Well, my lee-tal frenz, with this post I seal the deal on Seattle's wonderful Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival for 2012. Even though it wrapped up a couple of weeks ago, I still am reliving all the great moments of my time there. It's that kind of thing: a special event that I look forward to greatly each September, because of its breadth of programming, its location in the heart of Seattle, the enthusiastic, diverse, and good-natured crowd it draws, and the dedication of the festival management to provide everyone who attends a great experience, be it artist, media like me, or Joe Guy from East Puddle, Washington. I thought I'd make a few mentions of my highlight moments over the three days of the festival, SO I SHALL.
Favorite Weather: A TIE! This year, unlike 2010 which was a bit chilly and 2011 which was a little toasty, 2012 was PERFECT on all three days -- 70s and sunny. THANK YOU, CLIMATE GODS!
Favorite Music Performance: Oh, this is really tough, but it's got to go to garage/psych rocker Ty Segall. Ty and pals are already one of my favorite bands, but this set was so tight and tough that it felt like a lion was roaring through my whole body. Ty will be coming back to Neumos here in Seattle in December, and guess what? YEAH, I'LL BE THERE.
Funniest Person: Hands down, director/author John Waters appearing at the Bagley Wright Theater. Seeing Waters in person was a total must for me, and I am so glad that I was in the audience for "This Filthy World: Filthier & Dirtier." As one would assume from the program title, Waters was refreshingly candid in his choice of language and subject matter, but unlike so many who attempt to be funny by dropping f-bombs and using the shock-and-awe method, Waters is such a quick-witted, deeply intelligent, and weirdly likable guy that nothing he does feels gratuitous at all. We were walked through a little history of his movie career, with anecdotes that had people howling with laughter and clapping at the best lines. Moreover, Waters wore a superb plaid suit, and you don't see that enough these days.
Favorite Camera: Shooting shows in daylight is like giving me ice cream AND candy AND cake. To not have to struggle so with a club's low lighting challenges is like a gift. This was the first time I shot outdoors with both of my two DSLR cameras: a Canon 60D and my new Canon 5D Mark III. My little scientific test during Bumbershoot was, after taking initial readings, to set both cameras at exactly the same settings and then compare the results. Well, wow. Yes, I know that the price point for these two camera are thousands apart, but MAN. The 5D Mark III blew the 60D away, particularly in low light and autofocus abilities. It wasn't even close, my friends. That's bad news for the pocketbook, but hey, I'm adding to the body of knowledge here.
Favorite Camera Gadget: Last year at Bumbershoot, I really loved using my Think Tank Speed Freak V2.0 camera bag -- it had all the room I needed, was intuitively designed, and easy on the shoulder. But this year since I would be shooting with two camera bodies over three days for the first time, I needed another solution that wouldn't break my back or my wallet, and give me instant shooting access to both cameras. I am not comfortable with the harness straps that leave the cameras swinging at either hip, so I thought I'd try the Opteka MCH-25 Multi-Camera Carrier Harness Holster System.
Did I look like a cop with a bulletproof vest? Yeah, but for a grand total of a measly $40 this thing really performed! It distributed the weight of this heavy gear over my upper back and hips, was easy to get on and off and to custom-adjust, and I LOVED being able to just grab the camera I wanted to use instantly from the holster while feeling that the gear was secure -- a major plus in the fast-action, limited-shoot-time challenges of the music photo pit.
Favorite Merch: The Bumbershoot t-shirts this year were made from the bamboo lyocell process and were so soft! Mmmm.
Favorite Emotional Moment: Are you kidding? Every moment of the legendary Tony Bennett's performance at Key Arena was inspirational, uplifting, and beautiful. If you were there, you know what I mean. If you weren't...dang, son.
Favorite Foods: The cold cuts, cheese, crackers and fruit plate in the Press Room. I swear, I was so hungry and tired and needy that it tasted like the finest French gourmet offerings. But my most favorite was this brownie that my daughter made and left for me on my desk chair to enjoy after a long day of Bumbershooting, arriving home hours after she was already in bed asleep.
Nicest People: Once again, everyone I encountered in the Bumbershoot organization -- from the friendly and kind folks in the Press Room, to Security, to ticket readers -- were helpful and willing to support me in any way possible. This goes a long, long, long way in my book. And I cannot say it enough: my fellow Seattle-area photographers, videographers, and writers are the best damn bunch of people and I couldn't be happier or more honored to be a part of this group. So. Much. Fun!
Coolest-Looking Stage: I think it's gotta be the Sub Pop Stage, with the video-fed backdrop. It made for some really nifty photos and was extra-nice for the audience, too. Here's one of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.
Most Awesome Achievement In Beverage Service: Once again, my hat is off to Starbucks, for providing FREE to registered Bumbershoot fans, their drinks of choice, in an unfailingly-cheerful manner and FAST, too. This, considering the long lines and long hours, is a genuine miracle.
I shot twenty-three separate performances over the three days of Bumbershoot, and didn't even scratch the surface of what was available to partake in. I really need a clone of me for next year. I will work on that, and in the meantime here are all the links of all my 2012 Bumberposts, all in one handy place! You can find Flickr links to all the photos within the posts, or you can just click HERE and peruse them that way, you rogue.