Live at the Capitol Hill Block Party, Day 3: The Posies

photos by Brittney Bush Bollay

It’s never been a better time than now to hear The Posies. And you already are, in so many other bands sparked by them, who channel their Hollies-soaring vocals and Big Star-stuffed guitars. Yes, Seattle has always been a fertile ground for smart, sad, catchy power pop with a personal feel a la Posies, but local groups like Curtains For You and national bands obviously carry the torch lit specifically by guitarists/songwriters Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow. Since their relentless first release, Failure, The Posies have lived up to their present-it-to-your-girlfriend-name by being the uplifting, scarred-heart-on-the-sleeve statesmen of cranked up basic pop rockarolla. “Actually, I didn’t like the name at all,” Stringfellow once told Sound Opinions’ Greg Kot, “but now I almost like it because it bugs people, because it’s so uncool, so untough.” After their legendary, lachrymose, but irresistible Dear 23 drew kids from neighboring bergs into the city not eager to frantically mosh but instead to celebrate regular heartbreak and harmonies in more straight-ahead fashion, we have a legacy of Long Winters, Harvey Dangers, and Death Cabs to thank them for. Their resurrection at the CHBP 2011 is proof that some want to experience the source of the city’s underground pop DNA first hand.

The Posies started Day 3 off with a bang, ripping into their hit “So Caroline” in front of a crowded early-afternoon Bean Room. With their tightly-knit harmonies, explosive instrumentation, and Jon Auer’s delicate vocals giving their sound it’s distinctive gentle touch, The Posies had no trouble reminding everyone just where the Northwest power pop movement began. One of the bands that is most directly influenced by The Posies is Visqueen, so it was appropriate when their always-charming front woman Rachel Flotard joined The Posies on stage to lend her voice to “Licenses to Hide.” Not surprisingly, with Flotard on board the song became an even more ear-pleasing effusion of The Posies’ signature vocal harmonizing. After Flotard’s cameo, The Posies finished their six-song set off with “Glitter Prize” and “Enewetak” to a hearty round of applause. If you couldn’t catch their performance from the Bean Room, fear not! They’ll be playing a full, hour-long set on the Main Stage at 3:30 PM.

Rachel Flotard with The Posies

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One Comment

  1. Britty
    Posted July 26, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Great shots!

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