became the curtain and photographers bloomed in the press pit. Big rock n’ roll. I could see them scoring computer generated scenes from “human body” specials on the Discovery Channel for sure.
Holy Fuck lived up to their name. They were magical, my favorite set of the weekend. I was happily convulsing on the side of the stage. It was weird because I felt the Broad Street Stage had some sound issues during Mt. St. Helen’s and U.S.E. The sound, accompanied by the outdoor setting kind of fucked up U.S.E’s enjoyable set. But Holy Fuck sounded immaculate, I wonder what happened? They had me, as well as everyone else, moving like snakes being charmed. By the time they were done, I was done as well. I decided to be that guy and rock a track jacket and a trucker hat instead of a nice warm hoodie. The cold turns me into a coward. Never again will I accidentally trade fashion sense for comfort. Knowing what I know now, I should’ve stayed for Raphael Saadiq, I heard his set was really good.
Bumbershoot 2009 ::: Photo by Marcella Volpintesta for Sound on the Sound
The Dutchess and the Duke ::: Photo by Abbey Simmons