Bumbershoot 2013 | Preview

Between the comedy, films, lectures, and music, Bumbershoot almost has too much going on. Almost. If you find yourself at a loss for direction, here are five musical acts that are guaranteed to leave you with a grin on your face.

Allen Stone: If you feel like dancing but you can’t handle the deafening beats of Bassnectar, be sure to catch Washington native Allen Stone’s set. The soulful singer’s tune “Sleep” is one of his most energetic, so there’s no question the rest of his set will have you shakin’ your groove thang.

Watsky: Between Kanye surprising no one by dubbing himself a likeness of the Messiah and yet another album from “retired” Jay Z, baby-faced white rapper Watsky brings a new meaning to the term “edgy” in today’s hip hop scene. Sit through just one of his songs and you’ll quickly understand why Rainn Wilson is a big fan and how Watsky had the power to persuade Kate Nash (via Twitter!) to record a duet. Whether he’s speed-rapping sentimentally or happily riffing on his bleak financial situation, his rhymes are sincere(ly sick) and his wit endless.

David Bazan: Ex-Pedro the Lion leader (and Seattle native) Bazan has carved out a deep path as a solo artist over the past few years, spending much of his time performing tight-knit living room shows. With his booming voice and chilling lyrical honesty, he won’t have a problem transferring that intimacy to the larger stage at Bumbershoot.

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience: This may be the closest we ever get to another Led Zeppelin performance in the 21st century, and we could do a hell of a lot worse. John Bonham flawlessly mimics his dad in his tribute outfit, but he isn’t the only one who will blow you away with his familiarity. Lead singer James Dylan’s voice is an uncanny imitation of Robert Plant—once he opens his mouth, even a triple take won’t convince you that it’s not Plant up there in costume.

Transatlanticism: First Ben Gibbard brought the Postal Service back together and now he’s leading Death Cab for Cutie in a once-in-a-lifetime performance of their best album to date. With gut-wrenching tracks that you’ve probably cried yourself to sleep to at some point, the Transatlanticism performance will surely be as surreal as the Postal Service reunion shows. If you’re new to the 10-year-old album, the catchy hooks and Gibbard’s smooth vocals will reel you in with ease.

No plans for the long weekend just yet? You’re in luck—tickets for Bumbershoot are still on sale, and Seattle’s weekend forecast is gorgeous. Act fast!

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