Bumbershoot 2017, Day Two: The Maldives

Bumbershoot, Local Music, Live Reviews
Dusty Henry
all photos by Morgen Schuler

At a festival, it's rare to get a performance that feels "intimate." It's something most fans reconcile with before they ever enter the gates and scan their wristbands. So walking into the KEXP Gathering Space on Saturday afternoon at the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival and finding the crowd sitting cross-legged in front of the stage was a total, welcome surprise. Seattle alt-country act The Maldives were playing only as a duo this time around, with lead vocalist/guitarist Jason Dodson and drummer Faustine Hudson representing the group. The two performed the band's recent album, Mad Lives, in its entirety straight through. Even for fans who may know the album intimately, this gave a totally new experience to the record. Gone were the sweeping, cinematic arrangements from the recordings, replaced with delicate, stripped-down versions that let listeners take in the intricate story Dodson conceived for the record. Hudson would lightly pound on a floor tom and would quietly tap on a cymbal, even using a bracelet to create a sizzling sound that veered into ASMR territory. With the whirrs of espresso being made in the background, it felt like stumbling into a coffee shop only to find your new favorite songwriter laying it all bare on the stage.

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