Day three of Capitol Hill Block Party adds the Red Bull Sound Select Stage (at Neumos) to the mix. Red Bull Sound Select presents shows worldwide with local curators; Seattle’s curators include Sub Pop and Good to Die Records. We love that here at Back Beat Seattle. And, I think I say this about every festival, but it’s important: drink lots of water and wear sunscreen.
2:30-3:15 @ the Main Stage
The groovy Maiah Manser appears at CHBP in an afternoon Main Stage slot. It’s fantastic to see this young and talented performer get such exposure. I’m truly glad Manser will bring her lovely vocals and songs to the festival. Get a little sun, get a lot of her awesome voice. Well done!
Maiah Manser – photo by Megumi Shauna Arai
4:15 @ the Red Bull Sound Stage
One of two acts I recommend you catch at the Red Bull Sound Stage is Seattle’s the Spider Ferns. Duo Kelly Fleek and Alton Fleek are badass electronic musicians. Kelly Fleek is another local vocalist I love. Her voice, high and sweet, catches all the right spots in the band’s songs. I encourage you to see their set.
5:00-5:30 @ the Vera Stage
The female vocalists are absolutely on fire this Sunday. Next up is Sassyblack, the soul project of Catherine Harris-White. Harris-White, who was 1/2 of THEESatisfaction, has her own work now. Her album, No More Weak Dates (love that tile), is out right now. Hang with her at the Vera Stage.
9:00 @ the Red Bull Sound Stage
Portland, Oregon’s Wampire takes us back to the Red Bull Sound Stage. Can I place them in a weird pop category? Are there hooks to Wampire’s songs? Yes, there are, even in a track called “Too Stoned,” where you’d expect (and forgive) them to disappear in all that cool weirdness.
5:15-6:00 @ the Main Stage
The Joy Formidable, a Welsh rock trio who has managed to produce all three of their records, are always popular here. Generally Seattle likes loud alternative rock. Right? So get ready to embrace the Joy Formidable, who will play one of its biggest Seattle show’s yet on Sunday. And how weird is that YouTube video paused on a unicorn and a bare ass?
9:45-11:00 @ the Main Stage
CHVRCHES, another trio, this one from Scotland, closes the CHBP. I love their synth music, but I am also partial to a Scottish accent, so I hope, for everyone’s sakes, they will say a few words. Anyway, CHVRCHES’ latest song, “Bury It,” features Paramore’s Hayley Williams. Nice!
Capitol Hill Block Party‘s second day catches my eye as a day to spend mostly at Neumos. You’ll be just fine wherever else you end up, but check out who’s there. And ODESZA makes its presence known on the Hill with top billing at the Main Stage. Oh, and this might be a bit dorky of me to point out, but CHBP has some cool local store deals where if you spend a certain amount, you can get two free tickets to your day of choice. No one asked me to mention this. I just like a deal.
4:00-4:45 @ Neumos
The charming hip hop artist Tilson XOXO has an early slot on Neumos’ stage this year. It’s wonderful to see this Seattle musician back in action (where has he been?), and I can only hope there will be more recordings from him – Tilson XOXO please do that. Refresher: If you can look back at Seattle’s Saturday Knights, Tilson XOXO was in the group.
4:45-5:30 @ Neumos
You’re still at Neumos if you follow my suggestions today, which means next up for you is Thunderpussy. Don’t accuse me of recommending this band based on name only. Thunderpussy is a rock band with a highly entertaining stage performance. Sasquatch also had Thunderpussy on its lineup this year.
Thunderpussy – photo by Tino Tran
5:15-6:00 @ Neumos
Calling itself “pop rnb dance party” seems just right to me. I also nominate Bardot as one of the absolute must-see bands at Capitol Hill Block Party. A great combination including members of the Catch and the Lashes, Bardot is a lovable pop outfit.
5:45-6:15 @ Barboza
Screens (a band I could say is one of the best examples of genre-defiance I’ve heard) takes you to the basement of Neumos, AKA Barboza. I could see Screens’ trippy character bothering you; however, the music is definitely challenging, and there’s a lot to take in and to enjoy.
6:30-7:15 @ Neumos
Seattle rhythm and blues trio Duke Evers almost has its debut full-length album released! Called Velvet Hips, the band’s site says it’s coming soon. I don’t know when. I can say you’ll want to see their set at Neumos (when I saw Duke Evers at Capitol Hill Block Party 2014, the band was in Barboza – they’re moving up!). Formerly a duo, the guitarist and drummer recently added bassist Dune Butler. You’ll want to hear the difference live.
6:45-7:15 @ the Cha Cha Stage
I’d wait to eat dinner after you see Steal Shit Do Drugs, not before. Why? SSDD gets a vote from me for band most likely to have a truly wild audience. I can imagine things getting broken. I hope that doesn’t scare you away from the set. SSDD is legitimate punk rock, post-punk or otherwise.
7:45-8:30 @ Neumos
Electronic and catchy duo Sego gets the evening started at Neumos. This pair has the distinction of being the only band at Capitol Hill Block Party with an actual store of their own clothes, etc. I think. And I don’t mean Sego merchandise. I mean the guys’ stuff. I like this Los Angeles-based group.
8:45-9:15 @ Barboza
Seattle’s Scott Yoder, who was the singer of local trio Pharmacy, has already hit the road in Europe and the States. Why do I say already? Because he only started releasing material last year. His debut EP, Looking Black In Blue, which got released an Italian label, is groovy with a capital G. Unrelated to his music, but nice fact: Yoder’s booking email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
9:45-11:00 @ the Cha Cha Stage
Ah Bread & Butter. I always recommend the Rolling Stones-inspired Bread & Butter. The group’s web site promises the quartet will have a debut album in Autumn of 2016. On July 21st they’ll film a pool party video, so if you want part of that action head over to that site.
10:30-12:00 @ the Main Stage
If you are at Capitol Hill Party on Saturday, chances are you’re seeing the extraordinary electronic duo ODESZA for sure anyway. Why am I even mentioning ODESZA will play the festival? Maybe, just maybe you don’t know the duo. Not likely. I’m such a fan I saw two of three of their Seattle shows. In a row. I would have seen the third if it had been possible.
Capitol Hill Block Party starts its annual takeover of Capitol Hill on Friday, July 22nd. Before I get into some of day one’s highlights, I need to point out that STRKFR will do a DJ set at Neumos on Thursday evening to kick off the festivities. The following days, five stages will have numerous acts, displaying many of Seattle’s best bands – plus cool touring artists. Block Party produces shows during the entire year, so rest assured it knows what’s what. Right, now on with five groups you must catch on Friday.
6:00-6:30 @ the Vera Stage
Seattle lost Iska Dhaaf to Brooklyn a couple years ago, but luckily for us, the duo returns to the area with some frequency (for, example, especially deserved headlining gigs). Description? ’60s rock? Melodic goodness? Iska Dhaaf’s songs, written by band members Nathan Quiroga (guitar, voice) and Benjamin Verdoes (drums, voice), don’t really fit any genre. And that’s all the better.
7:45-8:45 @ the Main Stage
Coming from Odense, Denmark (also the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen!), MØ’s shared her vocals on tracks with Iggy Azalea, DJ Snake and. . . Justin Bieber. Her debut album, No Mythologies to Follow, brought her loads of international attention as a solo artist. While her second album is in development, she told DIY Magazine: “Writing is my therapy.” Do I sound like a jerk if I want her to stay in therapy?
8:15-9:00 @ the Vera Stage
Grunge lives on awesomely in Toronto, Canada’s Dilly Dally. I saw this band open for Fat White Family in Seattle this year, and they sure were vigorous. I don’t know what they were singing about. I could barely make out one instrument from the other. Somehow this quartet made it all sound excellent.
Dilly Dally – photo by Rcstills
8:45-9:15 @ the Cha Cha Stage
Down on the Cha Cha Stage (basement of Bimbo’s), you’ll find DONZIS. Capitalized – rightly so. This is rock music like you just don’t always hear these days. I keep waiting for Seattle to embrace THE ROCK N ROLL again; perhaps DONZIS can help with that.
9:20-10:15 @ the Vera Stage
Supergroup Head Wound City might just be uncontainable. Block Party knows this, and have accordingly put them on an outdoor stage. Made up of members from the Blood Brothers, the Locust and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Head Wound City bring their second album in 11 years, New Wave of Violence (wow), to Seattle. It’s hardcore verging on metal. In other words, hot stuff.