Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hopscotch Itinerary: Friday, Sept. 6

Ah, Friday. Even though we're only a day away I'm still stressing out about who I'm going to see, what sets I'm going to cut out of early and who I'll sadly miss all together. Even with this year's cancellations, Friday's lineup is still one of the strongest for a single day that I can remember. Day Parties kick into full effect on Friday and City Plaza starts off in the evening with an eclectic but incredible combination of locally and internationally acclaimed artists.

Since there's no WKNC commitments taking up the afternoon, Friday is thankfully a day entirely dedicated to bouncing around venues for some of the incredible Day Party showings. There's some local goodness of all varieties that'll be performing in downtown Raleigh this afternoon, so I'll surely be making my rounds throughout most of the day parties.

The Pinhook has teamed up with Cirque Du Vol Studios for an afternoon filled with some of the area's most talented female artists like Shirlette Ammons, Des Ark and the fantastically fun Creedence Queerwater Revival (featuring Kym Register and a barrage of CCR covers!). Their hilariously titled Bitchfork Day Party takes place at Cirque Du Vol and kicks off at 11. Deep South's Schoolkids Day Party is another awesome one with standouts like Onward, Soldiers and Kenny Roby. Slim's Churchkey Day Party is always a ridiculously good time and this year's lineup features some incredible acts like Spiderbags and The Beets. It'll also be nice to check out Caleb Caudle on Friday at The Hive as well as First Person Plural at Tir Na Nog. While it'd be sweet to get to see Thurston Moore performing at Kings for the Three Lobed/WXDU Party, I remember how packed Kings got for last years XDU show, so I'll likely stray away from that venue.

City Plaza kicks off just before 6 with one of my favorite local acts, Gross Ghost. With a new album slated for release in October, expect the band to be pulling out a slew of new songs. If their recently released single "You Will" is any indication of their forthcoming album Public Housing, then it's going to be another fantastic showing from Gross Ghost. Their infectious garage pop hooks will fill the air to kick off the evening, but Future Islands will begin the evenings transition to dance oriented grooves. The former North Carolinians have a penchant for powerful dance pop that's capable of evoking powerful emotion whilst compelling listeners to lose themselves to the darkly driven dance tunes. Future Islands will be an excellent lead in for Holy Ghost! another awesome dance-pop act, one that's gained notoriety for being signed to James Murphy's DFA Records. Holy Ghost! will be bringing some disco-infused electronica to City Plaza and warming up the crowd for what's sure to be an absolutely wild headliner with A-Trak. I'd have never expected this iconic, prolific DJ to be Big Boi's replacement but once I saw the announcement I became immediately excited for Friday's festivities. A-Trak kicks off at 9:40 and will be one of the first City Plaza headliners I've stuck around for past the photo pit entry for a few years now. He's a show worth sticking around for, despite the fact that some awesome lineups get started at 9:00, A-Trak at City Plaza is going to be one of those fantastic Hopscotch moments that sticks around in your mind for years to come.

I'm sticking around for as much of A-Trak as I can, but it's important to get started on the club shows before his set ends, as Night Beds will be filling Fletcher Opera Hall with their gorgeous folk-tunes at 10:30. Night Beds are a fantastic act from Nashville that combine heartfelt, personal lyricism with gorgeous melodies to make for an incredible listening experience, especially at Fletcher. Night Beds is a fantastic start to the club shows for fans of Ryan Adams or Fleet Foxes, their tunes sort of sit in-between the two sonically, providing a bit of Adams' gripping lyricism and Fleet Foxes powerful instrumentation. One of the best parts of checking out Night Beds is how damn close I'll be to Local Natives at Memorial Auditorium. This was hands down the set I've been most excited for at Hopscotch, and I'm thoroughly surprised they didn't get a City Plaza slot. But getting the chance to see their beautiful music on display at Memorial Auditorium is going to be a Hopscotch moment that I'll carry with me for the rest of my life. Local Natives' soaring vocal melodies wash together with grandiose instrumentation that's filled with blasting polyrhythms for an overwhelming aural experience. I'm catching as much of this set as physically possible, because they're a band that's near and dear to my heart, but I'm sure I'll pull away before it ends because there's so much other fantastic shit going on.

Namely Action Bronson at The Lincoln Theater. Action Bronson is easily one of my favorite hip-hop artists in recent years, he combines humor and intellect with a bit of absurdity to make for a truly unique listening experience. The 300-pound Albanian American cut his teeth as a chef and gained internet notoriety for his hilarious Cooking With Action videos, and Action's music is filled with that same larger than life personality that his videos were. Bronson combines absurdly witty wordplay with chef-speak, bukus of drug references and hilarious one-liners, plus he's got an absolutely incredible stage presence. He's an act that I've wanted to see live for over a year at this point, so it's going to be hard to pass up the chance to see him in a packed out Lincoln Theater.

After Action I'll make my way to the Contemporary Art Museum to catch another one of this festival's standouts, Ryan Hemsworth. Hemsworth is a producer from Canada that combines the "cloud rap" stylings of recent years with some soulful vocal samples and R&B-esque melodies. Hemsworth is a unique electronic act, because he's truly mastered the art of combining the mind and body with his compelling mixes. Tracks like "(。‿。) (or, I Want To Stare At Your Face Until I Die)" are brimming with emotion, but Hemsworth is also capable of producing absolute bangers that fans can rage out to. Hemsworth at CAM will be a fantastic way to close out Friday evening and I can't think of a better way to end this jam-packed day at Hopscotch.

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