About 1,000 people pressed toward the main stage and Vera stage outdoors, and Neumos, Barboza and the Cha Cha Lounge, inside, for Day 1 of the Capitol Hill Block Party. The event runs through Sunday. Check out the bands, fans and fun in photos.
Cloudy skies and the threat of rain did not keep music lovers from flocking to the Capitol Hill Block Party on Friday afternoon, July 22, for the start of this annual weekend revel.
Even as early as 5:30 p.m., perhaps a 1,000 people — mostly skewing young, but including a few Generation X-ers and boomers — pressed toward the main stage and Vera stage outdoors, and Neumos, Barboza and the Cha Cha Lounge, inside.
“Hey, we have jackets,” said Summer Luu, 25, of San Diego, when asked about her plans in case of a downpour.
Capitol Hill Block Party
Friday-Sunday, July 22-24, on Capitol Hill, between Broadway and 12th Avenue and East Pine Street and East Union Street; $50-$60 per day, $100-$110 two-day pass, $150-$300 three-day pass (capitolhillblockparty.com)
Luu and her friends Kayli Stix, 25, also from San Diego but formerly of Renton, and Robin Lee, 25, of Seattle, were all first timers to the festival. Bands they were particularly looking forward to included Seattle electronic duo, Odesza, Sub Pop band Washed Out and Danish singer MØ, all of whom play Friday.
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Many of the headliners at this year’s Block Party specialize in electronics, but there was no shortage of good old-fashioned guitar rock in the early hours of the day. Seattle’s favorite soul party band, The Dip, kicked off the action at the main stage and drew a surprisingly large crowd for a 4 p.m. set, hypnotizing them into a sweet groove. The crowd shouted back with satisfaction on the lyric of great new Dip song, “Sure Don’t Miss You.”
Over at the smaller Vera stage, a decent-sized audience also gathered for the extraordinarily talented Scott Reitherman, who performs in a trio under the name Pillar Point. With a bit of a David Byrne vibe, Reitherman sent out a sharp-edged croon bathed in reverb, while playing electric bass under a rumbling jungle of percussion and keyboards provided by his mates.
Multifaceted, straw-hat-bedecked singer-songwriter Dick Stusso, on the same stage earlier, offered an attractively offhand set that included raspy, Van Morrison-like introspection and a quick, faux-scary nod to Sonic Youth.
Downstairs at Barboza, the dreamy falsetto harmonies of Pale Noise lived up to the quartet’s name, but the band also mixed it up with some hard-hitting rock and nice use of quick-change dynamics from loud to quiet.
But that was just the starting block of the much-beloved Emerald City festival, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Ahead are Chvrches, Car Seat Headrest, Porter Ray, Sassy Black, Tangerine and many more bands, local and national.
The weather forecast — with sunny skies predicted Saturday and Sunday — matches the musical one.