Marcus Shriver, KXSU Head Reporter: Things were feeling a little different around these parts. Maybe it is because there were less bucket hats, or maybe it is because things were different. This year AEG Live, God love them, saved Bumbershoot from ending forever. But with different management comes a different festival. It’s evident in the lineup if you look close enough. The headliners are bigger, and the local bands are not quite as cohesive as a group. You can see it in the stages. The whole organization of the festival is just a tad different. All the stages are facing different directions, but maybe this is for a good reason. They even brought back the small stage that is kind of isolated. We haven’t seen that little guy in a while.
But how was the first day? The first day was… OK. Some of the organization was confusing. People weren’t quite sure how to get in or out of the stages, or how long it would take to get in to certain stages. There were certainly many disappointed drunk people who were not able to get in to Chance the Rapper in time to get on the floor.
Bella Pham, KXSU Social Media Director: And there was lightning, and thunder, and lots of rain. That delayed the outdoors shows quite a bit, so everyone poured in to see K. Flay, everyone who wasn’t still waiting out in the rain for Jhene. It was crazy.
Marcus: The artists, however, all came through, and they came through with power.
- FLYING LOTUS – So I had to make the very difficult choice to miss The Weeknd to see Flying Lotus. I do not regret it all. Now I still may have made the wrong choice, as everyone who saw The Weeknd was raving about it, but Fly Lo was AMAZING. I am often bored by electronic artists, because they don’t perform, they just have fancy light shows. Fly Lo’s live production, was fantastic. With weird but awesome videos playing in front of and around him, mixed with an awesome light show everyone was dancing even my lazy ass. The part of this show that put it over the top was when Flying Lotus rapped live. Because he is a producer first, rapper later, it would have been really easy for him to just play his rap track over his music, but he rapped them live, and damn was it good.
- CHANCE THE RAPPER – This would have been my number 1 if I didn’t expect so much out of Chance the Rapper. Chance the Rapper is taking over the world and I expected so much from his performance. He met all of my expectations. His show was extremely soulful, charming, and emotional. The combination of lighting, emotional bros, and Chance simply being so excited to be performing was beautiful. His songs each had a little extra soul into them live but were still perfectly performed. The highlight of the show was when he played Paranoia it was almost heart wrenching and I am not sure why. Never miss Chance if you get the chance.
- JHENÉ AIKO – On any other day of most festivals, she would have been the best show of the day. Her vibe on stage is so peaceful, and so relaxed. She has the confidence of Kanye West with the tenderness of Ne-Yo, and personally I would rather see Jhene than either Yeezy or Ne-Yo. She charmed the damn socks out of us, with Bed Peace and The Worst. I would debate that Bed Peace was the best performance of day 1.
- ATMOSPHERE – He may look super old, but Slug still has that swagger. That sort of sad, “I hate everything” swagger that gives Atmosphere its kick. The greatest part of this show, was that Atmosphere knew what the crowd wanted, and it wasn’t their newest album, it was their classics. The best performance was Shoulda Known, because the bass hit hard and the raps hit harder. This however was overshadowed by the curiosity of their performance of Sunshine as it started to pour down rain. Irony can be beauty.
- I don’t have a fifth. The other shows were good but not up to the caliber of these, so I will not pretend to have a fifth.
Bella: So this is my first Bumbershoot ever, and I didn’t know what to expect festival wise… vibes, stages, etc., but the rain was what freaked me out. The rain. I should have known better; it’s Seattle, for goodness sake! But it really worked out for me, because most of my shows were indoor, during the worst of the storm, anyway.
- THE WEEKND – We all knew that with One Reel’s partnership with AEG Live there would be some big names coming through Bumbershoot, but the Weeknd is perhaps one of the biggest names in music right now – his debut “Beauty Behind The Madness” is currently No. 1 on the charts and the second biggest debut of 2015 just behind Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. So while Marcus was at FlyLo having a great time, I was at the Weeknd fearing for my life. At some point I considered leaving because I was terrified of getting crushed by the other 50 photographers and/or the super excited hyped-up crowd. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Weeknd, but I wasn’t sure if I was willing to sacrifice my life to get a good shot (but I totally did; pics will be posted later). All that aside, the show was good. Damn good. His voice is raw and emotional and just perfect live. And despite the huge, overcrowded venue, he was able to make it intimate and connected with the audience so much that at some point my inner fangirl came out and I felt tears. Everyone was singing along. He did not disappoint. Love u Abel.
- LINDSEY STIRLING – I did not plan on seeing Lindsey Stirling, but I am so, so glad I did. I didn’t even know who she was, but somehow I found myself at her set in the freezing cold and I didn’t even care. She is honestly pure magic, maybe one of the performances I have seen, EVER. It has hard to believe that someone could dance that amazingly and play the violin that amazingly at the same time, but she does it all perfectly, full of confidence, energy, smiles, and without a breath of hesitation. Consider me obsessed now, ’cause I totally had heart eyes the entire set. Go see her if you ever get the chance. You seriously won’t regret it.
- K. FLAY – K. Flay is incredibly talented. That’s a given. She gave off such great energy and was able to get a full crowd into KeyArena, which might have been due to the rain, but she totally deserved that crowd, because her flows were on point. Near the end for “Make Me Fade” she brought out Sol (personally one of my favourite artists, like, ever), and pretty much everyone went crazy. The energy in the room was insane and everyone left in high spirits, except maybe some of the press because there were almost no stage lights on, just some weird laser-type-deals, so nobody could actually see anything that was happening onstage. GET ON THAT, K. FLAY.
- ELLE KING – Another act I did not plan on seeing today but glad that I did. The gal was awesome with the crowd, amping us up for the music, cracking jokes, and telling us the stories behind each song. Her voice is unforgettable and super distinctive, and she has this kind of personality that’s automatically likeable; not to mention, her outfit was completely amazing and chill. Like if I didn’t get into her music, I’d totally want to be her friend. But I won’t make it weird.
- RAC (LIVE) – I’m a huge fan of RAC but I don’t think I’m fan of RAC (Live). I don’t know exactly what I was expecting from live renditions of RAC’s songs but it was not that. Eh.
- I don’t have a sixth. I’m still disappointed about RAC.
Marcus Shriver & Bella Pham | Minions-in-Training |KXSU Head Reporter / KXSU Social Media Director