WXYC Does Hopscotch: Saturday
DJ Cozy Brents memorializes the last hours of Hopscotch in her experience of the festival on Saturday.
HOPSCOTCH 2K13; A SWEET SUMMER WEEKEND NO SENSIBLE PERSON WHO WAS IN ATTENDENCE WILL EVER FORGET. Saturday was a bittersweet day, I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment.
LUCKILY, the raddest and most EXCELLENT Day Party in the long and storied history of Hopscotch day parties was yet to come. Paradise of Bachelors teamed up with our very own XYC to bring the illest set list ever to hit Raleigh Little Theatre. The amphitheater was a perfect backdrop (It backs up to a picturesque rose garden, can you say prom pix?) for a sunny afternoon of live jams.
Starting it off with a reflective bang, visual artist and musician Lonnie Holley, whose weighty and moving lyrical ballads warmed my inner self just about as much as the sun warmed my skin. Holley compared the universe to a swirling pot of gumbo, each individual having a profound impact on the “gumbous universe” that keeps stirring on and on. I managed to get a picture with Holley post-performance; he had been sculpting twist ties and sweetgum balls in between sharing tidbits of philanthropic advice to anyone who approached him. Holley had an overwhelming presence, and in our photo op, had us raise our thumbs to the universe. DEFINITELY one of the most wonderful individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.
I will never look at my thumbs the same way again <3
Following mah boi Lonnie, Birds of Maya bassist Jason Killinger’s side project Spacin’, which was totally funky rock that bled seamlessly into the hazy summer afternoon. Things started to chill out a bit as Pelt and Daniel Bachman took the stage. My own sweet mom and pop ended up coming out, and mom was convinced that the entire act was just Nathan Bowles tuning his banjo (It’s ok mom, acoustic drone is an acquired taste, like fine wine). Definitely a perfect lull between Spacin’ rhythmic rock and roll and The Black Twig Pickers, which seriously induced some inner hoedown inclinations. Promised Land Sound picked up where The Black Twig Pickers left off, bringing more mid-afternoon country, totally jam-able tunes.
I unfortunately missed out on Chris Forsyth (I dipped out for a burrito, so I guess you could say it was worth it), but allegedly he brought some bumpin’ dad rock (and my dad totally dug it, if you were wondering). Steve Gunn followed with some super sweet folk rock; his three man band was really engrossing, some rockin’ dudes who are each singularly extremely talented, definitely one of my favorites of the day. And as the sun set behind us, Birds of Maya (refer to Spacin’) finished out the day with a bang, bringing to the table some real heavy and hardcore rock jams. SO BASICALLY Raleigh Little Theatre was the place to be ALL DAY LONG.
Steve Gunn rockin 0UT
I skipped out on City Plaza on Saturday, choosing instead to start my night off with Moon King at CAM. I’ve lived in the Raleigh area my entire life, spent a many afternoon putzin’ around downtown, yet I had never had the sincere pleasure to enter CAM, a contemporary art museum, on the outskirts of the main downtown drag. It’s white walls and spacious interior might have had the tendency to feel overwhelming, but there was something super great about not being arm to arm with many sweaty people that you’ve never met who are probably drunker than you and are therefore unpredictable. Moon King started promptly at 8:30, playing to an almost empty room at first, which slowly filled throughout their set. The synth rock trio reminded me at times of Lotus Plaza, yet sometimes veered into a Siouxsie and the Banshees type intensity. I totally dug the Moon King vibe; the drummer, reminiscent of the guidance counselor from Freaks and Geeks, and the female guitar lead, who was wearing an oversized black t-shirt and knit shorts, seemed like friends I hadn’t met yet, totally approachable. Moon King gets the “I didn’t even read their description, I just didn’t really want to see Spiritualized, but ended up being one of the top shows of my night” award, YEA DOG.
Following Moon King, I popped over to Ryan Gustafson’s The Dead Tongues, who were playing at Memorial Auditorium. I dig those fluffy stadium seats in Memorial, but am always not totally sure how to react to seeing a jam band while sitting. The Dead Tongues was maybe the most “fun” show I saw Saturday, you could tell these guys just loved playing music, and really thrived off each other’s energies, which was super cool to see. I know The Dead Tongues is composed of all local artists, but I actually recognized one of the guitarists from Carrboro’s own Open Eye Café, YOU GO JOSH, MAKE MUSIC AND MAKE CARBORRO PROUD! Josh Moore makes killer coffee in his spare time, when he’s not making me wiggle in my seat with his infectious folk-rock tunes.
I had the IMMENSE PLEASURE of seeing ONE Richard Youngs track, and then made the rookie mistake of trying to hit David Grubbs before High Wolf (This was my first official year of Hopscotch [I snuck into Laurel Halo last year] and there is totally an art to timing, that comes with experience I hope). But, the Richard Youngs track I DID see was phenomenal. Immersed in his consuming lyrics and circling acoustic drone, I was not surprised to hear later that it was a favorite of Saturday. And if you were wondering, David Grubbs set was late, and I therefore saw a whooping 0 percent of it, ended up leaving for High Wolf empty and cold inside.
And then, High Wolf, oh what Frenchmen do to me. I had listened to a track or two before I saw “Max” of High Wolf, but nothing could have prepared me for how satisfyingly glitchy and so utterly spine-chilling his set was. Playing to a pretty empty bar, the experience was so intimate, as Max fuddled with knobs and so calculatedly drove such a subtly mellifluous electro beat through the crowd. Favorite show of Saturday night, by far, I am seriously listening to High Wolf as I type this, no regretz.
Last show of the night was tough for me; I was so enthralled by High Wolf that I just wanted to groove, but there weren’t a lot of dance options in the late night repertoire. I made the unpopular decision to hit Gent and Jawns at Kings, rather than Sleep, which was ALL THA HYPE. I was running off a vague connection to Diplo as thus described in the Hopscotch schedule, but nothing could have prepared me for the insanity that was Gent and Jawns. Two dudes and their laptop hooked up to a nice speaker system, Gent and Jawns was essentially a less revolting frat party. I have no idea where the people at Gent and Jawns were for the entire rest of hopscotch, because these people were CRAZY. I made it through like 6 beat drops before I just dropped and rolled out, right about the time some dude in a cowboy hat started making out with a chick in a skin tight dress wearing cat ears on Gent and Jawns’ equipment. Definitely a lot of LOL moments, and I don’t regret choosing the dubstep dance party over the stoner metal rock off that was Sleep, but not anything I would likely ever see again.
ALL IN ALL, Hopscotch 2k13 was a TOTAL AND COMPLETE SUCCESS. Like I said before, I’m a Raleigh native, and it makes me elated to think my hometown could bring in such a big crowd and such eclectic lineup. Every single night there were punk, drone, folk, rock, metal, electro, ambient, and hiphop shows going on, so literally something for everyone. I hazard to say Hopscotch was more successful than Bonnaroo 2k13, in my eyes. After one year, I’m hooked 4 lyfe.
(James Franco in Springbreakers voice) HOPSCOTCH 4 EVA