The Capitol Hill Block Party: I came, I saw, I survived.
The Capitol Hill Block Party: I came, I saw, I survived. ULYSSES CURRY

Hi! My name is Anna and I’m the Stranger’s new music intern. I spent the past three days at my first Capitol Hill Block Party ever, scoping out the sights, sounds and unfortunate smells within the luxurious six blocks of festival grounds. From the Diplo brahs to the misplaced techies, I saw more than I ever would have wanted this weekend. These are my observations: the good, the bad, and the truly offensive.

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Sad boys - Whitney.
Sad boys: Whitney. DAVID ENDICOTT / CHBP

Dear Whitney,

I get that you’re on a tight schedule. And that touring can be draining. But you could at least act like maybe, somewhere deep down inside, you actually wanted to play this festival? I mean, performing two songs without whining is remarkable, but the look of sheer agony on drummer/lead vocalist Julien Ehrlich’s face when he found out that the band was only 12 minutes into their set defined the rest of their performance.

In an attempt to fill out their grueling hour-long slot, Whitney not only played one cover that they themselves said sucked and sounded like 311, but also everyone’s favorite, the theme song to The Golden Girls!

Then Ehrlich took a break to text his girlfriend and complain about their schedule for the rest of the day, including having to make it to SeaTac by 8:30 pm to catch their flight to FYF Fest in Los Angeles the next day.

Once realizing this, he quickly requested tequila shots on top of the half-empty wine bottle already sitting on stage. I can only imagine what they did at FYF the next day. Complain and then sing the theme to Portlandia?

Its just a loud woman playing rock music - dont be afraid.
It's just a loud woman playing rock music - don't be afraid. ULYSSES CURRY

Dear man wearing a camo-brimmed hat at Cherry Glazerr,

It was super sweet when you knew all the words to all the songs! But it wasn’t so sweet when your friends started making fun of the lead singer for her slightly unhinged and alarming stage presence. I feel like Googling articles about a band during their set in order to shit on them further is a bit excessive, especially when it’s rooted in the fact that you’re probably just uncomfortable with a loud woman playing rock music…but, maybe that’s just me.

Again, I'd like to stress how it was really awesome that you totally abandoned her and joined in on a sexist rampage against what was probably one of your favorite bands of the weekend!

Dear Capitol Hill Block Party Security,

Great job this weekend. You really showed the adults who was boss when you caught them drinking outside of the 21-plus fortress walls. I’ve never seen so many completely full beers poured down the trash until every last drop was gone. You really showed those kids, too, when you caught them drinking and clipped their wristbands and threw them out of the festival! And you caught so many people trying to sneak into the festival through Chophouse Row… I could go on and on about how much sin was absolutely destroyed this weekend by security.

Dear Diplo, Trippy Turtle, Snakehips and Co.,

Thank you for your contributions to the music community, and thank you for gracing Capitol Hill with your presence. There is truly nothing like a white dude DJing today’s greatest hits for an hour and getting paid astronomically for it! Also, thank you for bringing out Capitol Hill’s finest.

Dear group of young women who refused to leave the front row spot you secured for Diplo to help your friend who started puking and passing out before Angel Olsen,

Please learn how to have basic human compassion rather than leaving your friend out cold on the concrete.


I will also never forget you, 5’10” man who claimed you couldn't not see over me at Trippy Turtle (I’m 5’3”). Nor will I forget the couple licking each others’ backs before beginning to take off each others’ pants in the middle of the crowd at Run the Jewels.

All amazing humans.

At least there were a couple of redeeming moments...

The ladies of Capitol Hill Block Party killed it. Chicago’s Noname blessed the stage on Friday, delivering raps that just rolled off her tongue with a huge smile. Also switching “Fuck women, get money” to “Respect women, get money”? Genius.

Lizzo brought it.
Lizzo brought it. DAVID ENDICOTT / CHBP

Lizzo and her 30-inch ass were truly unforgettable on Saturday. Managing to only scare a few fragile men towards the end, her set was about empowerment to survivors of all kinds, AND was full of bangers. “Good As Hell” and “Coconut Oil” had the crowd going absolutely insane.

Diet Cig’s Sunday set had a few technical difficulties, but the vocalist/guitarist explained that it was all due to a personal ghost that’s been following her around. Paranormal activity aside, the New York duo makes a lot of noise for only having two people on stage, and Luciano’s high kicks added some extra umph to their punky sounds.

Thank you to the mosh pit angels at the Naked Giants set.
Thank you to the mosh pit angels at the Naked Giants set. ULYSSES CURRY

Naked Giants put on one of my favorite sets of the weekend and really got the crowd at the Vera Stage going, though the unfortunate placing of the mosh pit left many down due to the sidewalk ledge along 11th and Pike. But props to the sweet, sweet moshers who protected anyone who fell and lifted them up before hurling their bodies together again.

But no one was truly safe from the sounds of Naked Giants' swirling guitars and high-powered drums. On the outskirts of the mosh, even I fell victim to a flying man, who nearly took down me and another young woman with him. But inches before hitting the pavement, two gentle souls caught my tiny body as it flew through the air.

Although some pavement battle wounds would have given me more street cred, I’m happy to report that I survived Capitol Hill Block Party 2017.