Today was a day of sitting on a bus for 14 hours trying to get to the venue. The tour bus got caught behind a landslide, and had to double back through the wrong terrain for a tour bus. Needless to say, the journey to Seattle takes a lot longer than it should. We get to El Corazon just before showtime, and the LHS team is there already set up and ready to go. I meet up with Chris Porter (who books Bumbershoot Festival), and we reminisce about a time I played there in 1998 around the time of the Rise solo album release. I remember playing just before Martin Sexton who I thought was a fantastic performer.
Here’s a review and photo I just found online…
Mike Peters in Seattle, Bumbershoot Festival, September 6, 1998
I’d never been to a Bumbershoot before. Apparently it’s a Labor Day tradition in Seattle consisting of an arts and music festival over four long days. Bumbershoot just seemed like a perfect venue for Mike Peters. All the bright, happy colors, music, food and arts was a complimentary backdrop to Mike’s uplifting, optimistic music.
Right before the show, Mike peeked out from behind the backstage area and spoke with us fans for a few minutes. I think it really lifted his spirits to find all of us there, especially since some of us had traveled from New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. We talked a little about his flight over (he arrived in Seattle late because he was scheduled to take Northwest which was on strike!) and plans for the near future, including the Portland show. There were about a dozen of us who staked out a nice corner near the stage and waited for the show to begin.
As the Mike was introduced, we made a whole lot of noise! I was so overwhelmed with the emotions of the concert (being back in the midst of so many Mike Peters fans was exhilarating!) that I can’t really remember all the details!
With just Mike and his guitar, the songs were very pure and powerful. And he seemed really psyched to be there. Most of the material was from the Rise album, including In Circles, Transcendental, Rise, My Calling, You Are To Me, High On The Hill and a surprisingly fantastic acoustic version of White Noise. Alarm fans weren’t disappointed with Strength thrown in, and Unsafe Building was dedicated to all of us who “congregate” around his website and traveled from around the country to be there. When Mike sang Regeneration, it was obvious he was having a great time, changing the lyric to “Pearl Jam songs” since he was in Seattle. We managed to make enough noise at the end of the show so he could do an encore, Spirit of ’76.
I had to jump up on stage and give the LHS speech. I got a lot of great reception (lot of Alarm fans in tonight), and I asked Chris about doing a drive at Bumbershoot. Then went on stage for a rip-roaring show with a very vocal audience.
After the gig I bumped into Brian J. Martin who actually filmed the show at Bumbershoot, and created the song by song film which appeared on the Rise deluxe edition release of a year or so back. ‘Rise’ is an album I am still very proud of. It was written to celebrate a life regained after my first diagnosis with Lymphoma in 1995. I wrote a lot of ‘Rise’ at the end of 1996 and just before The Gathering of 1997, and played the songs in a lot ‘live’ before recording them, whilst touring as an acoustic solo artist with The Stranglers in Europe. It’s a strong record and the songs still resonate. I remember losing a friend Chris Anderson to cancer during the recording sessions, and I cut the song ‘High On The Hill’ at the exact same time as his funeral, and played the black Les Paul Custom that Chris had left in my care after his passing. I still miss his smiling face and larger than life personality to this very day.
Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here
Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News