While Kithkin was opening the second day of Bumbershoot on the TuneIn Stage moving its crowd in ecstatic communal dance with rhythms, bird calls and primordial growls and yelps, there was a very different, more urban scene unfolding at the Fountain Lawn Stage.
There Lesli Wood and her Redwood Plan brought the punk club out into the blistering sun. Dressed entirely in black, the band played a driving electro punk set, a grinding sound that was decidedly post industrial. Behind the band pulsing red lines quivered while in front an interested, but largely still crowd watched. The exception was a girl in the front who was shining on the band with an endless series of improvised devil-may-care dance moves, clearly inspired by Wood’s onstage antics, the singer with the shock of bright red hair pumping her knees and arms incessantly as she bounced in time to her band.
“This album has a theme,” she said, after the band tore through the title track from its most recent release Green Light Go. “Do what you want. Pursue your dreams, no matter how scary.”
Or hot. The band was working hard and those black shirts were taking their toll. Still, Wood was nothing but smiles, under a brow of sweat, pure positive energy pouring off the stage.
“Bumbershoot is usually the sign of the end of summer,” Wood went on to say. “But I think this sun is telling us that the summer isn’t done yet. We’re going to play a song you might know. Sing along.”
With that the band broke into a cover of Brian Adams’ “Summer of ’69.” The crowd took the cue from Woods—and her number one fan up front—and started to move, not as a pulsing communal unit, like Kithkin’s crowd, but each in his or her own haphazard, human way.
Not to draw too fine a distinction between Redwood Plan and Kithkin (which counts Seattle Weekly scribe Kelton Sears amongst its members). There is some crossover; both trade in a refreshing optimism and today both featured members wearing a T-shirt from last spring’s Mo Wave Festival, Seattle’s new queer arts and music event that, fittingly for both bands, celebrates being different, together.