After a long and stressful work week, I was excited to head towards Seattle and experience the joys of Bumbershoot; the city’s biggest art and music festival. I had grown up going to Bumbershoot with my family, so this festival is always held near my heart. It is located around the Seattle Center and gives you a view of the Space Needle with most every spot you stop at. While the traffic is slightly stressful getting there, you are in the heart of Seattle and get to experience the city fully. There are several entrances so it is very painless getting in and around the venue.
After I entered the festival, Tyler, the Creator’s set had just begun so I ran over to Memorial Stadium to catch his show. Since Memorial Stadium along with Key Arena are the largest venues, I had to weave through the excited crowd who were also headed to see Tyler, the Creator. This year the management bumped up their security so it took a little longer than expected to get in, but finally I was there. A few years back, Tyler had performed at Sasquatch Music Festival at The Gorge and it was one of my favorite concerts so I was definitely excited to see him. One of my favorite things about him is that he breaks the barrier between the performer and audience. If there’s a section or group of people that’s not dancing/singing along he will call them out which is quite comical to experience. This time, he called the VIP section “pointless” which gave a big distance between him and his die-hard fans on the right side of the stage. When he performed, he danced and bounced around which energized the crowd and turned the venue into a big party.
After a short intermission, Father John Misty appeared on stage and the atmosphere changed to more of a calm, lovestruck mood which directly contrasted Tyler’s high energy crowd. I snuck up to the front for his performance and was able to appreciate his sporadic and enchanting movements in a way I hadn’t been able to when I saw him at Sasquatch last year. He has a way of drawing the crowd in as he sings about his woes and successes with women, drugs, and alcohol. While Josh Tillman created his alter ego of Father John Misty after experimenting with psychedelics, there is a real truth that emerges in his songs about love and its hardships that many of us can relate to. Right before his concert ended, I snuck off to head towards the Key Arena in hopes of seeing Fetty Wap and Bryson Tiller. However, due to the popularity of the artists, the path to the venue was overcrowded and the event staff shut it down for long periods of time which caused me to miss both artist’s shows.
Shrugging off my disappointment, I headed to check out the Silent Disco at the EMP Museum which I had been wanting to experience. The room was completely silent yet filled with people dancing as much, if not more, than I had seen at the shows I had just been to. Each person is given a headphone where they can choose which station and DJ they would like to listen to. At the front of the room, there are two DJ’s spinning different music that correspond to each station. Once I put my headphones on, I had a blast dancing among the crowd and being a part of such an intimate experience. After an hour of dancing, I snuck off to the mainstage again to see Kygo, a 24-year old Norwegian DJ, producer and songwriter perform.
Kygo produces tropical house music, which is known to be more uplifting and calming than more traditional house music. He is known for his remixes on Soundcloud of popular songs, such as Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire”. The popularity of his music packed the venue filled with people ready to dance and have a good time. Initially, I stood in the bleachers to see if I could get a decent view of the artist, but the party in the bowl of the stadium drew me in. I am so happy I decided to join the crowd because by the end of the night, I was surrounded by total strangers dancing in the rain, completely free. All things considered, it was another great day at one of North America’s most storied festivals. -Sarah
I was also fortunate enough to see Tyler, the Creator, an act that I personally hadn’t seen yet, but wanted to badly, as well as Father John Misty. Since Sarah did a wonderful job of covering how great their sets were, I won’t bore you by rehashing them with my thoughts. All I will say is that both artists were so much fun to watch live. Since Sarah has much better dance moves than me and I, in general, don’t dance (trust me everyone is better off this way), I chose to forego the Silent Disco and stayed at Memorial Stadium for Halsey instead.
Now if you listen to modern music and have a pulse, there is no doubt that you have already heard Halsey, but although I had heard good things about her live shows, I didn’t know what to expect at all. As I watched the stage crew set up a jungle gym of bars and cubes on stage, I actually started to wonder if the emphasis would be more on the performance aspect and less on the music, which to be honest worried me a bit. As if to prove what a dope I was for even questioning it, the New Jersey native showed the packed, drizzly soccer stadium that she can do both…and she can do it well.
For starters, Halsey‘s energy is like nothing I have seen before. It’s almost as if she’s doing a workout while belting out song after song and she never sounds out of breath once. It’s incredible! Every single track that she sang in her hour long set was flawless…and I mean flawless. Despite the dreary weather, the crowd was electric as they fed off her energy through hits including “Castle”, “New Americana” and even her latest single with The Chainsmokers, “Closer”, where she teased the audience by saying, “Well, I can’t do this song without a couple of my friends.” After that the crowd completely lost their minds, she added, “I am just fucking with you, they’re (The Chainsmokers) are in Milwaukee, so you guys have to help me out.”
The set design was nothing short of beautiful, as Halsey transported us to a train station, the arctic, as well as other fantastic worlds throughout her show. Her connection with her fans always came across as genuine and comfortable while sprinkling in empowering messages throughout.
Since I live just over an hour away from Seattle, Halsey was my final show for Friday and I couldn’t have ended the day on a better note. With the personality of a hip-hop show, the energy of an EDM rave and the rules of a rock and roll concert, Halsey was quite simply out of this world. -Brandon
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.