Live at Bumbershoot 2013, Day 3: Superchunk

All photos by Morgen Schuler see the full set here

By now most have heard about Superchunk titling their new album I Hate Music, that it is the “dark twin” of their 2010 release, Majesty Shredding. But the only reason to care about an album name is if you like the band that’s naming it. And who doesn’t like Superchunk?? The lively rock group that rose to fame in the 90’s, helping to put the Chapel Hill, NC, music scene on the map with quirky, punk-influenced songs, doesn’t make you think of drama first – not like, say, The Phantom of the Opera might – but drama was palpable in the wait for the band’s anticipated new project. And (important information alert!) the band has also shot at least one music video affixing a camera onto a kitty cat.

Superchunk entered the lounge looking color-coordinated, each of the four members wearing dark shirts, a fine juxtaposition to their music’s luminous energy. “Let’s welcome one of the greatest bands to see live, Superchunk!” said DJ Cheryl Waters from her stage-side seat.

“We have a new album out, I Hate Music, and obviously all you do too,” said Superchunk lead singer Mac McCaughan. Then the band began a song so rich of sound that it seemed, of course, impossible that they hate anything, music especially. They followed with another tune, prefaced by Mac saying, “This one’s probably older than most of you!” And the KEXP audience was met with even more raucous energy.

“I’ve always said we do our best rocking before 2PM,” noted Mac, somewhat sarcastically. To wit, the band sang together on their next tune, “Get me out of the sun! Get me out of the sun!” While we’ve seen this band get better with time, their afternoon (in door!) set was tremendous. Mac, while singing his ringing vocals and sidestepping on stage almost like Chuck Berry, was flanked by bass and guitar (both red, perhaps a theme of today’s music lounge performances) and backed up by big drum fills.

“Is there clapping allowed in the music lounge?” Mac asked before the final song. The audience immediately applauded. “No,” he laughed, “like, rhythmic clapping.” The music lounge audience got the idea and as soon as the song, “This Summer”, began, the band was accompanied by its hundreds of new members, if for just one tune. Superchunk plays Bumbershoot again tonight at 7Pm.

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