|A-Trak @ City Plaza|
However, one of my favorite parts of Hopscotch is the ability to revisit some of these acts--whether they be local or not--that you haven't seen in years and suddenly stumble upon. That's what my day was filled with on Friday, an afternoon of high-energy rock music from a wide array of genres. I begrudgingly attended my Friday class and made it downtown just in time for Last Year's Men to begin their set at Slim's. Last time I saw these guys was ironically enough at Hopscotch...at Slim's, so this was definitely a familiar environment for me. Their buzzing brand of garage rock continues to wow me as I experience the band in this tightly packed setting that is absurdly conducive to their sound.
After Last Year's Men finished up their raucous set I checked out The Everymen from New Jersey behind Slim's. Of course I feasted on free booze and veggie burgers, but the highlight of this experience was most definitely the discovery of an absolutely wonderful live act. The Everymen packed out Slim's back porch despite the beating sun and rocked harder than anyone I saw on Friday (including Valient Thorr). At one point the keyboardist picked up his instrument and pulled out a rocking behind the head solo which is arguably the most rock and roll thing a keyboardist can do. Their lively set even drew a crowd of underaged kids on the adjacent parking deck which everyone began to gawk over as well. All in all Slim's served as an awesome kickstart for my Friday.
|Valient Thorr @ CAM|
|Future Islands @ City Plaza|
After Future Islands City Plaza surprisingly cleared out a bit, which is one of the few times of the festival I really thought, "damn, I wish Big Boi was still here." However, once Holy Ghost! took the stage all of those thoughts were a memory as their 80s-inspired electronica filled the air with ridiculously catchy melodies. The set felt never-ending in the best way possible. There was minimal stage banter and a heavy amount of disco-infused dance tracks that made me feel downright bad for posting up on the fountain and eating dinner. But alas, a man's gotta eat! When A-Trak took the stage one could have never guessed that local indie rockers Gross Ghost had played the same venue hours before. A flock of glowsticks and light-up toys emerged in the crowd and A-Trak's blasting bass took over the entire plaza. Pulling out Missy Elliott remixes alongside Major Lazer tracks, A-Trak had the crowd in his hands and he knew it damn well, he conducted this performance like a master of his craft with excellent pacing throughout the entirety. However, I had to jet early to post-up at Memorial Auditorium for a good spot at Local Natives.
|Local Natives @ Memorial Auditorium|
I made it to CAM just as Mykki Blanco was ending his set and saw a good bulk of the crowd on-stage, which is usually a sign that you just missed a bad-ass show. However, all was well once Ryan Hemsworth took the stage. Seamlessly combining remixes and original material, Hemsworth appealed to a wide array of audience members. He pulled out "Take Me There" from the Rugrats movie and the crowd went wild, but at the same time he can play his Lana Del Ray remix and get folks just as pumped up. Hemsworth was easily on of the night's highlights, maybe that's because I sweated out all of my alcohol at the show so it's got a nice restoring effect for me, but I do know that if Hemsworth makes his way anywhere near here again there's no doubt I'm checking it out. He put on a brilliant show and left me crazily exhausted for the next day of festivities.