Capitol Hill Block Party 2015, Day 1: Built To Spill, Thunderpussy

Capitol Hill Block Party
07/25/2015
Jacob Webb
photo by Victoria Holt

Historically, Capitol Hill Block Party hasn't booked that many legacy acts, but when they do, they don't screw around. The Flaming Lips' triumphant '13 set, Neko Case's quiet hurricane of a performance in 2012, and now Built To Spill's '15 set will surely go down in those ranks. Built To Spill's level of consistency over the years is one that most bands never even come close to reaching, which means that the songs from this year's Untethered Moon sound completely in step with classics from Perfect From Now On and Keep It Like A Secret. Doug Martsch is well-established as one of the premier guitarist of the '90s, and it's a title he still retains. His mixture of melodic leads and scratchy rhythm continues to dazzle in conjunction with longtime guitarist Brett Netson, so new tracks like "Living Zoo" and "So" sounded fantastic, as did "You Were Right", "I Would Hurt A Fly", and the number of other BTS classics that were aired out on a cool Friday night. Built To Spill are a pretty frequent visitor to Seattle's venues, so for BTS lifers, their Block Party subheadlining set was just the latest in a string of great shows, but that's hardly a knock because every band should want to enter their third decade as respectably as Doug Martsch and co., full stop.

photo by Brady Harvey

photo by Brady Harvey

photo by Brady Harvey

photo by Brady Harvey

photos by Victoria Holt

It wouldn't be untrue to say that Thunderpussy take no prisoners, but that would be unfair to the man in their press photo who the ladies are quite obviously in control of. It also wouldn't be inaccurate to say that Thunderpussy was in full control of whoever was in Neumos on Friday night, playing to the club's biggest crowd of the day. There wasn't a second where the band was static onstage, with the self-proclaimed "diamond in the muff of rock and roll" owning every square inch of the Capitol Hill institution. When a band is working in the lane of classic, blues-heavy rock and roll, they have to nail the execution and in guitarist Whitney Petty and singer Molly Sides, Thunderpussy have their Jagger/Richards, Tyler/Perry, or Page/Plant. (In other words, an onstage pair so magnetic that the thought of going to get another beer won't even come to mind.) It's no secret that Thunderpussy are quickly becoming one of the most talked-about bands in Seattle, and Friday's set was yet another reason to never forget the name Thunderpussy (or alternatively, Thunderpussy, bitches).

photo by Victoria Holt

photo by Brady Harvey

photo by Victoria Holt

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