One in, one out: Hopscotch 2013 Day 2 highlights | Music
INDY Week's music blog

Archives | RSS

Saturday, September 7, 2013

One in, one out: Hopscotch 2013 Day 2 highlights

Posted by on Sat, Sep 7, 2013 at 1:19 PM

click to enlarge A teenage Michael Quattlebaum of Raleigh, as he appeared in a 2002 INDY Week feature. Quattlebaum is now known as Mykki Blanco. - FILE PHOTO BY ALEX MANESS
  • File photo by Alex Maness
  • A teenage Michael Quattlebaum of Raleigh, as he appeared in a 2002 INDY Week feature. Quattlebaum is now known as Mykki Blanco.
Last night at Hopscotch was a night of one in, one out. Even early on, during Seattle's Rose Windows, the now much smaller Berkeley Cafe had a line out front; Slim's, that night's home of metal, was the same way all night.

And even on the City Plaza Stage, during Future Islands' set, came the announcement that New York rapper and chef extraordinaire Action Bronson threw his back out and wouldn't be at Lincoln Theatre; his slot had been filled by old school hip-hop veteran Big Daddy Kane: Kane in, Bronson out.

With Bronson the centerpiece of my loosely fleshed-out evening plans and Vattnet Viskar and Pig Destroyer two Slim's-based must-sees, Friday's one in, one out nature threw my game off a bit. This isn't to say it cast a pall on my evening; Future Islands, for instance, brought club-size passion to an arena-sized space. Vocalist Samuel Herring, sporting an Indiana Jones outfit (sans hat and whip), stalked the stage like an evangelical preacher, slapping the stage and howling.

Low-lidded synth-rockers Suuns sounded expectedly thick and menacing, playing a righteous set despite the distraction of a half-dozen surprisingly rude audience members throwing glow sticks in the humble little Berkeley Cafe. And, before a receptive crowd at Kennedy Theater, Massachusetts outfit Speedy Ortiz brought house show energy and recklessness—without sacrificing fairly astounding technicality.

But I wouldn't have been at Speedy Ortiz if I'd made it into Vattnet Viskar; rather than wait in line, I tagged along with a friend passing by and caught one of the best sets of my night. And, importantly, if Action Bronson had played I wouldn't have caught the high point of my night, Mykki Blanco at CAM, which was also scheduled for 11:30 p.m.

I headed to CAM a bit aimlessly after Speedy Ortiz, only wishing to catch some hip-hop. Instead, I found the show of the night. Inside, Mykki stalked the stage in shining black vinyl skirt, waving the mic stand now like a weapon, now like a crucifix, and ranting, wild-eyed and confrontational about mysticism and gender discomfort. (Last year's capstone moment was an abrasive, if under-attended, set by Memphis MC Cities Aviv, and I got the same feel within minutes of entering CAM.)

The start of Mykki's performance was intentionally antagonistic, which served to drive out casual audience members and unite those who dig this performer-audience dynamic. Over clubland-descended beats, Mykki gyrated and strutted, her performance equal parts drag show and punk-rap confrontation; it was amazing. At one point, she climbed the stage-side speaker towers, grabbed the rafters, and hung from them by her legs, easily 15 or 20 feet in the air.

But the set ended with Mykki inviting the audience onstage to dance with her, deftly reversing the confrontational dynamic and replacing it with a message of unity.

[Ed.: Mykki Blanco, née Michael Quattlebaum, is a Raleigh native whose prodigious gifts while a student at Enloe High School were recognized more than a decade ago by this paper.]

And I wouldn't have followed my gut and headed to CAM had Action Bronson made it to town—just like I likely wouldn't have made Speedy Ortiz had there been a shorter line to see Vattnet Viskar.

While the one in, one out factor of this seemingly busiest Hopscotch raises questions about whether certain bands are in large enough rooms for their respective audiences, it's what I have to thank for two of the best sets of my weekend.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pin It


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

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


I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Revive is my people. If folks were offended by this, I can assure you it wasn't intentional. Revive Music was …

by Matthew Allen on Art of Cool Festival, Night One: Revive Big Band's Music-History Concert Leaves Out Women to an Absurd Degree (Music)

Small crowds like the one in Utrecht The Netherlands where I was with my 7 year young daughter may be …

by George Hendriks on The blues of Randall Bramblett's career-long cult status—and the promise of his new Devil Music (Music)

Wow! I am speechless. Skylar that was amazing! You are very talented. I love your vocal range and passion. Thank …

by Rita Romaine Rakestraw on Video Premiere: Phil Cook and Skylar Gudasz Nod to Alice Gerrard in New Tribute Clips (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