Bumbershoot 2013: 22 Must-See Bands

Bummed about the end of summer? Well, come to Seattle where it’s been 80 degrees and sunny every day since June.


Bummed about the end of summer? Well, come to Seattle where it’s been 80 degrees and sunny every day since June, and celebrate with us (ie. Genevieve, PMA’s official Northwest Correspondent) at a festival named after an umbrella as we gear up for like eight months of fairly solid rain. Bumbershoot takes place in Seattle Center, ie. right under the city’s famous Space Needle in a park with some fabulous views, so cross your fingers for clear weather this Labor Day weekend and let’s get going through the sets we’ll definitely be hitting up.



2:45pm Joey Bada$$ @ Mainstage
OR Diamond Rings @ TuneIn Stage

How do you want to kick off your Bumbershoot – with a self-proclaimed king of New York rap, or with some one-man bubblegummy electropop? The choice is yours – and either’s well-advised.

4pm Kendrick Lamar @ Mainstage

Duh – after his industry-destroying “Control (HOF)” verse, Kendrick’s on a roll. You’d be absolutely remiss to miss this set.

4:30pm Icona Pop @ TuneIn Stage

It’s a little early in the day for Icona Pop, whose party anthems are best-suited to late nights, dark clubs, and house parties, but you can’t miss these guys live – Caroline and Aiwo’s amazing style and adorable friendship are both well and good, but it’s awesome to watch them craft their music from the ground up as they perform.

6:15pm !!! @ TuneIn Stage

Everyone should see the dance-punk ensemble !!! at least once in their lives, if only for frontman Nic Offer’s truly incredible dance moves. If you can tear your eyes from him for one second, the rest of the band’s insanely talented, and always tight. They’ll probably bust out some songs from their great new record THR!!!ER, so this is definitely the place to be.

8pm Gary Numan @ TuneIn Stage

Of all the awesome “legacy acts” appearing at this year’s Bumbershoot, we’re pretty damn excited about Gary Numan, one of electronic pop’s foremost pioneers. You won’t want to miss his early-evening set.

9pm Washed Out @ Fountain Lawn Stage

Washed Out’s sure to receive a warm welcome in the city that houses his label, Sub Pop. If we’re lucky enough to get nice weather Saturday (and as of now, it looks good) we might just get a Washed Out set in the Washed Out-est possible atmosphere.

10pm Crystal Castles @ TuneIn Stage

Crystal Castles have one of the world’s most infamous live shows, so we’re predicting their set will be the best way to end your Saturday at Bumbershoot with maybe a few bruises to show for it tomorrow. Push your way up front for the best vibe.



1:45pm Ramona Falls @ Fountain Lawn Stage

Portland native Brent Knopf, formerly of Menomena, now makes eerie, maximalist pop backed by a new band, Ramona Falls. Whether or not you’re a Menomena fan, this is a can’t-miss set – Knopf’s got some of the most compelling stage presence in the game, and his music runs the gamut from intense and riveting to dreamy and otherworldy.

2pm Tegan and Sara @ Mainstage

We can’t think of a better way to get on track for day two than with Tegan and Sara’s yearning, bubbly pop, so make your way over to the mainstage to catch their 2pm set.

2:45pm FIDLAR @ TuneIn Stage

It might seem a little bit early in the day to get your “I! Drink! Cheap! Beer! So! What! Fuck! You!” on, but it’s probably not too early for FIDLAR, and it’s a music festival, it’s never too early for cheap beer! Raise your Rainier tallboy to the sky, l’chaim.

3:30pm fun. @ Mainstage

When offered the opportunity to see fun., you should probably see fun. You don’t have to be embarrassed about how often you get “Some Nights” stuck in your head; we’re always singing it too. Frankly, we’re curious – and we’ve heard amazing things about their live show.

6:30pm Grizzled Mighty @ Plaza Stage

The Grizzled Mighty’s Whitney Petty used to play guitar in Deerhunter, but now she’s behind the drums in this Seattle-based punk duo that’s definitely worth checking out.

7pm Tamaryn @ Fountain Lawn Stage

I last saw Tamaryn at CMJ in 2010, and was blown away – and since then, she’s released a ton of new music. Seeing her outdoors at sunset might be the ideal setting for her intense, mystic presence.

8pm the Breeders @ TuneIn Stage

Full disclosure – the Breeders are my most anticipated act at Bumbershoot this year. Kim and Kelley Deal and company will perform their 1993 classic Last Splash in celebration of its 20th anniversary. We can’t wait to hear jam-of-all-jams like “New Year” and “Cannonball” in person.

9:45pm Death Cab for Cutie @ Mainstage

Another can’t-miss set – local boys Death Cab for Cutie are performing their ten-year-old breakthrough record Transatlanticism in its entirety at this show as part of Barsuk Records’ 15th anniversary festivities. If you’re still emotionally attached in any way to the soundtrack to all your high-school angst, there’s no more ideal place to be.



1:45pm the Men @ Fountain Lawn Stage

Kick off your Labor Day with an early-afternoon set from the Men, whose epic, exhilarating psych jams will get you amped up for the final day of the festival.

2pm alt-J @ Mainstage

We can’t wait to see the Leeds quartet alt-J, who were responsible for one of our favorite records of last year with An Awesome Wave, and who, by now, might just have brand new material for us. We’re crossing our fingers!

3:30pm MGMT @ Mainstage

Stay put at the mainstage – MGMT will likely break out plenty of new songs from their upcoming self-titled third record, and considering how much we adore what we’ve already heard, we can’t wait to hear more.

7pm Superchunk @ Fountain Lawn Stage

Take a break to explore the park, grab some food (heads up to non-Seattleites: Skillet Diner’s food truck, if you can find it, is heaven on earth), and relax, then wind back over to the Fountain Lawn Stage for an early-evening set from alt-rock pioneers Superchunk, who are celebrating the release of their tenth record I Hate Music.

9pm Deerhunter @ Fountain Lawn Stage

When you are given the opportunity to see Deerhunter, you need to see Deerhunter – Bradford Cox and his band (including new guitarist Frankie Broyles and new bassist Josh McKay) are engaging, unpredictable performers with a wealth of amazing songs in their oeuvre. They’ll bust out stuff from their latest record Monomania, but we’re hoping for some back-catalog jams too.

10pm Joy Formidable @ TuneIn Stage

The perfect way to end your Bumbershoot – with the Welsh trio Joy Formidable, whose soaring, anthemic numbers are packed with just enough nostalgia to make them the ideal end-of-summer soundtrack, but carry a sense of anticipation, too.

We’re sad about the end of summer festival season, but there’s plenty more good stuff on the horizon (namely: ACL in September, CMJ in October, Fun Fun Fun Fest in November, even, dare we speak its name, SXSW in March), so keep the dial here and stay tuned for more!