Monday, September 7, 2009

Bumbershoot 2009: Franz Ferdinand, Modest Mouse, The Cave Singers, and Jason Mraz after-party wrap

I'm moving rather slow this morning, due to Jason Mraz's after-party at The Crocodile last night following his funky, fresh performance on the main stage of the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival. Read more about Mraz's surprise appearance at the Belltown club at the end of this blog.

The house doors open at noon today for The Black Eyed Peas, who perform at 3pm, following opening act The Knux. If memory serves me correct, this will be Fergie's third appearance at Memorial Stadium.

Are you a LOST fanatic, as in the TV show? Me too. And thousands of Bumbershoot attendees will be cramming into the Leo K. Theatre for a presentation by the writers of this Emmy-winning series. I have absolutely no idea what will be said, but I hope details about the upcoming season are to be slightly revealed. The line will be long for this one, so arrive super early!

From Jimi Hendrix to Death Cab for Cutie, Seattle has produced an impressive list of artists in modern music. Get ready for The Cave Singers, on the verge of joining that list with their sensational blend of folk-tribal sounds like on the single "Dancing on Our Graves". Supposedly, they packed a full house for an in-store appearance last month at Easy Street Records in Queen Anne. The Cave Singers play at 6:45pm on the Fisher Green Stage.

Let's talk about Franz Ferdinand, shall we? Such a terrific band, lots and lots of energy, perky guitars, electro-infused rock, songs about boys crusing other boys on the dance floor, and snappy onstage outfits. The multi-Grammy nominees have interviewed with Seattle Gay News twice, most recently in December 2008 for our year-end music issue - both Alex Kapranos and Paul Thomson sat down with me in the restaurant portion of the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, immediately after sound check for a two-on-one interview (you can find the interview at, in the archive files for December 19).

Franz Ferdinand can really fire up a crowd, and I expect the pit section at Memorial Stadium to bounce heavily throughout the group's set, which will likely include "Ulysses", "Take Me Out", "This Fire", "Michael", "The Dark of the Matinee", "No You Girls", and "Outsiders". It'll be wild, fun, and sweaty - don't enter the pit unless you can deal with the constant pushing and nudging of unruly concertgoers (by the way, Bumbershoot security is the worst).

Modest Mouse closes out this year's Bumbershoot festivities, taking the stage at Memorial Stadium just 30 minutes after Franz Ferdinand. I've seen the Seattle area-based group several times in concert, and they're capable of putting on a great show - though once, at a "Deck the Hall Ball" gala, they sounded a bit flat and exhausted. Hopefully, they'll be revved up for tonight's performance and will probably introduce music from their new album No One's First, and You're Next. I'm crossing my fingers they do "The World at Large".

House doors open at 6:15pm, and please don't trip me as I dash for a front row spot.

Okay, so about that Jason Mraz after-party. He announced twice during his set last night that his band would be playing a midnight show at The Crocodile, and he wasn't joking. Shortly after midnight, he jumped onstage with group members and friends, like Bushwalla, singing and dancing non-stop until 1:40am. Mraz even came out to the crowd several times to dance with fans, pose for pics, and say hello. He noticed me and said hi - after all these years and the millions of people he's met, he still remembers me by name and face. Mraz also went up to The Crocodile balcony to say hello to fans up there - anyone who thought he would just do one song at the show, then split were wrong...he jammed for another hour and a half, following his set at Bumbershoot. It was soooooo much fun! I'll have more to say about this wild little after-party in my September 11 column in the Seattle Gay News.

No Bumber-Tips today, except to arrive early for Franz Ferdinand and Modest Mouse!

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