After a two-year pandemic hiatus, Capitol Hill Block Party made its resounding comeback this weekend. For three days, thousands of trendy-looking festivalgoers swarmed the Pike/Pine corridor in the heat to watch 100-plus acts across eight stages. This year’s lineup was noticeably less ~*~*~indie rock~~~** than in previous years, with organizer Daydream State filling out the festival with more electronic and regional acts. 

Huge international artists like Diplo and 100 gecs probably drew the biggest crowds, but in my estimation, some of the best moments came from local acts: Seattle underground pop star Archie finally got her due on the CHBP’s main stage. In a wig so big it needed its own postal code, she was flanked by two rows of dancers. Meanwhile, at Barboza, Jane Don’t hosted a drag show with cheeky nods to Charli XCX and girls jumping into the splits onstage. And Tacoma’s Enumclaw performed for a giant crowd on the Vera Stage, squirting water guns into the audience and giving out CDs with unreleased tracks on them like it was 2002.

I also noticed how calm and unresponsive the crowd seemed. On Friday night, rapper Flo Milli’s energetic set could barely get any “woos” from the first several rows. Ditto Charli XCX and Toro y Moi, two artists with huge local fanbases. My fellow attendees stood watching like cold potatoes! While a lot has changed about the world since the pandemic began, maybe it’s a little reassuring to see that Seattle still has some of the most sedated crowds in the world. It’s the weed! 

If you missed out on the fun, we took some photos for your viewing pleasure: 

Bibloteka took over the Neumos stage on Friday. Have you listened to their new album Pretty Ugly yet? / JP MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Downstairs in Barboza, Jane Don’t hosted a drag show featuring her closest friends. Here, Rowan Ruthless got down to “Baby” by Charli XCX. Not pictured: climbing on top of Barboza’s bar. / JP MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Over on the mainstage, Flo Milli ate all the girls up with her incisive, raunchy rhymes. My only gripe had nothing to do with the rapper, but the crowd. Everyone seemed so sedated! They weren’t hyping her up enough for me. / JP MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY
And capping the night off was none other than Charli XCX herself. In the middle of her set, she said she’d only gotten to Seattle an hour before her performance. But if Charli was exhausted or stressed, you certainly couldn’t tell. She and her two backup dancers danced their hearts out to a career-ranging set list. I did, indeed, lose my shit.  / JP MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY
On Saturday, Seattle’s The Black Tones had a mainstage spot during the day. Here, Eva Walker and her brother, Cedric, look like they are having a pretty good time. Their mom was on tambourine duty. / JP MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Crowds packed the Pike/Pine corridor. Everyone wore their festival best. / JP MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Enumclaw stepped up to the Vera Stage on Saturday. Fresh off their tour with Toro y Moi (!!!), the Tacoma band played unreleased cuts off their upcoming album, Save the Baby. At the end of their performance, their media team chucked plastic CD cases from the stage (scary!) and squirted water guns at the crowd (fun!). / JP MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY
And over on the mainstage, Toro y Moi and his very ’90s hat serenaded the crowd with chill, inventive tunes. I was a bit too far away to see, but under that coat he’s wearing an Enumclaw T-shirt. / JP MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY
On Sunday, Remi Wolf treated the crowd to her special psychedelic blend of R&B, pop, and funk. Also, are weird hats in right now? / JP MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Though Capitol Hill Block Party is certainly a disruption to the normal rhythms of the neighborhood, isn’t it still better than having cars zoom through? / JP MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Seattle’s La Fonda performed at Neumos, decked out in Marc Jacobs’ Heaven line. Absolute perfection! / JP MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY