“I love it that we’re playing a street festival at 12 o’clock at night,” Spoon frontman Britt Daniel mused mid-set during last weekend’s Capitol Hill Block Party.
His comment nicely summed up the appeal of in-city music events like the one in our hometown of Seattle: You get the diverse audio experience of other fests (with multiple stages hosting sounds ranging from rock to rap and R&B to electronica) without having to trek to the middle of the desert—and, with noise curfews on hiatus, epic encores (and after-parties at your favorite local haunts) are free to stretch into the wee hours.
The Thread was front row at CHBP all three days. Keep reading to see the street style we scoped out, plan your own next festival outfit and get an up-close glimpse of A$AP Rocky, Matt and Kim, Chromeo and many more.
We cut out early from Nordstrom HQ last Friday and hiked up Pike Street to Seattle’s center of music and culture, Capitol Hill—admiring street art along the way.
Iska Dhaaf continued the indie vibes at one of the side stages. Air ties (i.e., shirts buttoned to the top) and sharp haircuts were a recurring theme amongst well-dressed guys throughout the weekend.
A$AP Ferg, a former art school student and clothing designer, put in work as throngs of fans continued to flock to the main stage Friday evening.
Dance-pop duo Matt and Kim turned out a high-energy set. There’s something magical about how Kim wails on those drums.
Experimental R&B star Shaprece’s set included a full string section—and a cover of Kanye West’s “Lost in the World.”
Spoon’s other notable quote (preceding the one we mentioned up top) came from the Austin quintet’s keyboard player: “There’s an [expletive deleted] tambourine shortage in this town, man!” Luckily for the audience, the band managed to scrounge up at least three of the vital percussion instruments prior to showtime.
Parker’s T-shirt offered a subtle hint of menswear’s tropical trend, while his beat-up boots were a smart alternative to sandals (which can get mysterious festival debris stuck inside). Similar styles: Graphic T-Shirts | Jeans | Boots
The vibe at High Voltage, a hole-in-the-wall music shop near the main stage where artists ducked in for private performances throughout the weekend.
Our Saturday kicked off with one such intimate performance by Shaprece, a new favorite whom we mentioned above. Her producer sculpted intricate soundscapes before our eyes, and she brought along the most rock-star cello player we’ve ever seen, noting that she enjoys working with string instruments due to their similarity to the human voice.
Rapper Sol kicked off his set accompanied by middle-school band students.
Beat Connection brought down the house like we didn’t know mellow, methodical sounds could. Earlier in the day, frontman Tom Eddy’s side project, The Dip, knocked our socks off with “premium Northwest soul” at one of the smaller stages.
The packed crowd went utterly bananas for the electro-funk meltdown that was Chromeo’s Saturday night headlining set. Frontman Dave 1—a documented menswear role model—didn’t disappoint, beckoning the crowd to clap, chant, dance and jump from behind black Wayfarers, shredded skinny jeans and red leather referencing Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Philadelphia rockers The War on Drugs emanate a sound that’s at once arena-rock anthemic and yet oddly soothing—a nice way to warm up to Sunday’s hip-hop headliner.
Formerly an acronym for Remix Artist Collective, RAC is currently the solo project of André Allen Anjos (left), who changes the remix game with unlikely arrangements of songs by artists ranging from U2 to Ella Fitzgerald and hundreds more.
L.A. retro garage rockers Dum Dum Girls closed out the weekend on the second stage (which was sponsored by the Vera Project, a youth-driven music and arts organization). Check out our Q&A with frontwoman and founder Dee Dee from last summer.
A$AP Rocky—a bona fide “Fashion Killa” who sits front row at Rick Owens, walks runways and courts supermodels—shut down the festival Sunday night. Prior to performing, hurrying to duck into the backstage area from the street, Rocky nearly knocked over our coworker Galen—to whom the Harlem rapper apologized politely and profusely.
Monochromatic menswear, Beatle boots, acid-wash overalls—we enjoyed how Tina and Greta hit high notes on two opposite ends of the ’90s trend spectrum. Similar styles: Collared & Button-Down Shirts | Ankle Boots | Overalls
As a parting shot, check out the impromptu (and often autographed) artist portraits our friend Chris Lee caught with his Polaroid:
Dum Dum Girls
A$AP Ferg | Dave 1 of Chromeo | Macklemore and the moped he rode in on
P-Thugg of Chromeo | Nacho Picasso, giving new meaning to mixing prints | Beat Connection
A$AP Ferg and Macklemore
[Photos: Polaroids by Chris Lee; see more at Eb&Flow and follow @honoluluchris on Instagram. Performance photos by Brooklyn Benjestorf. Intro and street style photos by Angela Sumner. Additional photos by Justin Abbott.]