Narrowing down the list of shows I saw this year will be very difficult, as I don’t make it a habit to go see crappy bands :-)

Obvious wins. There is no universe in which I wouldn’t have enjoyed:

Less obvious.

If I had to pick a favorite, I might be tempted to go with the Old 97’s. I mean, when Rhett Miller melts your panties, it’s gonna be difficult for anyone to top that.

What bands did you enjoy live this year?


Well, I’m finally typing on a full keyboard after 3 days of posting from my iPhone (which was fun, but required some concentration). This was the best Bumbershoot in a while for several reasons.

  • Lineup. I seem to remember that last year’s lineup wasn’t all that inspiring for us, but this year’s was terrific.
  • They fixed the comedy situation. Previously you would have to be in line about an hour and a half early, with no guarantee of being seated at the show you were in line for. So in all likelihood you missed a band you wanted to see so you could get in the line, and sometimes had nothing to show for it besides your resulting bad mood. This year, they had a central booth for tickets to all the shows and you got in line early in the day and picked up tickets (limit one show per day). Then as long as you were at the comedy venue 15-30 mins early you were seated immediately. We did this every day. For some reason I didn’t blog the comedy shows.
  • Luck. Most of the shows we wanted to see were on two adjacent venues and not strongly overlapping in time – Mural stage and Broad Street Lawn. We never needed to venture into the EMP Sky Church, which can be annoying because of having to get in line and they’re dealing with crowd management. The outdoor venues don’t have “capacity” they are managing.
  • Food. We stopped at the grocery store and brought our own sandwiches for lunch/dinner each day. Not having to figure out what overpriced festival food we could tolerate and not having to fit buying it into our schedule saved some hassle.

My Bumbershoot 2008 MVPs were:

  • Old 97’s – I never listen to them, but really like their songs. And thanks to that intimate KEXP lounge show, I now FULLY understand the reasons behind all the man-crushes my friends have on Rhett Miller. Pictures don’t explain it. You have to see the man in motion. Lord have mercy. In the interest of good taste, I’ll refrain from gushing.
  • Janeane Garofalo – sharp, smart, political, feminist… funny as hell! Wow she was incredible.
  • Man Man – My brother-in-law raved about them and with good reason. However, I’m guessing I’ll still find the CD unlistenable. I think this is a band that can only be understood live.
  • Head Like a Kite covering “Ohio” – I think I still have scorch marks on me, that was one blistering rendition. We’ve made plans to see them open for another band next Wednesday at Nectar.

Pacific Science Center and Space Needle. I f’n love living here. Goodnight!

Meh. It wasn’t doing much for us so we bailed after a few songs.

That was some seriously thump-tastic rock/electronica! Some stretches were a little boring, but overall I dug it.

Their public set was at least twice as long, half as intimate, and still freaking great!

We were in the beer garden, not really concentrating on listening but basically liking what we heard.

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