Saturday, July 31, 2010

Quick Update & Capital Hill Block Party 2010!

There is a point in ones life where they try to deflect all the bad things that could possibly be, and try to focus purely on the positive. For example........Oh, wait. I have no examples. But that's where my life has been for the past few weeks.

Right now, my mother has drastically decided that it's time to move from our in-town duplex of 9 years into a house a mile out of city-limits in a community called "something Meadows." Quite descriptive...blame my memory. Anyway, I've always had a bit of a hard time when it comes to change....specifically when moving is involved. After moving as a child from my hometown to the other side of the state, I was a bit traumatized. Granted, I was only 11 and I had been a fairly sheltered kid, but ever since then the thought of moving again - to any place! - seemed like a dramatic experience that I'd much rather avoid.
However, surprisingly I've been going through the motions of moving well. For someone like me, anyway. I guess I sort of view this move as being a bridge to the next stage in my life. Instead of sticking it out in the house I've lived in all through my adolescence, I'm changing coarse and docking elsewhere... leaving adolescence behind and beginning the part of my life where I do things like actually attend my classes at college, visit my boy in question, and explore possible careers choices.... oh dear.
Is it strange that I am getting an ill feeling in my gut suddenly?

New subject.


Since missing Sasquatch Music Fest 2010, which is still a huge regret, I was eagerly awaiting the next big festival to hit the state of Washington. Aside from Bumbershoot, which isn't until Labor Day weekend, the amount of entertaining music-geared festivals were quite limited. Mayhem Fest came and boyfriend Brendon went to that with his pals and "raged"... I was still pretty bummed about the line-up for Bumber, which was not as good as I had expected, when my best friend unveiled a fantastic advert online for a local Seattle-based festival called the Capital Hill Block Party! While it looked pretty small, the headliners were quite impressive! MGMT would headline on the first day, Friday July 23rd, being a post-performance to acts such as Macklemore, Yeasayer, Fences, Holy Fuck, and many more. Prices for tickets were rather decent....heck, they were more than decent! 20-some dollars for a single day! I can live with that budget...
So we decided we would attend the Friday line-up. We clumped a few friends together in a car and were off to Seattle....

The 23rd day of July was hot and muggy, and my plaid shirt proved to be a bad choice...We caught the Bainbridge ferry across, on foot, and then journeyed from the docks all the way up steep streets to the Capital Hill area. On the way there, band posters and promotional crap littered every telephone post, vacant wall, and tree trunk in sight.

Upon arriving to Capital Hill, the immediate familiarity of long lines to get into the venue greeted us. We had to wait nearly half an hour or more to reach the Will Call gate and retrieve our tickets. This was nothing new to Mac or I, but I heard plenty of whining from the others. I hid behind my shades to appear as though I knew what I was doing...although I never do.
Almost instantly, our group was separated once we were inside the gates. Mac, Crash, and Drake powered ahead of myself and a lovely music-loving kid named Micheal to get to the main-stage where Macklemore had started his performance 15 minutes before. Micheal and I got left behind because we were the last in our group to get through Will Call and Drake was about to pee from sheer impatience to get to Macklemore's show. So Micheal and I, beside ourselves, trudged on to watch Macklemore by ourselves before finding the group again at the ONLY Merch stand visibly located at the festival. This was where I began to notice just how small this festival was! It was literally a block...a street in the middle of a rough part of Seattle. There were tons of different varieties of people, as usually seen at any music festival, but the combination of people along with the tiny venue made it almost strange... It was certainly a different vibe than most other music festivals I've attended.

Anyway, Macklemore was great! Being a local to the Northwest, it was awesome to see him live, supporting his hometown. He professed while on stage that he had grown up a mile up the street. That's pretty crazy when you think about it. At the merch stand afterwards, he came to sign autographs and take pictures with fans. We were luckily at the head of the crowd so we all got his signature and photos with him. He signed my Block Party ticket and took a photo with me. I look like a dope standing next to him, but I love it!

After that excitement, we walked aimlessly around in the heat for an hour or two. The times separating the good bands were rather large. Yeasayer was up next, but before that we grabbed a bite to eat at this local Japanese restaurant. It was anything but authentic... but whatever. Mac and Drake ditched the group again to get hot dogs instead before they dove into the ever-growing crowd for Yeasayer without us. Micheal, myself, and Crash were left in the Japanese restaurant, where I excitedly spotted an owl in a magazine, ripped it out when no one was looking...and left promiscuously. This was one of several owl sightings we encountered during the day. Oh the things I will do for an owl.

Half way through the crowd for Yeasayer, Crash confessed that she had to use the damn Micheal and I had to turn around and pay a visit to the Honey Buckets...yum. Finally we began to struggle our way into the crowd. It took us what seemed like ages to get anywhere near the front. This was where people started to get restless and abusive. Plenty of shoving commenced, and hoe bags of all ages tossed glares back and forth, tempting each other to try and get past. We had to battle a few deadly folk before we ever found Mac and Drake. Yeasayer finally began and immediately blew me away! I wasn't expecting to like them as well as I did. They sort of reminded me of Phoenix, oddly enough. For such a mellow band, people were starting to get worked up. Once Yeasayer finished, the crowd deepened for Holy Fuck. I had never personally listened to them and I was expecting some sort of screamo death trap. But to my disbelief, I adored them! They sported the kind of sound that I like in a band: A combination of pure instrumental, with a few synthesized cries to the sky....mixed with electro-beats and rough bass. Complete love! Something similar to Bassnector or Deadmau, but with their own unique style. They are definitely worth checking out if you haven't heard of them!

As soon as Holy Fuck ended, MGMT would step onto the stage within a vivacious hour. This would be Mac and I's second time seeing them live since Coachella! The crowds were now ravenous, clawing and biting and turning into a zombie cluster. One second you were pushed one way, the next another. It was horrible! Some people were stoned beyond recognition, others were drunk and making out all over everyone.....Given, these ARE normal things at music fests, but this was all up in your face! It was a sweaty mess! My brand new Keds got filthy from all the bodies and feet plummeting on me. We came to the conclusion that the venue was just so small that people had no where to deplete! We were packed like sardines on a street curb, what more could you expect but utter chaos?

We endured all this for most of the night. At LAST MGMT made their entrance to the stage. Seeing them again warmed my poor beaten soul. Everyone finally settled least until their first song bombed out through the speakers. They played a ton of their new work, which I enjoy, but find hard to bound around to due to the slowness of their new beats. It's always a good time when you hear something familiar like Weekend Wars or Kids. Naturally, they always play the 3 main songs that made them who they are.... Time to Pretend, Kids, and Electric Feel. I was hoping they would play Of Moons, Birds, and Monsters, but that didn't come about. They encored with Congratulations. Could have done better than that, imo! But all in all, I was stoked to see them again. I thought it was beyond moving that after the show, they went to the side of the main stage where people who weren't inside the venue were watching through a tall fence blocking them out, and lead vocalist Andrew VanWyngarden reached through the fence wires to touch the hands of those who weren't apart of the festival. It was actually rather endearing..... Until you realize, Hey! we PAID to suffer through this mob and here we are in the very front, mere feet away from you and you don't come touch OUR hands?! Blasphemy!

But it was a good night. My feet ached like no other, and Crash and Mac, who were planning to attend the next day's line-up, decided that it wasn't worth all the calamity to try and suffer through it again.
We all limped to the nearest street corner on the dark and cluttered Seattle streets, caught a cab, and sped off into the night to catch the 1:30am ferry and possibly find a source of food.

The Capital Hill Block Party was a different experience than first anticipated. It was definitely small, it didn't offer much in the sense of many cool merch stands or other awesome nick nack shacks, but it WAS a music festival, and it WAS a great time. Sometimes its just all about the music. I enjoyed fending off the ravage crowds with Micheal, Drake, Mac, and Crash. We're all still beaten up emotionally (ha!), but it shows we lived it up as best we could.

I'm not sure if I'll attend next year's Block Party, but its certainly an option! If you're someone like me who really needs their music fest fix every few months or so, the CHBlockParty is well worth the strife to go through.

Next up... Warped Tour 2010 (maaaaybe).

But most certainly, BUMBERSHOOT 2010!!

More images coming to Flickr :]