The Top 20 for Your Capitol Hill Block Party Money

Published: July 19, 2019
by Dave Segal
Phantogram, a CHBP headliner you should be grooving down to
Phantogram, a CHBP headliner worth your groove time Charles Reagan

Capitol Hill Block Party is officially upon us. The 23rd edition of the three-day multistage midsummer music festival features more than 60 acts spread over outdoor stages and in clubs around a several-block radius in Seattle's hippest neighborhood. Under-agers sneak in alcohol and weed. Over-agers grumble about dealing with all the young fucks. The crowds on Pike Street often thicken to a claustrophobic's worst nightmare. However, we've managed to make at least one element of your experience manageable: picking which acts to see. Below are the performers who've earned our highest recommendations—the top 20 that'll give you the most bang for your buck and are most likely to cause FOMO among your friends who bailed.


The New York two-piece led by musicians Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter purvey electro rock that culls elements of trip-hop and dream pop, but has surprising teeth. Their synth textures are thick, fuzzy, and room-filling; the pair makes three times as much sound in a live setting as you expect from just two people. Barthel's sweet soprano can be both ethereal and commanding, while Carter's occasional contributions range from straightforward to pitch-shifted and warped (see: "Turn It Off," "Running from the Cops"). He also lends his pipes to new, big-beat-driven, hope-amid-the-melancholy single "Into Happiness," which apparently "embodies the personal journey that both of us have taken since we released [2016's] Three; it's been a long path, coming out of the darkness and into the light." (Fri, 10:45 pm, Main Stage) LEILANI POLK

Indie / Progressive / Jazz
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