When I checked my phone the night before Day 3 of Bumbershoot, there were two heartbreaking notifications: It was supposed to be 87 degrees and HAIM CANCELED THEIR SET. I don’t pull out all caps often, but in the past 48 hours I’ve had to dissect Haim’s tweet explaining that Danielle “has laryngitis” and that her doctor put her on “full vocal rest,” therefore they “can’t play Seattle or Vancouver” but they can play Portland on Tuesday, there is only one logical explanation: Odesza had something to do with it. I’m not saying that Odesza poisoned Haim to get more people to go to the Main Stage on Sunday night, but the Main Stage was awfully packed last night.
With that being said, my two main goals for Sunday were to be inside for as long as I possibly could, and to stay as far away from Odesza as I possibly could.
CRATER AT THE KEXP STAGE
The beginning of my conquest to stay inside started with Crater at KEXP. Crater makes industrial synth pop, which is one of the ways to the center of my heart. As if their hard hitting beats and angelic vocals weren't enough, Crater's Bumberset was riddled with stories of vampires and burgers, two more of my favorite things.
They had a bit of trouble before “Craterheads,” forcing them to play the beginning beat four times before getting it right, and the only reason I’m mentioning this is because Ceci said that Kess was mortified. But she shouldn’t have been at all. The beginning industrial tones of that song are so fucking cool they could have just played the first five seconds of “Craterhead” for the entire 30 minutes and I would have been happy as a clam.
That is, until I noticed that ODESZA WAS IN THE CROWD.
I’m not sure if it was Odes or Za that was in the crowd, but there he was, in the middle of the KEXP space, checking out Crater’s set. I managed to restrain myself from going up to him and asking if they poisoned Haim or not, and also which half of Odesza he was.
I didn’t, but I sure as hell tweeted their location out to the world in hopes that they would leave my stomping grounds. It didn’t work, and I had to run out of there as soon as I could because I had been breathing the same air as either Odes or Za for too long.
VINCE STAPLES AT KEYARENA
Next up was Vince Staples, who also happened to be playing in the air conditioned haven of KeyArena. KeyArena had been hitting capacity for the past two days very early in the day, so I headed over nearly two sets before Vince's to ensure I had a prime spot. It was in that hour span of time was when I learned why one should never enter KeyArena during Bumbershoot. One should never really enter KeyArena ever, but especially not during Bumbershoot.
Chase already wrote an excellent description of the teenagers at Bumbershoot from Day 1, so just imagine thousands of them crawling through the nooks and crannies of KeyArena.
Not only that, but I had to sit through possibly the worst musical performance I have ever seen in my entire life. His name is Ekali, he is from Vancouver, and I didn’t know the music he makes was even a genre anymore. He quite literally blasted KeyArena with so many wubwubs I wasn’t sure if I would make it out without permanent brain damage from being subjected to such baseless noise. The teenagers behind me were screaming, "THIS IS SO LIT" and I was just confused as to how this guy was even remotely popular.
In classic electronic music white boy fashion, Ekali left 10 minutes after he was supposed to. Luckily Vince Staples’s stage setup has evolved to having absolutely nothing on stage with him, so he went on exactly on time. I’ve seen Staples play the Neptune and Showbox Sodo prior to this set, and every time he has less on stage with him. On my third time around, I am confident in saying that there's a correlation between how much is on stage and how great Vince Staples is: The less on stage, the better.
Staples’s centers his music by having no other distractions besides his words and beats, and this time it was literally just Staples running around with an orange background, an homage to his latest record, Big Fish Theory. The whole performance was mainly songs from that record, with only about three songs that weren’t from the album in between.
At one point he played "Ascension," a fire Gorillaz track he’s featured on, and suddenly Damon Albarn’s voice was raining down on KeyArena even though there was just Staples on stage. Staples completely owned KeyArena, and ended with "Yeah Right," his track with Flume, A.G. Cook and Kendrick Lamar, and the crowd went bat shit crazy for it.
SOLANGE AT THE MAIN STAGE
As soon as Vince’s set ended I quickly walked over to catch Solange, who had the sunset slot on the Main Stage. Solange's performance was centered on tones of red and orange, and she had fucking red and pink clouds behind her! Solange's vocals are so clean and beautiful, her lyrics are powerful and her choreography took it to the next level.
At one point she began serenading members of the crowd, and it was just so wholesome. They ended up cutting off her music while she was saying thank you at the end, and without even missing a beat she just kept talking and smiling and her band kept playing the music.
Bumbershoot, you don't tell Solange when she leaves. Solange will leave when she's done.
I’d like to remind you that this is when I should have been walking over to the Fisher Green Stage to see Haim. But since Odesza most likely harmed Haim in some way, I wasn’t. My new plan was to catch Gucci Mane instead, but someone said in the crowd near me after Solange said that KeyArena was at capacity.
The absolute worst words I could have heard!! I don’t even know if it was true or not, but I didn’t want to walk all the way over to KeyArena just for it to be true. So then I stayed for Odesza. Their evil plan was working.
ODESZA AT THE MAIN STAGE
When the lights dimmed signaling Odesza’s arrival, this weird metallic shapeshifting ball thing was projected onto the stage, and I am sure that it was a visual representation of Odesza’s black, gooey, soulless heart. Once Odes and Za finally hopped on stage, they began to play music that sounded like Star Wars. But it wasn’t actual Star Wars music, it sounded more like the first draft of what George Lucas actually ended up going with. They then got through maybe two more songs, and I was just really feeling the loss of Haim. But then, the inexplicable happened.
Odesza lost power.
Yep, during their smash hit single, “Say My Name (feat. Zyra)”, in which they had just brought out a full marching band, the screens cut out, the sound went off, everything sat in darkness.
FOR LIKE 10 MINUTES.
I AM SURE THAT THE SPIRITS OF HAIM CAME BACK TO FUCK WITH ODESZA FOR GETTING THEM SICK.
I couldn’t believe it. I almost cried because I knew my girls deserved better than Odesza stealing all of their fans, and they destroyed Odesza in response!!
That was, until Odesza came back. The two dudebros emerged stronger than before, like a phoenix rising from the ashes of their burned-out first half of the set. They returned with literal fire effects for the next song (side note: they didn’t even redo “Say My Name”? They were like halfway through it when their world came crashing down around them). Anyway, the entire rest of the set was boring and lifeless, just like Odesza’s soul, except near the end they brought out Leon Bridges.
And that's the story of how Leon Bridges saved Odezsa’s set for three entire minutes, before it went back to being lame and a mediocre end to Bumbershoot. I left Bumbershoot silently cheering for the sick girls of Haim, and for the slow demise of Odesza.