by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Writer
This is the year to go to Bumbershoot. If you've missed it, or intentionally avoided it, in previous years - for whatever reason - this is the time to go back. The homegrown music and arts festival usually attracts a diverse lineup of talent and crowds, making it a welcome event for LGBT attendees, but the 2015 installment is especially appealing because of several Gay-friendly performers expected to appear at Seattle Center over the three-day holiday weekend. Hozier, Kacey Musgraves, Ellie Goulding, Zedd, Fitz and the Tantrums, Peaches, Neko Case, Lindsey Stirling, Babes in Toyland, The Weeknd, Jhene Aiko, Brandon Flowers, and Kris Orlowski are just some of the artists scheduled to be at the festival, along with dozens of fellow musicians, authors, filmmakers, and comedians. Bumbershoot is happening Saturday through Monday, September 5 to 7, at various venues inside Seattle Center, such as Key Arena, Memorial Stadium, EMP's Sky Church, and multiple outdoor stages. Three-day passes and single-day tickets are available, along with the complete roster of live performers, at bumbershoot.com. You can also purchase tickets on-site at Seattle Center during the festival.
Here are 10 must-see artists at Bumbershoot:
25 year-old Hozier has taken Gay rights to heart, outspokenly advocating for Gay marriage in his homeland of Ireland, going as far as recording a PSA to encourage his fellow countrymen and women to vote on the measure, which passed nationwide in May. Musically, his hit single 'Take Me to Church' has made him an international star, selling out concerts from Seattle to Red Rock and headlining festivals throughout Europe and North America; case in point: Bumbershoot. Expect a big audience for this guy.
One of the few country artists that have publicly supported the LGBT community is Kacey Musgraves. Most recently, the two-time Grammy winner performed 'Follow Your Arrow' on NPR's 'Tiny Desk Concerts' to celebrate same-sex marriage legalization in June and a week earlier invited drag queens in Nashville to join her for the album release party of Pageant Material, her well-received sophomore effort. This girl is gonna put on a really fun show at Seattle Center!
Wouldn't we all want to be Ellie Goulding for a day? She's friends with the Royal Family - performing at Prince William's wedding - and she hangs out with Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and One Direction in her spare time. The British singer will very likely include 'Lights,' 'Anything Could Happen,' 'Burn,' and 'Love Me Like You Do' on her Bumbershoot set list, and here's hoping Goulding also squeezes in 'Outside,' a Calvin Harris number she's featured on.
Pretty boy, indeed. Though, also one of the busiest, most successful DJ-producers and remixers on the planet. He's collaborated with the biggies, from Lady GaGa to Ariana Grande to the Biebs, and put out his second dance recording, True Colors, in May. You'll hear cuts from that project and from his previous work, 2012's Clarity featuring the smash title track, at the festival. Fingers crossed he includes a snippet of 'Break Free.'
'Fuck the Pain Away' put this Canadian electronic-punk'ish musician on the map. She's a no-holds-barred performer with a significant Gay boy-edgy straight girl fan base, so people-watching will be half the fun of this whole show. Besides cuts from her risque-titled albums Impeach My Bush and I Feel Cream, look for Peaches to unveil new tracks from her forthcoming release called RUB.
FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS
There's no official word on whether LA-based act Fitz and the Tantrums is working on a new record, but fans probably won't mind listening to songs from the first two albums, Pickin' Up the Pieces and More Than Just a Dream, allowing them to soak up the party atmosphere and dance and sing along to the band's cool tunes, from 'Out of My League' to MoneyGrabber.'
R&B newbie Jhene Aiko's smooth, lush sound is a fine addition to the Bumbershoot lineup, which has leaned alternative rock and mainstream pop in previous years. A BET Award winner, three-time Grammy and Soul Train Award nominee, this New York native is sure to entertain at the festival. 'The Worst,' 'Wading,' and 'Spotless Mind' are nearly guaranteed to be heard live on Saturday.
Returning to the Northwest, where her career blossomed from indie singer-songwriter to twice Grammy nominee, Neko Case always draws a good-size audience when she comes back to Seattle. She's still promoting 2013's The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, and I'm hoping to hear a few tracks from 2006's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, my personal favorite Neko Case album.
Yes, local singer-songwriter Kris Orlowski is easy on the eyes. But he's also a terrific musician, as both a solo artist and frontman for the band named after him. Although he broke through nationally with last year's Believer album, he remains rooted to the Emerald City and will be performing again at Bumbershoot, possibly rolling out new material. Orlowski has interviewed twice with Seattle Gay News [including April 18, 2014].
The Killers' lead singer Brandon Flowers extended his solo career in 2015 with the release of his second album The Desired Effect, featuring the leadoff single 'Can't Deny My Love.' Don't go into this concert thinking the religious singer-songwriter (yep, he's a committed LDS member) is going to play a bunch of Killers tunes; he's been known to add a few in his show, but the majority of songs will be from his own albums.
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