This year will mark my third year in a row attending Bumbershoot, but this time it’s going to be way more magical because I’ll be accompanied by none other than fabulous WOHM photographer, Renee Lopez of Miss Lopez Media. The last two years it has rained for at least part the weekend, but this year is set to be warm, but manageable: a lovely high of 85 degrees :). There are so many great acts to see at Bumbershoot 2017 and we’re going to try to make it to as many as possible… but you know how crazy it gets at these mega-festivals. We may have to split up at some point; Renee might have a couple artists to see that are not listed here (I know I do), and she’ll be bopping around the photo pits all weekend. In a perfect world, here are the acts we’ll be trying to catch and cover this weekend:
Friday, 7:35 pm, Memorial Stadium
While I was utterly unimpressed with Big Sean’s recent SNL performance, it doesn’t change the fact that I enjoy a fair amount of his music. “I Don’t Fuck With You” is always fun, and “Bounce Back” has become a must-play at all the summer functions. And a part of me likes to fantasize about Drake making an unlikely appearance at Bumbershoot to perform “Blessings.” At the outdoor Memorial Stadium, this will be a fun set to enjoy while the sun goes down on the first day of the festival.
Friday, 5 pm, Memorial Stadium
British soul singer Jorja Smith is new to me, but there’s no doubt her voice is velvety AF and her visuals are gorgeous. Her songs and videos like “Teenage Fantasy,” and “Beautiful Little Fools” are guaranteed to entice you, and since she’s playing in the easy-breezy Memorial Stadium, this will be a great set to catch if you just wanna roll up, grab a bite and vibe-out for a minute.
Saturday, 6:35 pm, Key Arena
After landing on XXL’s “Freshman Class” cover and releasing his studio debut Good For You this summer, it’s awesome to see Portland’s own Aminé taking up space at the mega-music fest this weekend. We won’t be missing him rep Portland hip-hop this weekend (since he’s the only PDX rapper on the bill), and will be chanting/singing along for his performances of “Caroline,” “Red Mercedes,” and “Turf.”
Saturday, 4:45 pm, Mural Amphitheater
Only recently did I get around to listening to Brooklyn band The Skins. And HOOOOOOOO BOY, is I happy that I did! Lead singer Bay Li slays all day, and the sound spans genres of pop, funk, rock, hip-hop and soul. While the quintet’s recent catchy releases like “Runaway,” and “Bury Me” impressed the hell out of me and emphasized their smooth and soulful side, older songs made it clear I can’t miss one minute of their set this Saturday. Recordings of them performing punk-ish tracks like “Summertime,” and “Killer” had me wanting to stand up and start headbang from my desk chair. I’m ready to get my life.
Saturday, 7:20 pm, Key Arena
Finally, a show for the old school hip-hop heads! West coast rapper E-40 has been in the game since 1986, has released a whopping 27 studio albums, and has collab’d with countless big names like Lil Jon, Snoop Dog, YG, Schoolboy Q, Juicy J, fellow Bumbershoot performer Gucci Mane, and way more. I’ll probably stay until he performs (you guessed it) “Tell Me When to Go.”
Saturday, 9:45 pm, Fisher Green
Led by emcee Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and legendary percussionist/producer Questlove, the hip-hop and neo-soul group has been going strong since its inception in 1987—that’s one year longer than I’ve been alive! They recently made a gorgeous new song called “It Ain’t Fair,” which will appear on the soundtrack for Detroit, Kathryn Bigelow’s film about the 1967 12th street riot. Hearing them play their greatest hits at the centrally located Fisher Green Stage—my personal favorite—is sure to be unforgettable.
STAS THEE BOSS
Sunday, 3:20 pm, Memorial Stadium
Stas THEE Boss (AKA Stasia Irons) is former member of the Seattle hip-hop duo THEE Satisfaction. She recently released her solo debut S’WOMEN (pronounced “swimming), an 11-track follow-up to her instrumental EP Stas for Hire. Her sound has been referred to as “space jazz,” and her album is touted as an “aquatic explanation of failed female relationships.” She’s been credited with influencing other Northwest artists like the Last Artful, Dodgr, Blossom, and Neill Von Tally, and a listen through her remixes and production credits will show you why. With all the collabs and band switching she’s done, there’s no telling what (or who) her set will include.
Sunday, 5 pm, Memorial Stadium
A part of me feels like Macklemore is gonna pop up for Lil Yachty’s set just because they have that new single “Marmalade” (and super cute music video with a Marshawn Lynch appearance) together. And I wouldn’t be mad; I enjoy just about every Lil Yachty song I’ve heard, since they usually have a youthful sound mixed with very adult lyrics, and a summery vibe. I don’t listen to him on the regular, but I can just tell his shows are fun.
Sunday 5:20 pm, Key Arena
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m fairly certain Leikeli47 is the only femcee on the Bumbershoot lineup this year, so you know me and Renee Lopez will be in there. The always-masked rapper’s 2016 single “Money” seriously knocks, and her song “Attitude,” appeared on the second season of HBO’s Insecure soundtrack. I’m kind of obsessed with her cute singing voice on 2017’s “2nd Fiddle (feat. Clyde Guevara)” and her flow in general is fire. She also has a new album coming out the week following Bumbershoot, so maybe we’ll get a little taste. Go ahead and listen to “Girl Gang,” and get ready to go hard at her set… even if you can’t get down to the floor.
Sunday, 6:50 pm, Key Arena
Anyone who saw his Life Aquatic tour earlier this year can attest that Vince Staples puts on one hell of a show. That’s why I’m kind of bummed they put him in Key Arena, where they never let it fill up all the way during Bumbershoot for some reason. Still, seeing him in my least favorite Seattle venue is better than not seeing him at all. “Big Fish” is too lit to miss.
THE NEW RESPECTS
Sunday, 4:35 pm, Mural Amphitheater
I love many genres of music, but I always want whatever it is to be soul-infused. That being said, I’m often a sucker for Black-led or all-Black rock bands. (Especially when there are multiple afro puffs involved.) The funky Nashville-based blues-rock four-piece was recently listed as one of Rolling Stone’s “10 New Artists You Need to Know,” and I tend to agree. After watching them rock-out in music videos for “Hey,” “Trouble,” and “Money,” I said “yes please!” and put them on my personal list of new artists to checkout.
Sunday, 7:50 pm, Memorial Stadium
I saw Solange when she came to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall back in April, and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen: the visuals, the vocals, the dancers, the band… it was all to die for. I’m hoping her Bumbershoot set will bring all the Black folk to the area, cause there’s nothing like hearing “F.U.B.U.,” “Don’t Touch My Hair,” and all the rest of A Seat at the Table live in the presence of so much brown skin. This is, in my opinion, the number one show to see this weekend.
Sunday, 10:05 pm, Key Arena
Southern rapper Gucci Mane is a good choice to close out the festival. Even though he was just released from prison last year, the trap-music pioneer hasn’t lost much steam in terms of output. As of late he’s been collaborating with pop artists like Fifth Harmony, Selena Gomez, and Nicki Minaj. And on September 15 he’s set to release his 11th studio album Mr. Davis. Since he’s the last act of the weekend, you know that things will get extra rowdy as Guwop performs all the cuts, like “Street Nigga,” “Black Tee,” “I Get the Bag,” “Bucket List” and more.
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