Hopscotch, Night Two: Making the Most of a Musical Smorgasbord | Music
INDY Week's music blog

Archives | RSS

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Hopscotch, Night Two: Making the Most of a Musical Smorgasbord

Posted by on Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 10:38 AM

click to enlarge Run the Jewels - PHOTO COURTESY OF MELT! BOOKING
  • Photo courtesy of Melt! Booking
  • Run the Jewels
Hopscotch Music Festival
Downtown Raleigh
Friday, September 8, 2017

Despite the growth of Hopscotch, over its eight years of existence, Friday proved that the festival’s hallmarks—its diverse smorgasbord of options and its ability to remind that North Carolina’s scene can compete on the same platform as national acts—are as intact as ever.

Speaking with Nathan Price a couple of weeks before the festival, the new Hopscotch executive director mentioned his goal of trying to avoid pitting two acts of the same genre against one another as the festival grows—“you’ll end with two metal shows at the same time” and pull fans in too many directions, he suggested.

While that’s logical from a booking perspective, Hopscotch’s appeal for the weekend-long attendee seems to have less to do with presenting consistent bills of one genre and more with offering an array of strong options to suit whichever musical craving hits. The jarring shifts from one style to another, vastly different one is among the festival’s most satisfying experiences.

Friday, for instance, that meant chasing Run The Jewel’s tough, incisive rap bangers at a haze-filled Red Hat Amphitheater by Future Island’s electronic dance party in City Plaza, then flipping the switch with a back-to-back cool down at Fletcher thanks to Dylan Earl’s twangy, new traditional country and Monk Parker’s mournful, moody roots elegance. That the night could have just as easily gone in a myriad of other directions, though, depending on which whims I was feeling is what makes Hopscotch so much fun. Tossing aside pre-planned detours into Neptunes for indie pop, my night was capped instead by Lee Fields & The Expressions’ show-stopping soul revue and Whores’ brutal, unrelenting sludge.

Looking around each venue, it was still a little surprising to always recognize a face—or a few—in the crowd, despite my disjointed approach to the evening; scanning social media proved that nearly everyone I was connected with who was at the festival also spent their Friday like they were listening to their music collection on shuffle. It was evidence again that Hopscotch can be most satisfying for those with eclectic tastes willing to go where the night takes them.

Meanwhile, for those without wristbands, the afternoon also proved that Hopscotch can deliver just as well with the locals that often fill the day parties. Previewing next year’s debut LP, Bat Fangs ripped and shredded through hooky garage tunes tinged by power pop and eighties hard rock after Phil Cook presented a special solo set rife with Randy Newman covers. Seabreeze Diner’s jittery jangles were as catchy as anything I saw all day, while Reese McHenry, backed by the bar band muscle of Spider Bags, rattled Slim’s with a powerful performance that’ll likely end up as my favorite of the weekend. Though Greenville ex-pats Future Islands didn’t seem to energize the City Plaza crowd to the same degree as Sylvan Esso did last year—at least not until the back-to-back surge prompted by singles “Seasons (Waiting On You)” and “Old Friend”—Friday showed once again the Triangle’s artists hold their own against the nation’s best.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music

Twitter Activity


yaah this is good posting article feeeling …

by Health Care Guide For Men & Women on Live: Top-Notch Bluegrass from the Soggy Bottom Boys in O Brother Mode (Music)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

yaah this is good posting article feeeling …

by Health Care Guide For Men & Women on Live: Top-Notch Bluegrass from the Soggy Bottom Boys in O Brother Mode (Music)

A single noise complaint doesn't mean that they have to leave. Central Park is not and never will be silent.

by ammi on Durham Central Park Issues Statement About the Batalá Durham and Liberty Warehouse Apartments Noise Complaints (Music)

It sounds like one rotten ingredient spoiled the soup last night. I wish Batala Durham luck in obtaining a permit …

by ammi on Batalá Durham Gets Shut Down Again, Even as Liberty Warehouse Residents Offer Support (Music)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation