1.Seattle's Capitol Hill Block Party

1/12

Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood is the hard-partying heart of the city's music scene, and this past weekend the 14th annual Capitol Hill Block Party brought some 20,000 people into the streets to watch more than 60 bands over three gloriously sunny days, including MGMT, Atmosphere, the Dead Weather, and Yeasayer. The Block Party is also an important incubator of local talent, a national-caliber festival proud of its hometown roots.

For such a compact event—a mere three city blocks—Block Party offered astounding musical variety. Culled from a weekend of superlatives, here's our best of the best. -- Jonathan Zwickel

SEE OUR 10 BEST MOMENTS

2.Seattle's Capitol Hill Block Party

2/12

Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood is the hard-partying heart of the city's music scene, and this past weekend the 14th annual Capitol Hill Block Party brought some 20,000 people into the streets to watch more than 60 bands over three gloriously sunny days, including MGMT, Atmosphere, the Dead Weather, and Yeasayer. The Block Party is also an important incubator of local talent, a national-caliber festival proud of its hometown roots.

For such a compact event—a mere three city blocks—Block Party offered astounding musical variety. Culled from a weekend of superlatives, here's our best of the best. -- Jonathan Zwickel

SEE OUR 10 BEST MOMENTS

3.Most Masterful Performance: The Dead Weather

3/12

From the first moment the Dead Weather hit the stage, it was clear the three-man, one-woman supergroup operates at an entirely different level than the rest of us. Their swagger, their intensity, and their professionalism were true rock-star caliber. Wraithlike singer Alison Mosshart smoldered so deeply she seemed ready to combust, while Jack White owned the stage even while seated behind the drum kit. "The Difference Between Us" from this year's Sea of Cowards brought the sun down Sunday evening, an ass-kicking closer to a kickass weekend.

4.Most Prolonged Buildup: MGMT

4/12

MGMT hasn't fully figured out how to translate their gonzo psychedelic pop to the stage and the extended jams on Congratulations don't necessarily lend themselves to an electrifying show. Strung together over 45 minutes, those songs had Friday's crowd—the biggest for any band all weekend—craving a kick-ass finale, which came in the form of the 20-minute set-closer: "Time to Pretend" into "Brian Eno" into "Kids" whiplashed the audience into overdrive. In the middle of the throng, someone yelled, "This isn't a mosh pit, it's a dance party!" At that point the distinction was moot.

5.Best Duran Duran Impersonation: Yeasayer

5/12

Yeasayer's Friday afternoon set on the main stage left little doubt about the Brooklyn band's influences. "Ambling Alp" and "O.N.E." from this year's Odd Blood shined day-glo bright. Swathed in smoke and wearing sunglasses, the band—core trio backed by a couple extra musicians—translated Odd Blood's elaborate compositions to the stage and ignited the crowd in the process.

6.Most Embarrassing Influence: Holy Fuck

6/12

If it were 1997, Holy Fuck would be called a jam band. In 2010, dudes crowd-surf to their hypnotic, electronic climax-rock. The Canadian quartet's Friday evening main stage set was one of the best of the fest, leaning heavily on material from their just-released Latin. On

7.Most Intimate Performance: !!!

7/12

All weekend, local coffee roasters Caffe Vita and Seattle pubic radio station KEXP hosted special sessions in Vita's tiny, hidden Bean Room. The best was by disco-punk agitators !!!, which saw singer Nic Offer dry-humping some in the flabbergasted front row during "Must Be the Moon" and dancing atop 50-lb sacks of coffee beans stacked halfway to the rafters.

8.Most Patriotic Band: Truckasauras

8/12

Seattle electro-rockers Truckasauras maxed out Neumos soundsystem in the best possible way. The whisky-swilling quartet was decked out in American flag bandanas and projecting glitchy video footage of Hulk Hogan, Rambo, and Lethal Weapon on a pair of backdrop screens, surreal visual stimuli to accompany their stomping instrumentalism. Of all the local bands at Block Party, Truckasauras took home the MVP trophy.

9.Best Family Feud: Jaguar Love and Past Lives

9/12

Glam-punk trio Jaguar Love (pictured above) and seductive art-punk quartet Past Lives are direct descendants from the Blood Brothers, a beloved (and now defunct) hardcore band from the east side suburbs of Seattle. Fans are split down the middle: Jaguar Love's Johnny Whitney's rubbery screech could've freaked out a weasel in heat, but dammit if J-Love's Vera Stage set wasn't as catchy as Aqua Net. Inside Neumos on Saturday, Past Lives played it cool, sounding like a neurotic, next-generation Velvet Underground.

10.Most Ferocious Mosh Pit: Black Breath

10/12

Seattle metalsmiths Black Breath has been getting attention for their Southern Lord-released Heavy Breathing; playing on the small Vera Stage on Saturday, the hirsute quintet proved worthy of the hype. Launching into "Eat the Witch"—"this song is about my favorite snack," said singer Nate McAdams by way of introduction—they incited a brutal, co-ed circle pit that ended up swallowing McAdams by the end of the song.

11.Most Incestuous Musicians: Maldives

11/12

Seattle bands share members like festival bands share microphones, so this weekend members of country-rock heroes the Maldives played with chamber-pop group Grand Hallway and piano-pop newcomers Head and the Heart; Truckasauras and Flexions shared a drummer; Past Lives and Flexions shared a guitarist; and drum major Trent Moorman played with Mad Rad, Fresh Espresso, and Head Like a Kite. These tight-knit connections galvanize Seattle's scene.

12.Best-kept Seattle Secret: Mad Rad

12/12

The winner is a toss up: Party-starting hip-hop crew Mad Rad is a hipster boy band poised for breakout success. They closed out their Sunday main stage set by bringing up a 25-member chorus of local musicians to sing on "My Friends." Shabazz Palaces is the new project from former Digable Planet MC Ishmael Butler, a heady, beat-driven balance of spirituality and militancy. Expect big things from both acts in the near future.