Capitol Hill Block Party Day 2 Recap
Saturday, July 22, 2017
By Lindsey Potter
When I tell people I went to Capitol Hill Block Party, I get a mix of responses. Some people excitedly want to hear about it because they wish they had gone. Others say they have never gone or don’t have any plans to.
Which is a shame, because for the fourth straight year I loved watching my neighborhood transform into a small sea of music and art. I always walk in knowing some of the artists, but walking out being excited about someone I had never heard of before and supporting them later. It is such an impressive culmination of the Seattle creative community in the heart of the city.
I had some major déjà vu walking through the CHBP gates on Saturday, July 22, which was the second day of the festival’s twenty-first year. Security took my granola away during my bag check (you would think I would learn by now); I was wearing my 2016 Vera Project CHBP t-shirt (I am happy to report that myself and two other people had that original idea); and I saw the guy wearing a white and pink zebra print body suit that made his way into the photo for my review last year.
Once inside, I made a beeline to the main stage to see Grant Eadie, an electronic artist from Bellingham, Wash. who is better known as Manattee Commune. I’ve appreciated CHBP’s picks for DJs over the years. A majority of the crowd attends the festival for the headliners, so it’s important that acts earlier on the bill keep the energy up and draw in the day drinkers who aren’t already familiar with their catalogue. Last year I walked in not knowing Big Wild or Tourist and had an awesome time during their shows. Before the 2016 festival ended I was already following the artists and their music online.
Manatee Commune’s haunting beats and mix of live instrumentation continued in that tradition of engaging mid-day DJ sets, but didn’t do much to abate my feeling of déjà vu. As I watched him perform as inflatable manatees bounced across the stage and throughout the crowd, I had a similar feeling as when I saw ODESZA in 2014. At that point, the Seattle-grown duo had started to get enough buzz but were still relegated to a midday slot. Fast forward to 2016 and the band was headlining the festival’s main-stage and selling out multiple nights at large Northwest venues like the Paramount Theater. Eadie seems destined for the same quick ascension to local stardom and recognition outside the Pacific Northwest.
Informed by numerous pre-festival recommendations, I made sure to check out Minneapolis-based powerhouse Lizzo despite not being familiar with her music, and instantly became a fan. There’s really nothing like four confident women on stage performing feminist and body-positive music to make you feel empowered. Not only that, but Lizzo and her crew know how to put on a show. She had two back up dancers who were legitimately dancing (and often twerking) the entire time Lizzo was rapping and belting out songs about self love. Such fun.
My night finished with headliner Lord Huron. As I was pressed up at the front of the crowd waiting from him to start, I wondered what his live show would entail. My favorite song is “The Night we Met”, a very slow, and perfectly sad song. Looking at the high concentration of body glitter and crop tops surrounding me, I was concerned the artist’s sound wouldn’t quite fit the mood. Instead, he came out like a seasoned rock star and kept the energy high with long guitar rifts, fast songs, and a light display dancing along behind him as he played.