Bumbershoot Festival Seattle, WA - August 31 to September 3, 2003

Bumbershoot Festival Seattle, WA - August 31 to September 3, 2003
With more than 2,500 individual artists and 20-plus stages and exhibits, Bumbershoot is best tackled with the realisation that you can't experience it all. The Shins and Modest Mouse churned out memorable sets of the indie/emo pop rock. Macy Gray had everyone grooving and feeling sexy, while Black Eyed Peas, De La Soul and Common brought the hip-hop vibe. Seattle pop-emo-rock act Vendetta Red put the "rock" back in rock star with one of the most impressive sets — Zach Davidson tossed the microphone out to fans seconds before throwing himself after it. Up-and-comers the Pale also made a delightful impression with their familiar brand of melodic indie rock. While orchestral shoegazers Carissa's Wierd performed a beautiful set of alt-fused folk rock, too bad it was one of their last shows. For the New Pornographers, fans crammed the venue one-hour prior to show time, stranding hundreds outside while Carl Newman, Neko Case and friends played. Simultaneously, Gord Downie and the Country of Miracles offered a laidback, outdoor, country-tinged set featuring his latest solo offerings. Closing Bumbershoot this year was a stellar bill. First up, Wilco filled the Monday evening air with their updated, multi-layered, roots-tinged sound. Then, playing their first arena-sized North American show in years, college rockers R.E.M. pulled out an amazing two-hour-plus set, delighting the crowd with both classics and new tracks from their upcoming album that were wonderfully reminiscent of the band's earlier records.