Monday, September 20, 2010

Hopscotch 09/09/2010-09/11/2010

Taken during Broken Social Scene, Nikon F, Film.

Hopscotch - One-hundred thirty bands in three days, that's the promise of the Hopscotch Music Festival in downtown Raleigh this weekend. It is set to be the biggest music festival in the history of North Carolina. Essentially curated by the Indy's Grayson Currin Hopscotch 2010 was an ecclectic and great bunch of music. From gritty rock to electronica, hip hop and everything inbetween. What was unique about Hopscotch was that the record companies and downtown establishments and businesses in Raleigh sponsored day parties in which many of the highlighted bands played for free to afternoon concert goers. Some of the highlights for me for the entire weekend happend at just such shows. As an example the "Friend Island" day party at the Pour House on Friday the 10th featured Collections of Colonies of Bees, All Tiny Creatures, Pattern is Movement, Family Dynamics and Megafaun and Breathe Owl Breathe. The entire afternoon was well attended by more polite than usual concert goers and the added attentiveness brought out
great performances. The Megafaun performance I saw that day was one of the best I've ever seen. They were beyond inspired and delivered an emotional full-throated punch throughout their set. Friday night brought for me Rosebuds, Broken Social Scene, Panda Bear a quick trip to Slims to see Austin Texas' own Followed by Static (very original music for cello and rock band) and then back to the Pour House for Ryan Gustafeson and Sharon Van Etten. A full day by any stretch and I left early at that.

Saturday started right back at the Pour House where I attended the Trecky Records day party which consisted of; With Butterflies, Embarrassing Fruits, Sharon Van Etten, Midtown Dickens and Lost in the Trees. A super inspired set from Sharon Van Etten who I felt had her Hopscotch sea-legs after playing the night before and put on an even more relaxed and beautiful program that afternoon. This was quickly followed by one of the most manic Midtown Dickens sets I've seen. Inspired and ecclectic it was fun to watch. For me the highlight of the day, maybe the weekend, was seeing Lost in the Trees put on a gripping, tight, extremely musical set of songs where they, like Megafaun the day before, quickly exceeded any previous performance I had seen. (and I have seen some very, very good ones) Then it was off to the main stage to see No Age and Public Enemy (!). The show was easily stolen that night by the Helping Hand Marching Band who marched through the crowd before Public Enemy took the stage with a step crew a flag brigade and a drumline complete with drum major. They were amazing, all the moves and the dancing. Then it was off to Tir Na Nog to see electro-pop from Motor Skills and Tiger City, followed by a walk to the Lincoln Theatre to see NOMO and some of Bear in Heaven before calling it a night.

Easily 18 bands in 2 days is enough for anyone.