Moving away from the angsty-ness of my earlier post I decided to put up some constructive criticism of the CHBP. Now I've never been that huge a fan of festival type shows before but a few hold a special place in my heart, and CHBP is certainly one of them.
What the open air takeover of the main drag of Capitol Hill in Seattle for a day and a half manages to do what most concert promoters should look to emulate is create an all ages venue that doesn't feel strictly under-16 oriented. But that could also have something to do with the great people at the Vera Project having a hand in the Seattle music scene for some time now.
With just three stages, and one specifically over-21 it truly was an all ages event, which is definitely something my high school self would have benefited from way back when. Even so, all the braces, acne, terrible haircuts, and squeaky voices made me feel both old and grateful that I had the freedom to go where ever I chose and drink whatever I wanted to.
But getting down to the acts, I only went one day, Saturday, and only for a few hours at that, but enough time to see The Thermals, The Gossip, and Sonic Youth. I went basically just to see Sonic Youth and only Sonic Youth, but the other two bands were an added bonus to getting to see one of my favorite bands ever.
The Thermals are an easy enough band to like, they play fast catchy songs that are accessible to anyone with even the slightest ear for music and basically apart of the repertoire for anyone who claims to listen to punk. They are fun to listen to and watch. They don't really arouse much emotion or other thoughts in me.
The Gossip was a rollicking good time. Beth Ditto is probably the best front-person in the past decade, and obviously the best of our generation as far as rock goes. She draws you in and keeps your attention the entire time she is on stage, and you completely enjoy giving her the attention. Circling through their hits the absolute high point was the band's cover of Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody." Although I gotta say it was one of the first moments I felt old, because absolutely none of the kids who showed up to watch the Gossip knew any of the words to the song, while anyone obviously my age or older was seriously rocking out.
The second moment I felt old that night was when about 90% of the people under twenty left the main stage after The Gossip's set, while the rest of us moved in to watch the dozens of guitars get loaded on stage.
If there's one adjective that can sum up Sonic Youth's career at this point is that Sonic Youth is damn cool. They are years away from collecting social security but they still manage to be just... fucking cool. While I loved the songs from the new album I would have rather seen a longer set and one incorporating songs from the past albums, the ones that made me fall in love with the band. But man, I got to see Sonic Youth perform. What a fuckin' deal.