Friday, September 12, 2014

Hopscotch '14 Review

The much anticipated Hopscotch Music Festival is beyond a week behind us and recovery is just now being reached.  This three day musical carnival for fans and artists was full of surprises, fun, and endless music.  It was of course impossible to catch all of the acts, but we have some highlights of the shows that were experienced.

Music from of all different genres were absorbed on Thursday, but there was one performance in particular that really made an impact:  Museum Mouth.  They played at an intensely packed Slim's to a crowd that was excited to get Hopscotch underway. This indie punk rock trio held nothing back as they made their way through their latest album, Alex I Am Nothing, and some of their older fan favorites.  The crowd sang and bounced along to every beat of the drum of this high-energy show.

After some extreme hydrating, it was time to experience all that Hopscotch had to offer on their Friday lineup.  There were so many notable bands on this schedule that it was like choosing between a best friend and significant other.  Ultimately, Sinners and Saints won as our first show of the night, after the stunning sets from St. Vincent and Spoon, of course.  Sinners and Saints is a two-piece from Charlotte, NC.  They bring together folk and bluegrass with genuine lyrics that reach every soul. Couple this singable music with Perry Fowler and Mark Baran who both have a subtle yet remarkable stage presence.  Being a part of their audience was like making two new friends.  Between songs, they'd share stories, interact with the crowd, and partake in whiskey shots purchased by fans.  Sinners and Saints are only getting started in the area, so catch them when you can.  Check out their website for upcoming local shows.

Also playing at Lincoln Theatre Friday night was the Durham band, Loamlands.  I didn't know too much about this group before seeing them, so I was delighted once the sweet sound of the guitar paired with the southern charm of lead singer, Kym Register, started.  The band is comprised of Register and Will Hackney who bring in alternating members to complete the group.  Register's lyrics are purely heartfelt and she delivers them with an intense vulnerability that leaves her emotionally exposed. This is gritty southern rock at its finest.

On Saturday I ventured out to The Pour House for some day partying.  This is where I experienced my absolute favorite performance of the weekend.  Landlady, coming to us from Brooklyn, played a set that took the audience on a mystifying musical journey.  After a highly entertaining and comedic sound check, lead singer, Adam Schatz broke into "Under the Yard", singing of sheep, girls, and tomato seeds, and somehow it all made perfect sense.  The dramatically captivating lyrics meshed with the fierceness of the drums created a show that was mesmerizing.  Few bands have the ability to reach  such an array of emotions, but Landlady exhibits every sentiment from laughter to sorrow to excitement.  Experiencing a Landlady show live is essential, no music bucket list is complete without it.

While the expansive offering of new and unique music was the highlight of Hopscotch 2014, the most memorable aspect was the combined respect of the music community; bands and fans came together nightly to appreciate the hard labor of artists from every background and genre. For us at The Triangle Beat,  it was a surreal moment to stand alongside the same people that we've reviewed and interviewed this past year, and to finally meet photographers and venue owners that we normally only communicate with via social media. Now, we lie in wait with great anticipation for year six of the Hopscotch Music Festival and can only imagine the great memories that experience will provide. Until then, relive Hopscotch '14 through our amazing slideshow provided by our photog in training, Chris Jones. 

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