While this year’s line up satisfied my rap fix (with local artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, as well as Wiz Khalifa and an old favorite, Big Boi), I was a little disappointed in the selection of alternative-rock.
The Goods and Bads of Bumbershoot ‘11
By Chris Foster, Intern
After a long weekend of sun, experiencing new bands and making tough decisions, there is finally time to sum up my thoughts on this year’s Bumbershoot.
There seemed to be a shared feeling amongst many fans—including myself—about the lineup lacking the usual big-name acts that Bumberfans have come to expect. However, there was still good music to be heard.
If there is one thing in particular Bumbershoot is good at, it’s providing a chance for fans to experience a wide variety of genres. In particular, I always look forward to the hip-hop acts and the alternative blues-rock bands. Past favorites of mine include the Wu-Tang Clan from 2007, the Black Keys from 2008, and the Cold War Kids from 2009.
While this year’s line up satisfied my rap fix (with local artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, as well as Wiz Khalifa and an old favorite, Big Boi), I was a little disappointed in the selection of alternative-rock. It’s not that the bands that performed were low quality (the Kills are right up my alley, and Gibby Haynes would’ve been interesting to see live); it just came down to the lack of such bands and the ever-present issue of timing. True to Bumbershoot form, the Butthole Surfers went on half an hour before Macklemore at a different venue, with the Kills and Wiz doing the same.
Although picking the Macklemore show meant missing my rock bands, I was satisfied with the choice. He is not only a rapper, but an entertainer as well. If you can enjoy yourself at a concert where you may not be familiar with many of the songs, then you know you’re being entertained. Not to mention Wiz Khalifa’s performance which was my favorite of the weekend by far, even though it was tough as a Seahawks’ fan to watch him finish with his hit, “Black and Yellow”— an ode to his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers— so close to the NFL kickoff.
One of my big issues with the festival this year was the main venue’s move to the Key Arena. Although I am still young, most of my greatest Bumbershoot memories took place at Memorial Stadium. It was ironic that the weather was beautiful and we were indoors, yet the festival is named after an English term for an umbrella. I did get a little nostalgic however, when the Reignman Shawn Kemp got the crowd going before the Macklemore performance.
It may sound as if Bumbershoot 2011 was a disappointment of sorts, however there were plenty of positive memories. The lack of big name performers provided a less crowded festival, which meant shorter lines at the food stands and a faster consumption of Mediterranean Shawarma sandwiches (just don’t call them gyros, however similar they may look; the vendors don’t appreciate that).
There was also more time to experience bands you may not have heard of and might not have seen otherwise, had there been bigger acts performing. Now comes the frustrating time when you look back in a few years and realize you saw a band before you knew you liked them.