Nestled in the shaded corner of 11th and Pine in Seattle's
Capitol Hill neighborhood, Maktub
(pictured right) takes the stage. Like the parasol of clouds
losing its battle with the persistent sun, throngs of local
hipsters begin to let their guard down as Seattle's best funk
band slowly coalesce with a typically jaded Seattle crowd.
Arms become unfolded, smiles spread, and hips begin to shake.
Shimmering sun and knock-down grooves pour down simultaneously,
setting the tone for what turned out to be the best Capitol
Hill Block Party to date.
Pacific Northwest Branch of the Recording Academy, local
alternative paper, The
Stranger, and Seattle's
KEXP 90.3 FM, this year's Capitol Hill Block Party combined
great music: Mudhoney,
The Lion, Maktub, Botch,
Gossip, and Carissa's Weird (pictured left); social and
political awareness: Home
JAMPAC; music education: Grammy In The Streets; and of
course, lots and lots of beer.
Mackie Designs provided the sound system for this event. Mackie needed
to put together a system that would provide crystal-like clarity and chest
thumping power to cover a whole city block. Fussion was the obvious choice.
Front of House speakers included two Fussion
3000s, two Fussion 1800Ss
and 1800SAs, and two
SR1530s. That's 10,000 watts
of power, and nary an external power amp in site! A SR408
was used as the FOH mixer. Stage monitors included various SRM450s
and ART500As and was mixed
with a SR244-VLZ PRO.
The almost ten hours of music was documented on a HDR24/96
hard disk recorder.
host of Mackoids volunteered their time to make sure the show
went on without a hitch. The mix was unbelievable thanks to
FOH sound engineer Jeff Taylor (pictured right). John Boudreau,
Greg Young and Scott Bennett made sure every band's monitor
mix was perfect, Jane Novak was the monster coordinatormaking
sure everything ran smoothly, and Kevin Johnson made sure
that each band was set up and tore down with the utmost efficiency.
The PNW Branch of the Recording Academy kicked things off
Friday afternoon with three Grammy professional education
panels featuring top names in the business like Susan Silver,
Keith Olsen, Carrie Akre, and Sue Ennis. Panel topics included
Artist Management, Touring, and Songwriting.
A Recording Academy Industry Reception followed, with all
sorts of industry pros mingling and talking shop.
And of course, there was the music. Saturday's lineup provided
plenty of memorable moments. The delicate melodies of Carissa's
Weird followed by Reggie Watts' Stevie Wonder from Venus
voice pushing and pulling Maktub's airtight grooves in unexpected
directions. Pedro The Lion delivering a nearly perfect set
of powerful and emotional songs, and Botch scaring the pants
off the crowd with their intense, explosive, and loud set.
Did I forget to mention loud? A true highlight was watching
Quasi's Janet Weiss and Sam Coomes maneuver effortlessly through
one pop gem after another. The show wrapped up with Seattle
legends Mudhoney reminding us why the world starting paying
attention to the Seattle music scene in the first place over
ten years ago.
As the sun set over Elliott Bay, the crowd dispersed, many
to their favorite Capitol Hill restaurants and watering holes.
For those who didn't get enough music, The
Bad Ju Ju Lounge kept the party going with more Seattle
favorites including The
Catheters, Aveo, and eXBeSTFRIends. Meanwhile, Mackoid
Scott Bennett, manning a SR324-VLZ
PRO, made sure the sound from the SR1530s
was clear and pumping, keeping spirits high and bodies grooving
the all the way up until closing time.