The sky opened up and the sun smiled at us this past weekend in Capitol Hill. The streets filled with fresh, excited faces, running from stage to stage in a blind attempt to catch shows by their favorite local and national artists. Capitol Hill residents hung out on windowsills four stories up, chucking Otter Pops into the sweat-drenched crowd. The vibe was communal—every facet of Seattle’s population turned up to check out this year’s diverse group of artists.
CHBP’s always been a cocktail of heavy hitting artists from both the national scene and our own backyard. It brings sets together that you’d never expected to see on the same bill, let alone the same day: Lucy Dacus and Run The Jewels, Julia Byrne and Diplo. In this way, the concert brings the city together and drums up publicity for promising local acts.
Now in its 21st year, CHBP has evolved a lot since the old days, and Seattle celebrated the birthday appropriately. With headliners reminiscent of those at Coachella and Sasquatch, the party’s graduated into a full-fledge festival.
Now, without further ado, we’d like to share some of our favorite moments from Capitol Hill Block Party 2017.
UK experimental electronic music artist Mura Masa took the stage to deafening applause and earned every ounce of it. He triggered samples on the spot and blended in a great mixture of electronic and acoustic instruments. To top it off, he even brought out London-based singer Nao, who worked the crowd into a downright frenzy.
Later that evening, Run The Jewels came out and delivered one of the best sets of the festival. Fist and guns were in the air as the crowed rocked to album favorites like Close Your Eyes and Legend Has It. These guys may be older, but they know how to hype up a big crowd and close out a great first night.
When temperatures on Saturday reached a scalding 84 degrees, the techs for Manatee Commune brought the hoses out and cooled everyone down. Later on, they released some giant inflatable manatees, and a few brave concert-goers tried their hand at crowd surfing on them. As for the music, the Seattle-based artist laid down some killer live overdubs on a violin, and brought an energy to the performance that got everyone moving.
Manatee CommuneShacia and Zuri Marley, granddaughters of Bob Marley, held down a fantastic DJ set in the VIP lounge that was entirely their own. The sister ambassadors for the Marley Natural brand brought Jamaican vibes all the way to the PNW, and left our reporters sure that we’ll be seeing more of them in the music world soon.
Finally, headliner Diplo came out and stunned the crowd with the kind of EDM that’s tuned more towards stadiums than city streets. The result was a wild set, one that filled the 6-block radius to the absolute brim. In true Seattle style, the artist left the state with a little something extra in his baggage:
On my way back from Washington pic.twitter.com/7j6k34Vzgn
— Thomas Wesley (@diplo) July 24, 2017
Capitol Hill Block Party is an event that never fails to bring Seattle and its neighboring cities together. It draws crowds far and wide with big headliners, and introduces those same crowds to some of the best local talent the city has to offer. It’s a festival that predates Coachella and Sasquatch, wearing its age on its sleeve like a badge of honor. That age can become a burden for some festivals—living up to their own legacies can be a tough thing to do. But, that’s what’s so amazing about CHBP. Each year, it only seems to be getting better.
Were you in attendance at CHBP? What was your favorite set? Let us know in the comments below.
(Ed. Note – The photos used in this article came directly from the CHBP press pool, if they are your photos please let us know so we may properly attribute them!)
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