Sub Pop 20 — Day Two Marymoor Park, Redmond WA July 13

Sub Pop 20 — Day Two Marymoor Park, Redmond WA July 13
As twin Sub Pop banners hung proudly above This Stage and That Stage at Redmond’s Marymoor Park, the renowned Seattle label set in for day two of the SP20 Festival. And for those festivalgoers able to shake off Saturday’s hangover and get in early on Sunday, they were greeted by the sun-baked sounds of the Ruby Suns. Performing as a duo, the New Zealand boy-girl outfit erected a hazy wall of electronically programmed psych-pop that meshed perfectly with the already stifling heat, easing the crowd into the long day to come with one of the festival’s most tender performances. Seattle’s Kinski became the next notable highlight, with the long-running Sub Poppers waking up the crowd with a balls-out set that was all about the rock, plain and simple. The UK post-punk act Foals followed, dishing out the day’s most chaotic performance by far, and then No Age, whose lo-fi stylings sadly failed to make a dent in a festival setting. As for the Sub Pop bands of old, seeing a reformed Red Red Meat surely made a few hearts melt. After a initially shaky start, Tim Rutili (now of Califone) and co. offered up a beautiful cross-section from their career and gave a stunning reminder of how great this band was before splitting in 1997. And while the reunited Green River and their full-on grunge nostalgia trip were undoubtedly the main draw for many in attendance, it was the cosmic country of Beachwood Sparks that was truly the icing on Sub Pop’s cake. The much-missed L.A.-based combo brought back their interstellar pop in all its stunning tie-dye glory, never missing a beat and casting a beautiful otherworldly glow over the sun-beaten audience. More importantly, they sure made you glad you stopped by to say Happy Birthday.