After an intentionally slow Saturday – besides Beck there were no absolute must sees – we headed back to Bumbershoot Sunday for a whammy of an evening. Everything we planned to see was packed into the last five hours of the day. The only reprise, however bittersweet, was a cancellation by Kid Sister.
The lawn surrounding the Starbucks Stage was packed with a diverse group of all ages from Pampers to Depends to catch Jakob Dylan. Surprisingly, the audience didn’t contain rabid women throwing their unmentionables. Much like his father, most of his set was indiscernible, with Dylan chewing on his words in mumbles. Unlike us, clearly, there were people there just for the music, many sitting and even laying in the grass.
Half way through Dylan’s set, we bailed, bound for the mainstage to see rock as pure driven snow from The Black Keys. Though, the audience was full already, as the Keys began playing, the floodgates opened and people poured into the venue like the tide. We overheard many a conversation among spectators wondering who was playing; one even vowing to make an iTunes purchase. The music cut through all distractions with laser like focus, driving people to dance involuntarily.
The last hour of our day, as we wanted to catch three performances who were all playing at the same time. First stop Stone Temple Pilots but they were late, so we left to see a recommended band called Thee Emergency. Described by a fan as “Saul Williams as a woman with soul,” our curiosity was piqued. Unfortunately, they didn’t deliver. It was also strange to see the lead vocal actively directing the band, though it was hard to see who was actually playing because so many people apparently loitering on stage. So we left.
Back at STP the crowd had gotten antsy. It was thirty minutes past the scheduled start and the roadies were still setting up. Finally, at 9:45 pm the tour bus pulled up and the audience went ape shit. The sheer volume of people in the stadium was astounding, and almost made the reception for Beck and The Black Keys look small. Seattle clearly loves STP. As the set began, we could see why. There was a good mix of easily recognizable radio hits as well as songs that were clearly for die-hard fans. These are veteran showmen; not only was Scott Weiland in constant motion, the rest of the other members of band also engaged the audience.
Though Weiland started the set in shades, hat, leather jacket, vest and scarf by night’s end he was down to his shirt. The organized mayhem of the mosh pit increased with each number and the band sprinkled their performance with just enough banter between songs. Someone once asked “What’s the Big Deal with STP? Answer, see them live.