Day two of Capitol Hill Block Party seemed to start slower than Friday. Crowds started to form quietly as the day went on and, before long, the festival grounds felt hectic and cozy, like a beehive if every third bee wore a bro-tank.
Gainesville’s indie pop darlings, Hundred Waters, provided a wonderful early evening set, centered mainly around their great new album, The Moon Rang Like A Bell, with some older material mixed in for good measure. Their musical prowess was obvious but not overbearing, and felt highlighted by Nicole Miglis’ sparkling voice. Many people in the audience were awestruck even before she whipped out a flute and started to shred. I’d never seen several dozen jaws drop simultaneously and it was honestly prettying unnerving.
I only heard Beat Connection from a distance, but I have to admit they’re coming into their own. I’ve been somewhat skeptical of them since “In the Water” blew up, promptly finding their structure-less ode to summer bland overall. But, based on their new arrangement of the song and promising new explorations in electronica, it seems like they’ve started to feel the same way. Also, very dope matching apparel in the form of Beat Connection jerseys. Somewhere Drake is wringing his jewel-covered hands in envy.
Afterwards, I slapped on over to the Neumos stage for Portland’s very own, Natasha Kmeto, who was an absolute delight. Rarely does a talented singer, producer, and hype-man come in the same package, but here we are, faced with an artist who is dynamic in each aspect. Her voice is great and lends itself well to the vaguely British garage influenced beats while maintaining an air of 80s R&B, to create a lethally danceable mix that, quite frankly, has been the best dance party of the weekend. Her upcoming album is slated for a late 2014 release and I will be waiting with bated breath (while also dancing like a manic to her last album).
Star Slinger was a bit of a letdown, mostly due to the fact that he sounded quiet. The R&B-warped tracks that have become his specialty felt somewhat distant and, since the rest of the festival had hit a small lull, the Vera Project stage felt uncomfortably packed. Two people were making out so vigorously next to me that I’m legally involved in their relationship now. Life is hard sometimes.
Day two was closed out with the cheesiest band alive, Chromeo. The 80s pop nostalgia duo sounded excellent but really proved a lack of variety. It seemed like if you knew one Chromeo song, you knew them all. Still, there’s something to be said for the showmanship and persona of a band like that, where it’s a complete 180 from “serious” artists. They’re here to have fun, no matter how tacky their songwriting template allows them to become.
Just in speaking with fellow Block Partiers, Sunday seems to be the hot ticket day with everyone from ASAP Rocky to Dum Dum Girls to Angel Olsen bringing the pain. Let’s close this weekend out right, guys. Let’s bring it in for a hug real quick; CHBP on three.
For lots more pictures from Capitol Hill Block Party 2014, check our Flickr page.