Capitol Hill Block Party, Day 2: The Last Artful Dodgr, Bad Luck, YourYoungBody, Naked Giants

Capitol Hill Block Party, Local Music
07/26/2017
Dusty Henry
The Last Artful, Dodgr // all photos by Dusty Henry

If day one of Capitol Hill Block Party had that much energy with everyone arriving after work, day two never stood a chance. Fully rested, hangovers nursed, and a fresh set of bands to gawk over; fans at CHBP were ready to up the ante. Thankfully there was a wealth of local artists to help quench their need for more energy and anthems to spill their beer, too. A combination of hometown favorites as well as some left-turn surprises kept the momentum going on the second day of the fest.

"I don't normally apologize for  performances because I'm the shit," The Last Artful, Dodgr said at the end of her set on the Vera stage. Dodgr and her DJ/producer Neill Von Tally were late to their performance due to traffic driving up from their hometown of Portland, but despite the apologies there wasn't really much animosity from the crowd. Maybe if they'd come up and phoned it in, but they definitely did not. The duo and their dancers made the most of their truncated set time, hyping up the crowd with the bombastic beats of their joint debut LP Bone Music. Dodgr is one of the most charismatic rappers in the Northwest and that's all before you even get to her technical prowess. Her Block Party set, though short, was the perfect sampling to leave people wanting more. Seattle's been put on notice — Dodgr is not to be slept on.

 

One of my favorite parts of any festival is finding new acts that surprise me. This year, jazz duo Bad Luck took the top spot on my "holy shit, how did I not know about this band?" list. Walked into Neumos purely on a whim and was greeted with some of the most wild music I'd heard all weekend. Saxophonist Neil Welch not only ripped with his improvisational, avant garde riffs, but he also played double duty by running loops on a pedal board at his feet. Paired with drummer Chris Icasiano's hyper-aggressive style, the two formed a frenzied onslaught of sound comparable to any punk band I saw at the fest. Without any pop hooks to speak of, just impulsive talent being let loose, the audience was enraptured in every note and screamed at the end of every song. Guess they had some good luck after all (I'll see myself out now).

"Now we're gonna make our set satanic," YourYoungBody lead vocalist Emily Cripe said halfway through her band's Block Party set. The contrast between the hyped up tank-top party happening in the streets and the spacious, looming electronic beats happening down in Barboza were striking enough. Throwing Beelzebub in the mix only made it more apparent (admittedly, I missed Diplo's set so feel free to correct me if he shouted out the Dark Lord before playing "Express Yourself"). Cripe and producer Killian Brom may have embraced the darkness, but they haven't forsaken dance-worthy music. Fresh off of releasing their Devotion singles last week, YYB came through with an invigorating set. Cripe's commanding presence was palpable as she prowled across the stage. Her vocals are sounding better than ever, as are Crom's sinister rhythms.

Do the members of Naked Giants ever sleep? I can't imagine they do with the amount of energy the exuded during their performance on the Vera stage. It didn't take long for the band to ramp up either. Almost immediately, the trio began convulsing with their instruments on stage. Guitars erupted in a flurry, the bass pounded through the speakers, and the drummer could barely keep himself in his seat for an entire song. They'd all roll their eyes into the back of their heads anytime a fiery riff happened (which was, well, basically the entire time). It was hard not to get wrapped up in their enthusiasm as their garage/punk tunes filled the area just outside Chophouse Row. Fans danced almost as wildly as the band, throwing their hair every which way and letting loose. It was maybe the most raucous, distorted dance party of the weekend with the band feeding their excess energy to anyone who would take it.

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