Last year I went to all 3 days of Bumbershoot. That was fun, but also exhausting. I was a bit relieved that all of the acts I wanted to see this year fell on one day. Unfortunately that also meant that some artists were playing at the same time.
Jamie Lidell was a no brainer to choose since both my brother and I are fans of his music. He’s got a soulful voice and this electrofunk music. Plus he’s British which made him instantly charming when he was talking to the audience during his performance. We made it into the front row of the Broad Street Stage as the audience from the previous act left. This was nice because there was something to lean against. It also gave us a nice view of the crew setting up for Jamie’s set. Jamie himself emerged and went to check out the equipment. I really don’t know how they could keep all those cables straight connecting various boards to a laptop from which Jamie could control the different loops and beats of his music.
Jamie Lidell’s Setlist:
I WANNA BE YOUR TELEPHONE
A LITTLE BIT MORE
ENOUGH’S ENOUGH (merges into the next song)
FIGURED ME OUT
WHAT’S THE USE
LITTLE BIT OF FEEL GOOD
Lidell’s live band included Mr. Jimmy on keys. You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but he is one funky dancer and often during the show he would just get his freak on. He was also like a sidekick to whom Lidell talked to for his banter to get carried on. They are a funny pair. Jake Aron from New York City was on guitars and bass. Brian Wilson, who goes by “Willie B” (to avoid confusion with the other Brian Wilson I’m guessing) on drums. Guillermo Brown was on percussions and synths. Finally, Ludwig Persik on drums.
This was our third time seeing Lidell and each time was a unique experience. An in-store, a club show, and now a festival show so it was interesting to see how the performances differed. He stuck with more upbeat songs for this gig and singles from his discography not venturing into experimental electronica territory like he seems to do with his club shows.
The show started off with “The Ring” which is his latest single from Compass. Then came the transcontinental hit “Another Day.” Before “Telephone” he sized up the crowd by saying people have weird ambitions and want to be a lot of things like a baker or kettle builder and that there’s nothing wrong with that. He wanted to be your telephone. Which could be very naughty if you think about it. Along with Mr. Jimmy they both did a funky dance. They guy certainly has style and today he had on this blazer with a piece of knitwear over his shoulders. It looked kind of like he was caught in a fishing net. He explains the dangers of wearing knitwear to the crowd.
“A Little Bit More” was done solo. Just Jamie and his laptop giving and interesting live remix. “Coma Chameleon” is another new song he had worked on with the infamous Beck. Jamie played the guitar on this one. He explains his new album is like a culinary explosion with 14 different meals. All tasty.
“Enough’s Enough” was a message for those to be faithful and love the one you’re with and to treat them nice. That it’s good to have no lies, no weirdness, and to just enjoy life. This song merged into “Figured Me Out.” We learn that Jamie doesn’t like Wednesdays, but thankfully today wasn’t Wednesday so there was no reason to say “What’s The Use.” He kept the positive energy going with another big hit “Multiply” saying he has a beautiful life. He could complain about a lot of things if he wanted to or maybe everything is just perfect the way it is. It’s alright. He dedicated to everybody wearing green (yay) and yellow. Before going into his last song he asked the crowd if they were feeling good. You want everyone to feel happy at the end because “a little bit of feel good goes a long way.”
I learned last year to just bring stuff with you because you never know who you’ll be able to meet or happen to run into. I did know in advance however that Jamie Lidell was having a signing after his set so I brought my little limited edition 7″ Compass vinyl for him to autograph. While we were waiting in line this guy from Calgary asked us about the venue Jamie Lidell was set to play his secret show that evening (which we sadly had to skip out on). He certainly asked the right person. I gave him the address and we went on to talk about how Jamie played at Bumbershoot or as he calls it “Bummy”shoot (remember this being said with a British accent) before and how he set the place on fire. Literally! Jamie left quite an impression on this guy and he said “I think I’m in love.” That is what I love to witness. A person who just takes a chance on new music and becomes converted into a fan. This is probably one of the great things about a insanely crowded music festival. You have the opportunity to see a bunch of bands and get a feeling of their material. Sometimes greatness can come out of the unexpected.
I don’t really remember much about meeting Jamie. I know there was an awkward pause since I was pretty much smitten with the guy after witnessing his amazing performance. Thankfully my brother was able to communicate with him to break the silence. He mentioned that the woman sitting nearby created the art for the vinyl I was having him sign. That was pretty cool to know. The cover has “Jamie Lidell” written at least 10 times on it so he said he would put another one on there. After our little meet & greet we grabbed a quick bite before heading across to the other side of Seattle Center into Memorial Stadium where the next 2 acts were going to perform.
When we walked into the stadium it was already pretty packed. Neko Case was already playing sadly so I didn’t get to fully enjoy her first half of the set as we were trying to find a place to sit. We ended up being in the dead zone. The upper half of the bleachers. The sound up there is just dreadful. Bob Dylan was already kind of hard to understand even in the front row (as how I had heard him last live), but to be stuck all the way up there? Thanks Seattle Center for not turning on the lights above the bleachers making it difficult for people going up and down the stairs as well.
I heard of Neko before, but never really wanted to explore her music until I heard her contributions to Jakob Dylan’s Women + Country album. I loved her voice and picked up one of her cds. Sooo my point being I wasn’t able to keep a setlist, but I found one.
Neko Case’s Setlist:
THINGS THAT SCARE ME
PEOPLE GOT A LOTTA NERVE
MARGARET VS PAULINE
HOLD ON, HOLD ON
I’M AN ANIMAL
DEEP RED BELLS
I WISH I WAS THE MOON
THE TIGERS HAVE SPOKEN
DON’T FORGET ME (Harry Nilsson cover)
THAT TEENAGE FEELING
THIS TORNADO LOVES YOU
VENGEANCE IS SLEEPING
KNOCK LOUD (Sook Yin Lee cover)
TRAIN FROM KANSAS CITY
I was kind of wondering why Jakob Dylan had to cancel some of his shows also being held this weekend. It looked like that Neko reclaimed her band (Three Legs) back from him. They were all present…it’s funny that I had seen her band members less than a month ago with him. Anyways, I would think this would be a big deal for her since she has a local fan base here and to play in front of such a big crowd…opening up for Bob Dylan. You don’t pass that up. You get what you need to perform. It was a nice performance.
Bob Dylan brings out an an array of fans. Old. Young. Die-hards who know every lyric. The curious who go out to seek this musical legend. Oh yeah, and the tokers. From where we were sitting there was a cycle of people coming and leaving. I think after realizing that they couldn’t make out what Bob was singing they decided to go. Can you imagine being a ASL interpreter for the show? Of course that area was located in a section with better sound so perhaps it was easier to decipher down there. I consider myself a fan, but sometimes I admit I like to poke fun at him a little for his gruff singing style. It can take awhile before the ears get acquired to it, but if you really listen you’re in for a treat. I can appreciate it when an artist can bring a song straight off a record to life. It’s another thing to re-invent it time and time again as Dylan does. He does it so well that sometimes a classic takes you a while to recognize. Dylan’s crafty and talented band helped out in this area.
Bob Dylan’s Setlist:
RAINY DAY WOMEN #12 & 35
DON’T THINK TWICE, IT’S ALL RIGHT
JUST LIKE TOM THUMB’S BLUES
JUST LIKE A WOMAN
ROLLIN’ AND TUMBLIN’
COLD IRONS BOUND
TANGLED UP IN BLUE
HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED
SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE
THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAIN
BALLAD OF A THIN MAN
LIKE A ROLLING STONE
Unlike the last time I saw Bob this time was full on rock. No fiddle player for a country feel. He also played piano and guitar. This made me happy to see him having a six string in his hands again. He looked and sounded so much better than a few years ago. When songs like “Just Like A Woman” and “Tangled Up In Blue” came along the crowd sang with him. They cheered when he brought out his harmonica. I was excited to hear one of my favorites “Desolation Row” but it’s a really long song. Quality of the songs chosen or quantity?
I know a lot of Bob’s fan might disagree with me, but I’m quite partial to his newer material (Time Out Of Mind and forward) so I was happy to hear “Rollin’” and “Thunder On The Mountain.” I tend to listen to those albums more than Blonde On Blonde or Blood On The Tracks. Why do I feel like there’s a bunch of head shaking out there? Don’t get me wrong there is something just magical about hearing “Like A Rolling Stone.” One of the best songs out there. I was thankful that during the last few numbers that people in the lower half of the bleachers left so we were treated with much better sound quality. It was also easier to see the entire band.
This performance was quite a treat.
Right after “Like A Rolling Stone” we left assuming it was the last song of the night. Upon exiting the stadium towards the Fisher Green Stage we heard another roar of applause, but that was just a last round of appreciation. Bob was also performing during the same time as another act I have wanted to see for several years now and here I would be able to at least catch a number or two from their set.
I heard Ozomatli was amazing live. I have one of their cds and absolutely loved the way they melded together hip-hop, latin, rap, rock, funk…basically into a big music party. I’ve never been to one of their shows since they usually came to town on a day that I was working. I know I’ve mentioned him a couple of times already but there is also another Jakob Dylan connection to the night. Former Wallflowers’ drummer Mario Calire joined their enormous band. I actually didn’t know if he was still playing with Ozomatli or not, but a few minutes after we arrived they called out his name and I moved my way into the crowd. Couldn’t really see anything though and they were in the middle of having a big jam in the audience. I should really get their other cds. I guess either way I wouldn’t have been able to tell what song it was, but they got the crowd riled up cheering them on. It felt like I was in some secret cult and I didn’t know the calling, but I wanted to be in the know.
Overall, a successful Bumbershoot day complete with a visit to the Flatstock exhibit featuring concert posters from an array of artists. If you ever find yourself at Bumbershoot and wanting to fill in the time between seeing your favorite acts you definitely have to see this.