Festival Review: Captiol Hill Block Party 2016

Festival Review: Captiol Hill Block Party 2016

It’s always a pleasure when a large group of people come together to party in the streets, especially when it comes to Capitol Hill Block Party. This 3 day festival is a cornucopia of artists and attendees where a good time comes naturally. And now in its 20th year, CHBP is set in stone as a fundamental part of Seattle music scene. “I just think of it as a part of Seattle. It’s been happening since we were little kids here….. It’s just been a part of our upbringing,” said Tangerine’s Marika and Miro. “It’s dope to have major artists come through our little Capitol Hill, you know?” said Beeba of Brothers From Another. This local party never fails when it comes to a line up and sadly, not all could be included in this review because it would be 10,000 words instead of 797. So here it goes, my top five from the 2016 Capitol Hill Block Party are Washed Out, Israel Nash, Odesza, Dave B and STRFKR.

I have been waiting since 2009 for a chance to see Washed Out play. And on Friday, June 22nd a full band took the stage for one of Washed Out’s first performances in two years and mesmerized the crowd with their sounds and visuals. Their wavy electronic rock style are truly something to behold. I was melting into the street with satisfaction as they played some of my favorites like “New Theory”, “Amor Fati” and “Feel It All Around.” This group is what happiness sounds and feels like. Washed Out and the dance circle that came to life during their performance made my entire weekend.

Israel Nash gave a heartfelt and electric performance. Their unique psychedelic Americana sound stood out from the rest and was almost reminiscent of Pink Floyd. The lyrics cut deep and raw emotion poured from their instruments. It was very clear that Israel Nash and his band was so excited to play CHBP.  “We’ve done festivals like this but not as cool” said Joey McClellan, lead guitarist of Israel Nash.

The first time I saw Odesza was 2012 in Spokane. Harrison Mills, playing without Clayton Knight, couldn’t have played a simpler show. Fast forward just a few years and now their immaculate shows are regularly accompanied by live horns, drums and guitar, not to mention top of the line visuals. Their performance on Saturday included not only all of this but also was enhanced with the Passenger Seat string quartet and the Seattle Seahawks drum line. “We’re trying to turn our show into a larger than life experience and because of that we’re always experimenting with new elements” said Harrison Mills. Tom of The Dip and Beat Connection even came out to sing vocals on Odesza’s remix of “Saola”. I have been a fan of Odesza since the beginning but every time I see them I cannot help having an amazing time singing and dancing along to their magnificent music. It’s really amazing how far they have come since their humble beginning in 2012.

Dave B’s show was an ode to hip hop music and represents everything I love about the genre. The classic MC and DJ set was seasoned with a guitarist, whose melodies would add a little spice to each track. Dave B’s raps were laidback yet thought provoking while the beats were jazzy and crunchy.  His raw energy gave him total crowd control, taking breaks for sing alongs to UGK’s “Int'l Players Anthem” and more. It was easy to see why this local rapper is loved by Seattle and felt right at home on stage at Capitol Hill Block Party.

STRFKR came to the mainstage as a 4 man indie rock group, well 12 if you count their astronaut entourage. Which begs the question, how do I apply for a STRFKR astronaut position? If these astronauts weren’t dancing to the music, they were crowd surfing on giant inflatable flamingo kiddy pools and shooting streamers into the crowd. Aside from their astronauts, STRFKR’s music was spectacular. Their heavy synth sounds pulsed through the crowd and took me on a funky adventure that I didn’t want to end. You couldn’t help but groove to their music and laugh at the crazy astronauts. There is always one show that stands out as the most fun I had at every festival I attend and for CHBP, STRFKR claimed that honor. I look forward to seeing more from them in the near future.

I am so thankful for Capitol Hill Block Party and all the people who come together every year to make it happen. For the life of me, I can never see this party dying out but only growing more and more each year.  Until next time Capitol Hill Block Party, it’s been real. 

Click to read more about each artist with our one on one interview features!

Check out our photo galleries from Capitol Hill Block Party 2016: Day 1 & 2 l Day 3 

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