Monday was about the same as any final festival day (for me at least), slow to start and relaxed throughout as I finally begin to accept the fact that I cannot be at two stages at once. Monday morning’s early highlight was the School of Rock: Northwest All-Stars show. Those of you that have seen the movie School of Rock will recognize how surprisingly cool it is to watch these kids rock out. We walked in as the kids finished up a Beatles and a Clash tune, before playing the Sex Pistol’s “God Save The Queen.” New musicians came on stage and performed 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up.” Other covers include a Yngwie Malmsteen tune, a song I didn’t recognize with a guest guitarist from Seaweed, and final soaring “Hotel California.” All in all a good way to start the day, and a pretty impressive sight.
A quick stop by
Chester French Head Like A Kite was amusing and made for a few decent photos, but not a lot sticks out in my memory, aside from it being two guys laying down laid-back indietronica. (Note: The guide I was referring to said this was Chester French, however I was actually catching the Head Like A Kite set.)
Mark Pickerel & His Praying Hands was up next, where the former Screaming Trees drummer stepped up to guitar and vocals for his current lineup. We managed to catch his tracks “Graffiti Girl” [MP3], “Let Me Down Easy,” “I’ll Wait,” and finally a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on the Wire.” Mark’s current act is something along the lines of Alt-Country meets Chris Isaak. And I know it’s hard to believe, but yes, that’s a good thing.
Moving onward we came across Seattle’s The Physics. As you can see above they were rocking their finest I [Heart] WA gear and treated the audience to an energetic set. Since I wasn’t a fan prior and didn’t know the songs, I appreciated their set a little more after checking out the tunes they have online, which were worth my time. I recommend “Ready 4 We” and “Natural,” and for the fratholes in the reading audience check out “I Heart Beer.”
After leaving The Physics, touring the Starbucks Coffee-Roasting Experience (way more interesting than it sounds), and being treated to a free half pound of coffee and taste samples of 5 different roasts, we managed to get to the front of the stage for Langhorne Slim & The War Eagles. This set was one of the best of the weekend in my opinion, competing only with Howlin Rain for my personal favorite Bumbershoot show. Langhorne is an entertainer, a storyteller, a musician, and a delight to see live. He treated the crowd to “Mary,” “Hello Sunshine,” one that may have been called “What Good Friends We Have,” and the amazingly soulful “I Ain’t Proud.” I should also mention, the bassist and I exchanged tips-of-the-hats to one another, since we were both rocking our Cubbies caps that day. In between the talented folk-rocking, my fancy all-access press pass gave me the opportunity to snap some awesome photos, so make sure to check out the flickr set for all of the photos from the weekend.
A trip to see some of Two Gallants bored me to tears, so we left and found some food and drink before returning to the middle of the Old 97′s set. While I’m sure it would have been amazing, it was too crowded to try and get close, but luckily we managed to catch them cover Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried.” We caught most of the Battles show, but my camera didn’t hold up to the late night lights so I can’t share any pictures aside from the one below. They played a fun set, though, and I’d like to see them in a club atmosphere the next time I get to see them play live. Our night finished with the Death Cab for Cutie show. While they played a few decent tracks, the crowd was fairly O.C. and stereotypical, and aside from their “hits” they didn’t do much to impress me. To each his own I’m sure.
Anyways, thanks a lot to the festival producers for keeping the free coffee flowing in the press room all weekend, and I’ll look forward to keeping everyone at LMB filled in on 2009′s news down the road. Until then, you’ll have to relive the festival on Flickr.