Epic weekend of music: SP20 Wrap-up

photo by Kyle Johnson

by Jason Kinnard

Have we recovered yet? Wow! Redmond’s Marymoor Park was the perfect backdrop for an amazing weekend of Sub Pop music. Despite near record-breaking temperatures both days, we’ve never seen more exposed pasty white hipster flesh than we did at SP20. Along with the scorched earth and copious sunscreen, there were plenty of places to camp out in the shade, escape the heat, and enjoy some great music. We were a bit skeptical at first with the non-Seattle location — but after all is said and done, we couldn’t think of a better place to have had SP20. Everything went off without a hitch. Especially cool was the dual-stage set-up. This meant little to no waiting between bands — just the type of convenience you want standing in 90 degree heat.

Of course some of the main draws of the weekend were the highly anticipated reunion shows from the “older” Sub Pop bands, some of who haven’t been on stage togther for years. There were some epic sets from bands like Eric’s Trip, Red Red Meat, and The Vaselines, but it was clear everyone was here to see one band: Green River. Along with The Vaselines, it was easily the most anticipated sets of the weekend. A lot of the other bands and most of the Sub Pop staff were on stage during their performance. You could tell they were excited to see a piece of history, and so were we.

We have lots of great memories from this weekend and both days were amazing. A great mix of new and old, loud and quiet, slow and fast. The early afternoons had great performances from loud bands with noteworthy sets from Seaweed, Constantines, Les Thugs, and No Age. Each day also had great quiet bands — soothing sounds from bands like Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes and Grand Archives. Among these, Fleet Foxes were one of the most anticipated bands of the weekend. The buzz surrounding their performance was evident and the band was amazing. They put on a charming performance and you could tell they were a little surprised by the large crowd. Despite a lot of extra tuning between songs, hilarity ensued when an amazing impromptu “drum off” occurred between the Fleet Foxes drummer and The Fluid‘s drummer. The highlight was a Crosby Stills & Nash cover to close their performance. What a great new Seattle band — I think they better get used to bigger crowds. Lots of other noteworthy performances, we certainly don’t want to leave anyone out, but some of my favorite performances were actually from bands I didn’t know much about or hadn’t seen them live before. On Saturday, I thought The Helio Sequence and Fleet Foxes stole the show. On Sunday, performances from Grand Archives, No Age, and Wolf Parade were some of my personal favorites.

We couldn’t have ordered it up any better: great bands, great location, great weather, great weekend — we couldn’t be more ready for the next Sub Pop Birthday. Can we have these every year?

We saw you all out there rocking the KEXP shirts — what were some of your highlights from SP20?

 Day 1 photos by Ron Henry:

Flickrshow will appear here!

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  1. mike
    Posted July 14, 2008 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    I thought Mudhoney was the best of the weekend…Had not seen them in 18 years or so and wasnt too hyped to see them…but damn they were great. Les Thugs was great and sounded better than at Neumo’s. No Age may be the most awesome band on earth if you combine attitude and music. Is it me or did a ton of people just not get them? although i would rather seen them in a basement.
    Of the rest, wolf parade, iron & wine and the vaselines were great.. However, i missed the early afternoon bands (obits, constantines).

  2. Kevin
    Posted July 15, 2008 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    The Fluid, Mudhoney, Seaweed and the Constantines were all well worth the trip to an eastside park on a perfect saturday. Personally I felt the Fluid’s performance was epic…stellar…evilgoodfun like a mouthfull of captain crunch sized pop rocks guzzled with energy drinks and warm gin. I may not recover, or forget or remember but muther fff ooh yeah this is a map of how to live intensely engulfed in all that is brilliant . ” I’m pickin’ it up here boss.” c.h.l. with gratitude

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