Sub Pop celebrated their 30th year in operation at scenic Alki Beach in West Seattle on 8/11, with a bevy of their talent spanning 3 stages (there was a kid’s stage tucked away on a side street) up and down Beach Drive, some playing under sprinkles, most playing under sunshine while the final acts of the night performed during a beautiful sunset and serene nightfall, all out in the open and completely free!
Bands played staggered sets across their designated stages, giving all patrons a chance to see mostly complete sets without having to leave early to catch the next act, but starting with Bully around 3:15, that changed, and fans had to start strategizing for the next few hours on where and when to move to the next stage.
In the wee hours of SPF30, bands like Jo Passed (Harsh Realm), LVL Up (Flippity Flop), and Moaning (LOSER) got the day started. Kyle Craft was the second act to hit the Harsh Realm stage, and he attracted quite the sizeable crowd with his Ryan Adams-esq, high-octane set. As Bully were hitting their groove on the LOSER stage, METZ plugged in at the Harsh Realm stage and got the kids dancing, in the words of singer/guitarist Alex Edkins, at which point elbows began flying and bodies were hurtled from person to person!
It was during METZ that the crowd really began to swell, more and more people were making the trek down from wherever they were parking or riding from, and by the time I made my way back over to the Flippity Flop stage for Clipping., it was packed! Clipping. hit the stage with a blistering acapella flow from Daveed Diggs that lit a fuse within the crowd that was hard to put out, crowd participation was at full-tilt during their set!
I didn’t stick around the catch the rest of the acts, but Clipping. was bookended by two legendary rock/punk acts on the other stages – The Fastbacks (LOSER stage) and Hot Snakes (Harsh Realm) – and around 6:40-ish, Shabazz Palaces took Clipping.’s spot on the Flippity Flop stage. The night was capped off by sets from Mudhoney (Harsh Realm’s last participant), Wolf Parade (LOSER), Beach House (Flippity Flop) played during a beautiful sunset, and Father John Misty finished things off in fashion on the LOSER stage.
Thanks to all the staff and organizers of this celebration, it was a blast!