My first day at Bumbershoot began with a touch of frustration, but ended up as one of the best days I've ever had there.
You can't attend something like Bumbershoot and not be a little bit frustrated. It's a huge public event and the crowds can be maddening. There are way too many people, many of them too small or too large or too fast or two slow. Combined with 90-degree weather and lots of lines -- well, you can guess that it's slightly annoying.
Add to all that a disappointing experience getting my press credentials (they didn't have me down for a photo pass and the basic pass isn't all that useful), and I was about done with the bullshit and ready to rock real quick.
Good thing The Gossip was ready and waiting for me. I've never seen them before, and holy crap they put on a great show. Beth Ditto was a hoot to say the very least. More on them once I can get my photos and video sorted out later this week. For now, just know that they easily upstaged Blondie who hit the stage shortly after them.
Speaking of Blondie, I didn't catch the whole set, but what I did see was pretty fun. They're showing their age and Debbie Harry was a bit awkward up there at times, but all in all I'd say it was fun and they sounded pretty good.
Jamie Lidell sounded great and was lots of fun to watch. I'd read Taylor's review and was expecting something entertaining and that's what I was treated to. I was thinking it was going to be bit more smooth and soulful than it was, but I'm down with the crazy, cracked-out, funk/techno shit too.
Oh, and big thanks to the sexy dancing girls right in front of me. If Jamie wasn't such a character you'd have stolen the show visually.
After cooling off in the beer garden for a few (I was dying after Lidell's set) I headed over to catch Rogue Wave, who I'd never seen, really liked and had heard lots of great things about when it came to their live set. They were great. The perfect vibe for a late afternoon, sun going down, time to relax for a bit kind of mood.
I'd fully planned on carrying the chill mood forward by going to see Cloud Cult, but I was talked into Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings followed by Lady Sovereign. I'm still not sure I made the right choice, although Sharon Jones was lots of fun and Lady Sovereign was as entertaining and you'd expect from a drunk cockney midget. (I'm teasing, she's really very cute.)
This firmly puts Cloud Cult at the top of my list of bands to see. Hopefully they'll be in Seattle soon.
As we were walking out I could hear AFI rockin' on the mainstage to an obviously well-pleased and massive crowd. I've been wanting to see them for years now, since about 1996 or so. But, I don't know. I'm not sure an arena full of 16 year olds is where I wanted to be. Still, they sounded great.
So, that's my first day at Bumbershoot 2006. I've got plenty of more stuff for you -- lots of great video and some good photos too. Oh, and there are two more days of this madness. Today I'm planning on hitting up Dengue Fever, The Fall of Troy, and either Great Big Sea, Zero 7 or Kanye West. I'm leaning toward Great Big Sea for the fun factor, but I've never seen Kanye and I know Zero 7 will be great.