Sub Pop 20 - Day One Marymoor Park, Redmond WA July 12

Sub Pop 20 - Day One Marymoor Park, Redmond WA July 12
Bringing together the old and new, the variety and musicianship could not be beat but there was a decidedly distinct difference between the "old school” and "new school” of Sub Pop. With two stages side-by-side at the front, Constantines brought a particularly invigorating vitriol to their early slot. Eric’s Trip also brought a neat energy to their sludgy songs, with Julie Doiron’s vocals shimmering in the sun. The Helio Sequence’s expert pushing pop also rang perfectly throughout the surprisingly small outdoor area. While I appreciate what Pissed Jeans do, their heavy, angry post-hardcore didn’t go over particularly well in the laidback idyllic setting. Fleet Foxes, to continue the awesome alliteration, were fucking fantastic. Low melted my heart anew with their surprisingly amped up sound as they did a short greatest hits set. The above were very new school in their variety and subtle approaches, leaving old school bands like the Fluid and Mudhoney sounding like the past, despite Mark Arm’s energy, which puts most 20-year-olds to shame. Bridging the gap nicely was the reunited Vaselines, whose lyrically dirty Scot pop was simple, beautiful and quite refreshing. Iron & Wine was solo atop of the massive stage and charmingly rusty with his lazy drawl and fumbling fingers in the dying sunlight. The real entertainers, though, had to be closers Flight of the Conchords, who, despite the hilarity – "I’m sorry but your requests aren’t on my set list” – showed incredible chops as the harmonies and musical interplay couldn’t have been tighter. And they get points for bouncing back – "It’s still warm!” — when an overzealous male fan flung his voluminous underwear upon the stage. Though the past was honoured throughout the day, the real stars were the current new acts, proving that Sub Pop’s nostalgia might have been just a tad useless.