Top 5 Musical Moments from Bumbershoot

Written by

M83 at Key Arena

From KCRW’s Promotions Coordinator Mary Chellamy:

I began my summer concert season in Washington at the Sasquatch Music Festival and I just ended it with the 41st Annual Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival.

5. Omar Souleyman – Tune In Stage

Belly dancing, hand clapping and lots of dancing babies at this set. Omar doesn’t say much (probably because he doesn’t speak English) or sing all that much, but it’s his style, stage presence and delivery that makes his performance so much fun to witness. With just a microphone and keyboard player, Omar prompted the biggest dance party I had seen all weekend.

You can see him this Sunday at our World Festival series at the Hollywood Bowl as he opens the night for Hot Chip and Passion Pit.

Omar Souleyman

4. Gold Leaves – Sub Pop Stage

I’ve seen this band 3 times in the past 5 months and after every show I leave feeling a little lighter and happier. Grant Olsen, songwriter and frontman for the band, delivers rich, melodic and intimate compositions. Their laid back vibe was the perfect way to start off day 2.

3. Helio Sequence – Music Lounge

While at the Sasquatch Festival this past May, I caught the last 5 minutes of their set. 5 minutes – unacceptable! This time, I made sure to carve out time for their private performance at the Bumbershoot Music Lounge. The duo banged, riffed and rolled their way through a 45-minute set which included a handful of songs from their forth coming album “Negotiations” out next week. The highlight of the set, and my favorite track from the new album so far, was their new new single “October.” They’ll be in town October 5 for a show at the Troubadour – see this band!

Barr Brothers by Jim Bennett

2.The Barr Brothers – The Promenade Stage

I’ve seen the Barr Brothers a handful of times in the past year and wrote a little something about them here http://blogs.kcrw.com/musicnews/2011/11/best-of-m-for-montreal-the-barr-brothers/ after my trip to ‘M for Montreal’ last November. They are not your ordinary 4-piece ‘rock band’ as they incorporate the harp, vibes, keys and a driving drum beat into their bluesy rock-inspired sound. They packed the Promenade corridor Saturday afternoon with the highlight of their set peaking when they jammed their way through Blind Willie Johnson’s “Lord, I Just Can’t Keep From Crying.”

1. M83 – Key Arena – Main Stage

Stage rushing. Mad mad stage rushing at this show. About 30 minutes into the set and just as the band hit their climax with “Steve McQueen“, about 100 people cascaded over the lower loge wall separating the floor area from the arena seats. It quickly became an “I dare you feat” as more and more people rushed the security at the start of the next song. It was incredible! It was the best, most awesome display of the power of music I had ever seen in a live setting and it’s why I love my job so much.

— Mary Chellamy