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The Gossip Spread the Word

The Olympia, WA-based trio didn't have to travel far to kick start Bumbershoot, and they did it with a nod to Dr. Doolittle.

Heads bobbed, hands clapped, and booties definitely shook as the Gossip christened Seattle’s 37th annual Bumbershoot Arts and Music Festival. Playing to a small but highly enthusiastic crowd, lead singer Beth Ditto channeled her inner Aretha Franklin as she belted out dance-friendly songs from her band’s latest album, Standing In the Way of Control.

“This is my first show without a bra,” Ditto announced proudly before launching into the first song of the set. “My titties are gonna sweat like crazy!” Backed by bass/guitar player Brace Paine and drummer Hannah Billie, Ditto alternated between soulful crooning and bratty punk howls as she bounced back and forth across the stage. Ditto may have lacked the proper undergarments, but she had plenty of support from the crowd.

“She has an amazing voice and I love how she mixes it with garage rock. It’s a whole new sound,” exclaimed Seattleite Maggie Groves, 25, who had never before seen the Gossip’s live show. “I had only heard one song before this show, but I had to hear more.”

“It’s a big venue, but she brought a lot of energy to the stage,” added fellow concertgoer Chris Pearson, 22, from Tacoma. “She did a good job getting the crowd involved.”

The highlight of the set came just before the late summer heat nearly melted off Ditto’s liquid eyeliner, as the band launched into a cover of Aalyiah’s Dr. Doolittle-hit, “Are You That Somebody”. With its slinking baseline and Ditto’s sultry singing, the rendition would have easily earned Timbaland’s seal of approval. ELI SCHWIMMER

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PHOTOS BY CHARLOTTE SMITH

At Bumbershoot ’06, Spin is on the ground with our college correspondent program. Eight college students — four writers, four photographers — earned the opportunity to cover the festival for SPIN.com, live, all weekend long. Sound appealing? Stay tuned to SPIN.com for future opportunities to apply for our college correspondent program!

Tags: Music News