Surveying this year’s Whiteaker Block Party music schedule (12 stages!), it’s hard to know where to start. So EW put together its own music itinerary. Call it a tour-guide or a list of must-see acts you don’t want to miss at the year’s biggest — and really only — showcase of local talent. You can’t see it all, but if you see anything, consider these suggestions. The WBP runs noon to 10 pm Saturday, Aug. 5, and revolves around the corner of 3rd and Van Buren in, of course, the Whit.
First, kicking off the Main Stage at noon is the ethereal and grimly beautiful folk-pop of Betty and The Babes, featuring Betreena Jaeger, formerly of Betty and the Boy. What to see next is a tough call: If intense psychedelic-yet-minimal dream rock interests you, head from the Main Stage over to the Ninkasi Stage to catch Snow White at 1:15 pm. But if math-y, prog-influenced instrumental rock sounds more your style, stick around at Main for Childspeak.
At 2 pm, the choice gets trickier because Holler House, who sound like The Rolling Stones-via-The-Strokes, plays G Spot. But at 2:30 pm Pancho + The Factory bring their punk rock carnival act to Main Stage. Try to catch a little of both sets if you can. At 3:45 the locals rule is broken when SUB POP recording artist Avi Buffalo plays indie folk-pop at the Ninkasi Stage. And over on the Blairally Stage, veteran local indie rockers Ferns play at 4 pm. At 5 pm, see the endearingly spastic, often instrumental Thom Simon at G Spot.
The 6 o’clock hour gets really tricky. Lace up your Converse and bring water because it’s going to take some walking to catch even some of the great bands playing after 6 pm. At 6:15 on Ninkasi Stage, hear the synth pop Spectrum Lake. But also at 6, the caustic, Nirvana-esque Critical Shakes play Uncle Brad’s Secret Stage. And Dick Dagger brings Swedish-style garage rock to G Spot. In fact, you’d be served well by camping out at G Spot for the rest of the night because following Dick Dagger are indie rockers Surfs Drugs, Surf rock act Egotones and psych-rockers Sacred Trees.
Local Cramps cover band Steel Kitty plays The Other Stage at 6:30 pm, and if heavy music is your thing, try Athiarchists at Uncle Brad’s Secret Stage at 7:30. These of course are only some of the great bands with all sorts of styles playing this year. There are too many to mention them all, but a quick round-up would include: Marv Ellis and the We Tribe, High Step Society, Sol Seed, Medium Troy, Black Magdelene, Bazil Rathbone, Soul Vibrator, Candy Apple Bleu and The Shifts.
Or perhaps just disregard all this and wander from stage to stage. After all, how else will you discover your next favorite local band? And maybe next year, they’ll headline the Block Party.
For a full musical lineup go to whiteakerblockparty.com where you can also download and print a free LTD bus pass. All shows are free and all-ages.