On record, Prism Tats' music can often split the difference between lo-fi garage and bedroom electronics, but in their Vera Stage-opening set on Saturday at the Capitol Hill Block Party, Garett van der Spek and his live band leaned far closer to the former style to excellent results. Bordering on a Dwyer-esque abandon at points, van der Spek's yelping vocals and slashing guitars channeled elements of the garage/punk hybrid sound that's come to prominence in the band's home base of Los Angeles in recent years. In the context of playing in an outdoor setting, the group's raw energy connected with the early afternoon crowd, who followed van der Spek down every route of his ragged electronic-damaged, guitar-driven path.
"You thought we were done throwing out t-shirts! Well, you were wrong!" That's Toby Kuhn of Tangerine announcing that, not for the first time during the band's afternoon Vera Stage set, there would be more free merchandise lobbed at the audience. Playing to a solidly-sized crowd – who were likely there for more than the free swag – Kuhn and sisters Marika and Miro Justad tore through thirty-ish minutes of sunny punkish rock that served as a great compliment to the numerous other amiably scuzzy band that would dominate the Cha Cha stage on what was inarguably the weekend's most local talent-stacked day. The band's 2016 EP Sugar Teeth is a true highlight of the first half of the year, and as they chugged through its songs, the Seattle trio established themselves as the first of many bands that would contribute a deluge of great local talent on Saturday.
It only took a few songs into the folk outfit's Vera Stage set for the audience to realize that Woods have very quietly become one of the most consistent bands of the last decade. Across nine (good!) albums in ten years, the band's melodic sensibilities, instrumental interplay, and agile rhythms have earned the band a critical respect and enough of a dedicated following to justify their own festival, so it wasn't really a surprise that Jeremy Earl and co. showed up to Block Party and, seemingly effortlessly, delivered one of the best sets of the day. The group's latest record, this year's City Sun Eater in the River of Light, was on full display as the quintet wound their way from one sun-drenched tune to another, playing to a crowd that clearly hadn't ruled out the possibility of making the last-minute drive to Big Sur for Woodsist Festival a few days later.
While the Saturday lineup of Capitol Hill Block Party leaned heavily on Seattle's DIY punk and electronic strengths, Sunday was where got to see the city's pop strengths shine through. And truly, our fair city is not lacking in this department. On the Vera stage, Sassyblack put her incredible voice…
If you're committed to going to Capitol Hill Block Party it's difficult to pick just one day of music. Saturday was by far the most packed day of the weekend thus far with rumors that Block Party sold out twice once the overlords decided to release more tickets upon demand. But before the evening, …