Monday, September 1, 2008

Bumbershoot 2008: Sons and Daughters wow at Rockstar Stage

At Neumos earlier this year, Sons and Daughters sounded terrific yet looked out of place because the crowd wasn't really into it. They liked what they heard, but they were hesitant to show any emotion or to dance or to cheer in jubilation to anything the Scottish act did.

Last night at Bumbershoot, the audience easily made up for that. There was dancing, hollering, hands waving in the air, clapping, and more dancing. Even better, there was a request for more.

A newly comprised lineup, Ailidh Lennon temporarily replaced due to pregancy, drew a good-sized audience to the Rockstar Stage that sits almost underneath the Space Needle. In fact, lead singer Adele Bethel beamed during the group's set when she exclaimed, "I can't believe we're playing next to the Space Needle!"

Concertgoers didn't seem to mind the chilly night, they quickly got moving and warmed up to songs like "The Bell" and the title track of their album This Gift.

Surprisingly, Sons and Daughters wore nearly the exact same outfits as their previous visit to Seattle. For a band with such flair, I was hoping for more eye-catchy threads.

Bethel introduced "Gilt Complex" as a #1 song "nowhere", and then laughed and said it was indeed a charttopper in their native UK. It had the required sass and punch from the original album version, and sounded incredible under a dark sky and illuminated Seattle landmark.

"Iodine" was rather nice, but it was done so fast that I hardly remember it. What I do recall quite well was how joyful and surprised Sons and Daughters were by a strong turn out and the love given to them by this crowd. With The Black Keys and Jakob Dylan performing at alternate stages and people flocking to squeeze in for Stone Temple Pilots, it was great to see a swell gathering at the Rockstar Stage for this Scottish foursome.

"Darling" was jumpy and wonderful, though I would've preferred a bit more heat thrown in. It sounded more pop than rock last night, and could've used some impromptu choreography from Bethel because the song has such energy. Overall, I can't complain - it certainly dazzled in parts.

Called back for an encore, which Sons and Daughters excitedly said was their first at any festival, the quartet jammed mightily to the turbo-charged "Chains".

On this night, both audience members and artist were equally satisfied by each other's display.

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