I'm delighted to once again bring you coverage from Bumbershoot Festival, a world-class festival that infuses the Seattle Center with incredible color, sounds, laughs, and creativity each and every Labor Day weekend. I'd like to brag that over this three-day event I did not accidentally run into any of the 100,000 attendees, nor did I fall into the International Fountain with all my camera gear, and I hope you are impressed by this. Let's go!

Rain was forecast for most of Day One -- something one does not want to hear when going to a mainly-outdoor festival -- but I knew that I was beginning my day at the warm and dry Bumbershoot Music Lounge anyway to see Mac DeMarco perform live on KEXP, so HA HA, Sky Gods! Young Mr. Mac's "Salad Days" album is certain to be on my list of 2014's best for it's swirly, flange-happy, and very melodic ways. DeMarco is already a seasoned performer at 24, seen in action during the broadcast when a guitar string broke and had to be changed. Instead of nervous chat and dead air, DeMarco fell to his knees and started playing the Beatles' "Blackbird," which morphed from the sweet guitar opening to a thrash version, just long enough for the string repair. Genius! Be sure to catch the video of it when it goes up on KEXP.org

(As always, click on the photos to enlarge, and click on the Flickr links for more photos!)

I'm so glad I stayed in the Music Lounge to watch Poliça's KEXP set. The Minneapolis-based band kept the audience entranced with Channy Leaneagh's nuanced vocals and passionate performance style. It felt so natural to just close your eyes and float along with the double-drummer groove, but as a photographer this option was not open to me. Ah, well.

Next, I had just a moment to stop by the Fountain Lawn Stage to catch a bit of Anacortes, Washington's finest sons, The Lonely Forest, play their final show ever. The band was clearly touched and thrilled by the huge crowd that came to support them and say goodbye. A few in the audience were a little teary-eyed, and a few onstage may have been at times, too. Good luck to you in your next musical ventures, guys!

The Lonely Forest, Fountain Lawn Stage, Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle 8/30/14 Flickr set

Lovely local Shelby Earl was up next at the End Zone Stage, located inside the Mainstage/Memorial Stadium. She is the recipient of a lot of love in Seattle for her sweet and powerful voice and thoughtful songwriting, and sets the bar high for all those who hope to stand out in the big folk-rock community here. She was joined onstage by John Roderick of The Long Winters who, like Scott McCaughey and Mike McCready, enjoys sitting in with other bands. A lot. A whole lot.

Also, check out the tiny photographer girl in the pit! She was with her mom and dad and was shooting video on the same orange Panasonic Lumix camera that I give to MissEleven to use. She was all business, and I'm all for it.

Shelby Earl, End Zone Stage, Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle 8/30/14 Flickr set

Prior to the fest and right up until showtime on the Mainstage, I had been fretting -- a whole lot -- about my Elvis Costello problem. I knew that I could not take my gear into the pit there, but as a serious fan who has not missed an El tour since 1979, I wanted to enjoy the show (a certainty) and try to get some decent photos (not at all a certainty). So this is where I ended up:

And with some patience, steely determination, and a long lens... pretty good success! Playing with the impeccable Imposters (Steve Nieve [keys] and Pete Thomas [drums] from the Attractions, and equally-impeccable Davey Faragher on bass and vocals), Elvis kept a good part of the crowd up and dancing for his entire set, toddlers to grandparents, which was really nice to see. He is and will always remain one of the greats, and also, I like his hat. A whole lot.

More Bumbershoot highlights from Day Two and Day Three coming up!