10:30 We snagged a balcony spot at Neumos in anticipation of Jay Reatard. The power trio shredded brutal punk-metal that has the throngs of sweaty metalheads in the crowd going crazy. During the 15 minutes I watched the band I think they blazed through seven songs. The singer/guitarist and the bass player were both playing flying-V guitars and at one point they both did rock slides (a la Jack Black in the Tenacious D film) while riffing on their guitars.
Jay Reatard put on a fierce show and I wanted to see more, but I had to catch the beginning of Vampire Weekend because a rumor was floating around that Gov. Chris “I’m up for re-election” Gregoire would be introducing the band.
10:45 Sure enough, Gov. Gregoire introduced the band. She made a brief statement about getting out the vote for Obama and I think she may have plugged herself as well.
A gubernatorial introduction aside, the crowd was massive for Vampire Weekend and the band played a tight set of its brand of Arfo-infused Anglo-rock. It sounded near identical to the record, which can be a good and bad thing depending on what you expect out of a live performance. Truthfully, Vampire Weekend doesn’t do much for me and I was hoping for a little bit more out of their live show instead of just a replication of their album, so we left the cramped confines of the main stage area and headed to see another band.
11:00 Since Jay Retard wasn’t enough power punk-metal it was on to King Cobra to catch local band The Heavy Hearts, and they were, well, heavy. Mix Fugazi with Pretty Girls Make Graves and you’re almost there. The one thing that set these guys apart from other power punk-metal bands is that they have two bass players, which creates an extremely dense, deep low-end sound.
Like the rest of the Block Party, the Heavy Hearts were loud, heavy and sweaty. Their set featured the only mosh pit of the day I witnessed, which showed me Capitol Hill hipsters actually know how to slam dance.