Capitol Hill Block Party
July 19-21, 2019 in Seattle, Wash.
Day 2 Recap: Saturday, July 20
By Andy Bookwalter
Photos by Casey Brevig, Eric Tra, Jake Hanson, Marcus Shriver, and Maurice Harnsberry
Everyone in the universe is batshit crazy for Lizzo and well they should be; she’s exactly what our too-skinny, too-white, too-lacking-in-flute-solos world needs. But is this decrepit old man batshit crazy enough to brave the crowds that descended on Capitol Hill to see her? No, not really. More on that later.
The modern Capitol Hill Block Party skews very DJ and laptop heavy, which a fine thing but not always my jam. But given free range and a free press pass I’ll show up in search of the guitars, the harmonies and the rock. It’s still there if you dig a little.
When I arrived on Saturday I actually didn’t have to dig. I just wandered over to the VERA Stage in time to see Wild Powwers (#41for2016), a name designed to mess up spellcheck forever. Like every great band in Seattle, or so it seems, Wild Powwers stars Lupe Flores on drums. Everything she touches (and by touches I mean beats senseless with sticks) kicks ass (see: Tacos! and formerly The Grizzled Mighty) and Wild Powwers are no exception. Whereas Tacos! are sludgy metal, Wild Powwers are big glorious dumb rock and I love them.
I’m trying to find a clever way to say that local band Reader seems to be a bunch of regular schmoes playing sort of mathy post punk, but I also want to be clear that I really liked their set at Barboza. I guess this will have to do.
Tres Leches (#41for2018) are not big dumb rock. Tres Leches are harmony and fur coats in the summer and switching instruments. The only thing that could tear me away from the band’s excellent set at Neumos was Michete, who was rapping dirty downstairs. I basically fell down the stairs into Barboza while wandering towards the bathroom at Neumos, so it kind of seemed like fate. (I discover more music by wandering aimlessly and tripping than most people!) In her own words, Michete is “trying to corner the teenage girls and young gay men market.” I’m neither of those things but she still blew me away, proving that raps about eating ass appeal to multiple demographics.
Attempts were made to check out Spesh (#41for2019), who I’ve heard great things about, but I’m a little guy, at least height-wise, so the best I could do was listen from the back of the Cha Cha and try not to get yelled at for encroaching on the masking tape lines on the floor that can never be crossed. The band, which sounds like an 80’s tribute band that plays originals, but in a good way, put on a great set.
Snakehips probably thought that they killed, but I think everyone was really just trying to stake out a good spot for Lizzo. I opted to fight my way forward between sets, which was a terrible plan. After wading up a river of drunk children and clinging to a chain link fence like a flash flood victim for about an hour I realized that I was still a solid two blocks from the main stage and, while I would be listening to Lizzo, I would not even remotely be watching Lizzo. I swear I stuck it out as long as I could but reviewing Lizzo from two blocks away isn’t fair to anyone, so I’ll leave the specifics to a closer, younger reporter. A little before the end of her set I pulled a solid old man trick and left early to beat traffic.
The Saturday crowd at Capitol Hill Block Party was crawling with NadaMucho.com contributors in both official and unofficial capacities. Check out more of the team’s photos in the gallery below and see our full photo album from the weekend over on our Flick page.
CHBP Day 1: When in Doubt, Go to the Cha Cha
CHBP Day 3: Sunshine & Shakey Sightlines