Capitol Hill Block Party 2016, Day 1: Dick Stusso and Mild High Club

Capitol Hill Block Party, Live Reviews
Zach Frimmel
all photos by Kari Nickole Taylor

Dick Stusso:

This weekend's festivities mark Capitol Hill Block Party's 20th year ushering in some of the best music from around the world and showing off some of Seattle's own gems. Right out of the gate at 4 o'clock on Day 1, Dick Stusso was one of the first acts to kick out the jams to all the early showgoers. Dick Stusso's l0-fi, heart-belting songs from his 2015 Nashville Dreams/Sings the Blues aptly demonstrate his bright and airy take on blues rock, which has landed him on the Billions Corporation roster. The Oakland-based crooner pulled a fun opening maneuver of starting his set playing a twangy Sinatra-esque ditty by himself which allowed him to show off his skills as a sun-hat-wearing raconteur. After his soliloquy, his full band unleashed with a dream-country roar after roar until he brought it back down for another alone-at-the-micrphone ditty. This time it was more of a bluesman's song, stating "this is a sad, but true story. Sorry" then laughed it off and finished out the set with a few more 70s-meets-2016 reverb-y rock tunes.

7pm at the Vera stage. The first few hours the Friday of Capitol Hill Block Party are always slow, but by this time the showgoers were spilling in full force and since the Vera stage is the first one people hit they're immediately drawn in by any kind of music. Having coasted off the enjoyable energy of Iska Dhaaf, the LA-based rockers of Mild High Club took the stage. Alexander Brettin, the frontman of the project, was playfully wearing his ROYGBIV-colored helicopter hat, which, in a way, does a pretty good job representing the silly laid back genre he vibes. The best way to describe Mild High Club is probably the Beatles listening to yacht rock on a yacht with Mac Demarco, large emphasis on the Mac Demarco. If you were just around the corner from the Vera stage and hadn't heard Mild High Club before you might just think Mac Demarco was either crashing Capitol Hill Block Party or was playing a surprise gig. That being said, Brettin allows himself to stand out of said comparison with his slightly more jazz, less rock guitar progressions and polishes it with a layer of smooth pop. The crowd was inevitably ready to vibe hard the second they got in and when given great dreamy-airy rock music they'll do just that.

Mild High Club:

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