Day one of this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party was full of energetic music, fantastic food, a wide array of stages and some stellar outfits (AKA there was literally someone wearing a stereo on his head). To whoever was wearing that, thank you for being a stellar mascot for day one of the festival! We’re so excited to see what else is to come with Day 2 (read all about what’s to come here!), but let’s relive some great acts that stood out amongst a packed lineup of talent from Friday’s billing.
MILD HIGH CLUB
A big boy with a chromatic propeller cap, and an alternate version of Super Mario on the drums? Classic! Mild High Club is tailor made for the teen-supported spirit of the Vera Project. I started my Capitol Hill Block Party experience by listening to the childhood dream of those big boys with gentle hearts. It’s a dream driven by a series of mild guitar lines and vivacious keyboard melodies. Associated with Wire, Ariel Pink, and mostly Mac DeMarco, MHC is very good at dragging a crowd into a swirl of pleasant echoes and taking you to a high mood. Their set was fantastic.
I finally figured out the real meaning of “soft grunge” when I interviewed Katie Monks and Liz Ball of Dilly Dally, and it’s not at all like what the internet says (surprise, surprise). Rather, they are the label itself! As she powered through their top song “Desire,”
“I’m comin’ at you from against the world, I get desire!”
Monks’ music is fitted for her extremely cool and ferocious vocal prowess, and that rough-and-tough texture fits Ball’s mellifluous guitar so perfectly. The other thing I like about their live show is the powerful guitar break-downs right after a series of speedy strumming. The shifts between wildness and quietness make you crave more and more with each passing song.
Fun fact: Monks told KXSU that she loves to write songs for her cat, and that her cat is her musical inspiration. What kind of cat does she have that inspires her to write such fantastic music? I want one.
Speed up the guitar and turn the beat louder! Ernest Greene and his band turned a rained-on pavement party into the bounciest of summer nights. It’s never easy to change a poetic melody to a danceable tune, but Washed Out does it, and they do it so, so well. A highlight from their sent includes the anthemic sounding jam, “It All Feels Right.” With songs like that, we all swung our bodies with the streamlined harmony under the shimmering neon lights. There couldn’t have been a better or more appropriate way to end the first night of CHBP 2016.
Can’t wait for Day 2! Stay tuned!
MELVIN YUEN | Business Director