Posts Tagged 'capitol hill block party'

Capitol Hill Block Party 2011

I was able to go to the Capitol Hill Block Party on Fri and Sat of the 3 day event.  It was a good time as usual but also as usual it was tough to choose which bands to see and which ones to miss.  For those not familiar with this event, they have bands playing at different stages overlapping each other, and some of us like more than one type of music, although I think their intent was to try to group the genres together.  The weather was perfect however and it seemed like most of Seattle was there.  One of the highlights of Friday, other than the good bands, was getting to see Gumby.  I don’t know what someone is doing still running around promoting this old character, but anyhow, he was there running around.  We just thought it was funny that he appeared above us from a building window as a show on the main stage was going on.  I was able to get a pic or two of that just because it was so random.

Here is who I was able to see and what I thought of them:


Fresh Espresso: this band was pretty cool but I admit I’m not the ultimate rap fan, so it wasn’t my favorite performance.

Kurt Vile and the Violators: very cool rock from a guy who you could hardly see because of his long hair.

Woods: fun folksy rock band unbelievably not from the northwest.  But of course they knew where some of their big fans would be.

Ra Ra Riot: just a really nice sounding band.

The Head and the Heart: these guys have been around a while but its cool to see they are starting to get more radio play and become better known.  More fun folksy rock from the northwest.

Ghostland Observatory: I had heard some great things about this band, but I admit I didn’t know what to expect.  It’s just two guys.  One wearing a cape with the Texas flag on it playing all kinds of electronics and occasionally the drums, and the other a long haired guy who plays guitar and sings with a voice like Jimmy Page.  Their music was totally cool and their energy was great.  Their show was lit up by all kinds of lasers which just added to the coolness of the show.  I am officially a fan now.



Champagne Champagne: another local rap band.  Not bad, but again, not really my thing so I admit I’m a poor judge on this one.

Fences: a nice sounding rock band.  Recommended.

Lovesick Empire: this band had a great sound.  The female lead singer’s voice reminded me of PJ Harvey.

Eleanor Friedberger: this was a one gal band, at least in this performance.  Nice folksy music.

Telekinesis: fun rock n roll by a band led by a drummer.  That was cool to see.

The Lumineers: more folksy rock but a really fun band to watch live.  They know how to get the audience involved with their music to make it a little more fun than just watching.

Ravenna Woods: very cool rock n roll, also a bit folksy, but not as much as some of the bands I saw.

Austra: very melodic dance music from a girl with a beautiful voice and her backup singers providing nice harmonies.

Cold Cave: I would call this an electronic band hearkening back to Depeche Mode or other such bands of the 80s.  They had a good sound but their look was a bit funny to me.  The two main guys wore their leather jackets the entire set and you could tell they were really hot but wouldn’t take them off.  I guess they didn’t want to blow their image.  It was kind of funny to me that they would even bother wearing them on stage in a summer show.  Even though the show was inside, the doors were open, so only fans were there to keep the place from being unbearable.

The Young Evils: this was another fun folksy rock band that sounded great.  Their lead guitarist turned 30 that day apparently, so it was fun getting a chance to be a part of that.  They secretly passed out little handheld pictures of his face for the audience to hold up as we sang happy birthday to him.

Ononos: this band was quite the spectacle.  It is basically electronic, but the lead singer comes out in a full body suit so that you can’t see his face and dressed in a crazy sparkly outfit (check out the pictures as you have to see it; I know my description doesn’t quite cut it).  Anyhow, it was the strangest performance I saw the whole time, but they really surprised me with some cool rhythms. Everyone seemed to be won over by the end.

Sadly not all the photos I took from my phone turned out.  Sometimes I was just too far away from the stage and other times it was just too dark or too many lights were aimed right at the audience.  Oh well, I guess you should have been there yourself.  Maybe next year.

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Capitol Hill Block Party

Had a great time at the Capitol Hill Block Party on Saturday.  The sun was out and the place was packed.  Got to see quite a few bands that I personally had never heard of before, which is one of the main reasons I go.  It was a lot of fun.  Here is who I saw (be sure to check them out):
Head and the Heart – cool, young local band.  They play folky rock with beautiful melodies.
Cold lake – good old style punk band with nice riffs (also local)
Obits – good solid indie rock band from NY
The Drowning Men – from San Diego.  Very good indie rock. 
THEESatisfaction – very talented female rappers
!!! – funky drum/bass rhythms from NY
Past Lives – really good indie rock from Seattle
Night Marchers – from San Diego.  Really high energy rock n roll.
Sorry, no photos.  My cell phone camera just doesn’t quite do justice to the experience.

Summer Fun at the Bite and the Block Party

So as I said I would, I did make it to the Bite of Seattle and the Capitol Hill Block Party (CHBP) the past few weekends.  At the Bite I had some good food and then watched several comedians perform.  The CHBP was actually held both on Friday evening and Saturday this past weekend.  That was a lot of fun.  There were some really good bands and a great atmosphere.  The weather was also great for both weekends, even though we got some rain on both sides of this last weekend.  Anyhow, the sad thing about the CHBP is that they had 4 stages that were going at the same time, and we had to decide which one to watch.  So of course I didn’t get to see them all, but I think I made some good choices.  Here is the list of the bands I got to see with my thoughts on them (just in case anyone cares).  Also, I think several of them are definitely worth mentioning in case you are into checking out cool bands you probably don’t know about.
On Friday I saw:
Common Market – this guy is good (and local), but hip-hop is not really my favorite.  But if you’re into that, you should definitely have a listen.
U.S.E. (United States of Electronica) – this is moderately good local band, but really popular for its fun/party vibe.  Definitely a band to enjoy in person.
Les Savy Fav – these guys are really good musicians but the lead singer is a bit off his rocker (they are from NY, btw).  Another band to see live because you just won’t understand what I’m talking about until you see the lead singer do his thing.
Black Eyes and Neckties – this is a fun local glam rock band.  They also put on a good show.
Thee Emergency – this group is really cool!  They have a sort of "heavy soul" sound, which comes from a 70s classic rock sound (and fashion sense) mixed with a great female vocalist who really gives some feeling to her words.  And the lead guitarist of this band had me thinking that Hendrix would have liked this guy.
Vampire Weekend – it was pretty cool to see this new NY band who hit it big recently visit Seattle for our little party.  This band is pretty good, but it seemed the younger crowd were real fans.
On Saturday I saw:
Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground – interesting name for an interesting local band.  They are really good, but have a unique, northweestern style that you’ll have to check out for yourself to see if you like it.
The Cave Singers – again, another local band that is uniquely northwestern.  Very talented, but a bit folksy.  I almost thought I could have heard this stuff at Woodstock (assuming I were actually old enough to have been there).  On a nice sunny day, their music was nice to listen to.
Darker my Love – another really cool soul rock band (but from cali).  They really rocked the house (they played inside Neumo’s).
The Builders and the Butchers – this band also rocked the house, but in a more Irish rock meets northwestern folk way (they happen to be from Portland).  They had two drummers just hitting away on some drums, but not on kits, and their lead guitarist actually played both a mandolin as well as a banjo.  Their music was very cool though and I can’t recommend them more.
The Hold Steady – this is a local band that has been around a while and really felt some love from Seattle.  Unfortunately I had never heard of them and the music was only OK in my opinion, so I kind of just hung out with the crowd and enjoyed the nice evening.
DeVotchka – this was the headliner on Sat.  These guys were really talented, but I just couldn’t really get their sound.  The music was Russian influenced rock, as if the name didn’t give that away.  But I was really impressed with their peformance.  The drummer was amazing, one guy switched between the violin and the accordian, and a female band member switched between a large upright double bass and a huge tuba.  That was pretty entertaining, but just a little funny to me; so I called it a night half way through their show.
Anyhow, I guess you can see how I got my money’s worth. 🙂 

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