It only took me 4 separate daily posts (1.1, 1.2. 1.3) but BY GOD I've now finished photo processing DAY 1 of the Bumbershoot Festival! WOO HOO! That was, indeed, a busy and awesome Saturday, and I didn't even cover anywhere near as many bands as some of the other photogs. If I had a personal jetpack and a second set of actual pop-in, pop-out working eyeballs, I would've loved to have seen everything there was to see!

In all of the three-day festival, there was one performer that I was not going to miss, even if my feet exploded, the Space Needle lifted off to Mars, or Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker snuck up and tipped a port-a-potty over on me. No matter what, I was seeing and photographing Mavis Staples Saturday night. I have been deeply fortunate to have seen Mavis and her tremendously-talented band two-and-a-half times here in Seattle (which you can read about here and here, and which go into more detail about my feelings for the gospel great). I rave about her to anyone who will listen to me, because I think if somehow you haven't seen Mavis perform live, you need to. Like, NEED TO. She simply radiates warmth, strength, and gentle humanity, and has a voice that will just knock you right on out. We have so so so many gifted and great performers in the world, but Mavis is just incredibly special.

I finished up shooting Little Dragon around 8PM, chatted awhile with fellow photogs, then moseyed my way over to get another FREE Starbucks drink. Next door at the Starbucks Stage, where Mavis was slated to perform, there was a ruckus going on. A huge crowd was on their feet, screaming and cheering at this guy...playing a trombone! Hmmmmmm, I said, OK, imma gonna check this out. I sucked down my drink and got my tail over there to see Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue working the audience into a delighted mass of frothy funk fans. The 7-piece band offered up a traditional New Orleans brass-and-percussion-centric foundation with high-energy blasts of hip-hop, a bit of James Brown showmanship, classic rock guitar, and vintage soul vocals --- incredibly exciting.

(Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue Flickr set)

And soon after...Mavis Time! I admit it: I really had to remind myself to keep photographing a couple times while I was in the pit with many other camera folk. I just wanted to stand there and smile like a big goofy idiot music fan. Mavis is magic. But first three song shoot limit, you gotta save your big goofy for Song Four.

(Mavis Staples Flickr set)

After the third song, we all turned and started to leave the photo pit, single file. As I was almost to the exit point, I heard Mavis say, "Thank you, Paparazzi!" I smiled a a Great Big Goofy Smile, and waved back to her as I kept walking on out. And when I looked back at the crowd from the side then, lit from the stage lights and the moon, it was a sea of smiling faces, just like mine.