J is for Jet-lagged: how Chvrches felt as they closed out the entire festival, as lead singer Lauren Mayberry noted that between that, the drones flying over the crowd, the people swinging out of an adjacent building, and the bird that shat on her head earlier, they were having a red-letter day and feeling just slightly crazy. But not to worry – it certainly didn’t show as the Scottish three-piece gave a show-stopping performance, where we all danced, and fell just a little more in love, with, frankly, everything.
Days of rain led up to Seattle’s 46th annual Bumbershoot Festival, but that didn’t stop thousands from flocking to the grounds of Seattle Center for three days of music and arts that have become known as “Seattle’s Festival.” By the time the first acts hit the stage, the skies were clearing, and we jumped right in.
The crowds huddle in line in the pouring rain chanting “Justin, Justin” while they wait for the doors of Seattle’s KeyArena to open for the first night of Justin Bieber’s “Purpose Tour.” Every time they almost do, the throat-curdling screams are heard a block away.
“We have no prepared remarks so we’re just gonna start playing. Check out these lights,” said Matt Berninger, one half of EL VY – along with cohort Brent Knopf (of Portland’s Ramona Falls, Menomena) – as the collaborators took to the Neumos stage. For the sold out show, only the third night on their first tour, EL VY invited us into their art project.
Fourteen years in the making and known for its eclectic mix of artists, Sasquatch! Music Festival once again took over the majestic Gorge Amphitheatre in Central Washington for four days of music and mayhem. We set out to cover as much as possible, making it to 62 performances, albeit even if only for a few songs before scurrying off to the next.
The critical consensus seems to be that there is no better rap group on the radar right now that Run The Jewels. The duo – comprised of Killer Mike and El-P – showed up in Seattle midway through their “Run The World Tour,” in support of the December, 2016 release of their third LP, RTJ3. Based on the night’s showing, that consensus is right on the money.
The bridge from indie to pop is well-trodden, but perhaps the best-shod feet to cross it as of late are those of Tegan and Sara. The Canadian twin sisters have made a surprisingly smooth transition from indie singer-songwriters skirting the mainstream, acoustic guitars in tow, to full-blown electro-pop sweethearts.
There’s something about seeing an artist on their home turf that seems to put a good concert over the edge of greatness, and for Ryan Adams‘ latest venture out at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre, the proof was in the pudding. The rock veteran – I may be abusing that term, but after 15 solo albums and countless other bands and collaborations in 20 years, I’m gonna say he’s earned it early – delivered a flawless concert to a full house on a perfectly warm night in the hills.
Ok – so that title might be a bit of an overstatement. Because without powerhouse vocalists like Aretha there might not be a Brittany Howard, and thus no Alabama Shakes. But when one audience member behind me said that during the show, it did stop and make me think: is Howard poised to become the next woman’s woman voice of a generation? I wouldn’t bet against her.