Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bumbershoot 2009: Jason Mraz, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MSTRKFT, Starbucks VIP, and rain

Day 2 of the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival promises to be...wet.

It's pouring outside and could potentially pour throughout the middle day of Seattle's premiere music event. But, if you think that's going to stop fans of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs from flooding Memorial Stadium, think again. Believe it or not, there are already concertgoers inside the stadium as opening act Cold War Kids (who I met in December backstage at 107.7's "Deck the Hall Ball") go onstage in less than 90 minutes.

The Honey Brothers, featuring Adrian Grenier (of TV's "Entourage") are set to perform at 3:15pm at Mural Amphitheatre. Best place to catch a glimpse of "Vince Chase" is under the trees and on the bark-laid Starbucks VIP area to the left of the stage - it's free, if you purchase a Starbucks card, and you can enjoy complimentary beverages at your leisure!

MSTRKFT is a digital genius, and will begin their workout at Exhibition Hall at 8:30pm, but it means you'll have to skip the performance by singer-songwriter Brett Dennen who plays at 8:45pm at Mural Amphitheatre, or Grammy-nominated R&B artist Raphael Saadiq on the Fisher Green Stage at 9:30pm.

Another performer worth checking out is funnyman Nick Swardson at 2pm inside the Intiman Theatre.

But the biggie on today's lineup is Jason Mraz, who delivers a headlining set at Memorial Stadium starting at 9:15pm. Fresh from a cool-as-beans appearance at the Outlands Music Festival last weekend in San Francisco, Mr. A to Z re-descends to Seattle since performing here last October at the Paramount Theatre.

Mraz likes to mix things up, so don't expect a repeat set list from any of his most recent performances, although look for his Grammy-nominated smash "I'm Yours" to be played towards the conclusion, and a groovier rendition of "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)".

I met briefly with Mraz backstage at the Paramount last fall, and he's in the best shape ever - sticking to a raw food diet and regular sessions of yoga (he even grew a couple of inches!). We love him at Seattle Gay News; he's interviewed with us three times and we always look forward to welcoming this dear friend back to Seattle - so, welcome back Jason!

Not sure if I'l get a chance to say hello to Jason today/tonight because he's on a tight schedule, but we'll see - his peeps know how to get a hold of me, but most importantly they know I'll be there along with thousands of his closest, most faithful gay fans at Memorial Stadium who'll brave out this shitty weather to come see him.


1 Monorail is the easiest method of getting downtown to/from Seattle Center. Also, look for a Toyota Prius Hybrid tent in front of Westlake Center - they'll shuttle you free of charge just for filling out a quick form. A complimentary ride to Bumbershoot in a new Prius? Loves it!

2 The Starbucks VIP area, which I already mentioned, to the left of the Mural Amphitheatre is an excellent spot to watch a show and sip on fresh-brewed coffee. It's free, just purchase a Starbucks card at your nearest Starbucks location (there's one inside the Seattle Center food pavilion), and you're allowed entry to the VIP area with complimenary beverages and electronic gadget outlets (Blackberry, iMAC, etc.).

3 Take warm clothes, or help support numerous local/regional clothiers by purchasing items for sale at the festival. Also, the Bumbershoot "souvenir" shops have sweatshirts and hoodies in stock.

4 Feet need soothing from a long day? The massage station behind the Fisher Green Stage is a great place to splurge on a 15-minute massage ($19). Yes, it's pricy - but, you're going to spend that money on coffee anyway, which you can get free inside the Starbucks VIP area.

5 Don't miss the "Flexion by Wise Fool New Mexico" peformance at the Rockstage Energy Drink Vert Ramp, north of the International Fountain - these women will astound you, in a show describablly comparable to Cirque du Soleil.

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