Friday, September 23, 2011

Hopscotch '11 In Retrospect

So after allowing myself a week to really absorb the events that transpired at Hopscotch (that's code for eating snack cakes and lounging around all week because seeing live music all weekend takes something out of us bloggers) I can sit back and appreciate all of the great things I got to experience at this year's Hopscotch Festival.  So here is The Bottom String's Top 6 Hopscotch Moments:

6. Shit Horse
Shit Horse was a glorious spectacle for the beginning of my second day of Hopscotch.  I got to check out their set at OdessaFest and semi-naked Horse-Women ran around while Shit Horse rocked on.  It woke me up to say the least.  My cohorts Kyle and Terry were phenomenally excited for Shit Horse and after catching the set I can understand why.  They've got a unique charisma that makes their stage presence alone worthy of the money you'd pay to check them out.  They've got that awesome indie punk vibe going on that's sort of Odessa tinged through and through.  It's an awesome sound that resonates in new ways with each individual band.

5. The Flaming Lips
Thes headliners of City Plaza on Saturday night put on a show that will be remembered for the rest of my life and I'm sure the same goes to say for many others in attendance.  The band was a true spectacle and Coyne proved that legend of his showmanship  is much more than just that, it's factual.  Through balloons, streamers, dancers, and birthday celebrations, Wayne Coyne and crew made their mark on downtown Raleigh with a full-moon hanging overhead, implanting joy in the hearts and ears of the thousands in attendance.

4. Ben Sollee

Ben Sollee was an act that left me floored, a name that I'd heard before and had been recommended but had purposefully steered clear of to get an more accurate portrayal of what he's about with a live introduction to his music.  I'm glad I did.  Watching Sollee work his pop mastery on his cello was joyous to say the least, he so easily blends classical elements and styles with contemporary folk/americana and pop melodies capped off with his soothing and soulful vocal stylings.  Check out our capture of his performance of "Hurting" at The Rosebuds & Friends Day Party off of his newest album Inclusions

3. T0W3RS
T0W3RS may be one of the bands that can capitalize the most from this year's Hopscotch.  Between all of the help they've gotten with DiggUp Tapes after they released their cover of Lonnie Walker's "Summertime" and the stellar set they performed at The Hive, which was downright uncomfortably crowded, T0W3RS could very well leap towards the limelight of the local scene.  In only their second live set it seemed as if they'd already gotten the live cohesion down, they meshed well together and Derek even hopped on an amp from time to time.  If it weren't for sound issues resulting in a severe lack of backup vocals up then I'd say the set was near flawless, but so it goes.  This energetic and talented group is one to keep your eyes on.

2. Dinosaur Feathers

Between one of the most packed out shows I've ever attended at Kings, an intimate session in Marsh's Woodwinds and this awesome Bottom String Session that we filmed in the parking lot, Dinosaur Feathers was the highlight of more than one day of my weekend.  Their pitch perfect harmonies, heavenly melodies, and jaunting rhythms drive the listeners through an overwhelming live experience that needs to be seen.  Allegedly they'll be back in October so mark it on your calendars.

1. Lost in the Trees & Bombadil
The one-two punch of Bombadil and Lost in the Trees was enough to steal the entire festival for me.  The long awaited return of Bombadil to the Triangle's music was magical to say the least.  Fletcher Opera Hall housed two of the most beautiful sets of Hopscotch this year with these two Triangle favorites.  From old favorites to tracks from their upcoming November 8 release of All That The Rain Promises, Bombadil lead the crowd om chants along with the band's mighty choruses.  The perfect way to top it off was with the final Lost in the Trees set that the Triangle will see for the rest of 2011.  It was a fitting way to close out Hopscotch with two of North Carolina's most intimate bands performing in one of the more grandiose settings of the whole event.  It's a testament to the integrity of the local scene that amongst international acts, amongst bands that rarely come through the Triangle, these two locals were most likely the brightest moment for most in attendance at Fletcher on Saturday.

No comments:

Post a Comment