Capitol Hill Block Party

Block Party, this may be a little indelicate, but we need to talk about your size. See, it seems that you’ve grown out of those pants you’re wearing, and it’s making you really difficult to be around. While it’s nice to have the mainstage in the middle and all, it makes it ridiculously difficult to get from one side to the other. I spent most of the weekend pretty stationary mostly because I was afraid of getting sucked into the crowd. If you keep this up, people are going to get hurt.

The best $2 I’ve ever spent were used to sit in that corner window at the Comet on Friday. The guy selling cans of PBR had put up a sign that said “Comet VIP Seating $2” behind him, but I don’t think anyone believed him, so I watched almost everything at the mainstage perched in the window, getting high fives, and able to see everything, including a little too much of Tim Harrington when he came careening over to the hot dog stand during Les Savy Fav’s set. (The best $1 I spent was on a Creamsicle during the Fleet Foxes’ set–man, those things are delicious.)

The best dance party of the weekend came, unsurprisingly, during The Saturday Knights’ appearance as the super secret Neumos guest. (Told you so.) I feel like I’ve been practicing tantric record appreciation for the last few years, waiting for these guys to finally release something other than the EP I’ve had since they were giving them away at the Crocodile in 2005, and I’m so pleased that Mingle was the album I was hoping for. Most of the crowd in Neumos around us clearly were not Metroblogging readers, because they had no idea who was coming up, and when The Saturday Knights walked on with a full band and started in on “45” the crowd sat in stunned silence for a second and then let loose. By the end of the set I was drenched in sweat and beaming, without once having been trampled to death by the crowd.


Image via Josh

More after the jump…

I was a little sad to not be in the dance party during Girl Talk, but I was honestly intimidated by the sea of writhing bodies, so I stayed put in the window. Watching from a little ways away gave me a chance to see how thoroughly happy Girl Talk makes people, though, because that giant crowd packed in so close to the stage and became one giant throbbing organism. Which is what live music is good for, you know? It transforms you from being a person listening to it in your headphones to part of something else entirely.

I’m still recovering from the sight of so much of sweaty Tim Harrington, but man, Les Savy Fav knows how to put on a show. Also, how funny was it to see Christine Gregoire onstage introducing Vampire Weekend? I agree with Josh that Vampire Weekend is a justifiably hyped band, and the were a nice cool down after the energy of the previous two bands, but I don’t know that they’re really an outdoor festival sort of band. They are adorable, though, and listening to them in the cooling evening was a pleasant way to end the night.

Chromeo was my big Saturday surprise, because I didn’t think I needed another band in my life like them, but they charmed me enough with their good humor and awesome dance beats that I almost forgive them completely for telling us who they were and what city we were in so often. The crowd was packed and trying to dance, and listened each time they were told to put their hands in the air, but then when it was time to put their hands back down everyone would hilariously look at each other because there was no way to do that without elbowing people in the head.

Friends of mine are always talking about how the Hold Steady is a great band, and I didn’t doubt them, but I hadn’t yet seen them live. As it turns out, my friends are right–the Hold Steady makes me want to sling and arm around the person standing next to me and gesture forcefully with my beer. Craig Finn doesn’t look like he should be so much of a rock force, but he absolutely is.

We ended the night with a dance party at Sole Repair, which is such a weird space.

What about you, Metroblogging readers? Favorite moments? Best $2 you spent over the weekend?

4 Comments so far

  1. Mike (drgonzo) on July 28th, 2008 @ 7:12 am

    agreed with the size issue concerning the block party…Saturday was especially insane, coupled with the NIN show, Seafair and some goddamned parade that was happening all across Belltown/downtown. "Impossible to walk in this muck!!"….

  2. josh on July 28th, 2008 @ 8:37 am

    it’s a fun spatial logic puzzle to figure out a better layout for next time and to try to understand why it was set-up the way it was this time. My guess is that it’s logistically convenient for gear/power/staging to have so many stages in close proximity.

  3. CeRo (cero) on July 28th, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

    Agreed. I thought the entourage and I were going to be crushed to death by the crowd on Friday night and all we wanted to do was get past the main stage! I don’t know about best $2, but the best PBR I’ve ever had was had at Neumos after Thee Emergency. The cold, wet, half-beer, half-water was exactly what I needed.

  4. Ryan (ryanhealy) on July 28th, 2008 @ 1:40 pm

    I didn’t have any trouble with the crowds — but I also never tried to get close to a stage. Also the shows I wanted to see didn’t require much traversing across town through said crowds.

    I probably got lucky.

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