Sunday, September 8, 2013

My One Day Of Hopscotch 2013

In previous years, I’ve usually attended at least 2 days of the Hopscotch Music Festival in downtown Raleigh, but this year I only made it out for one day, the third and final day of the event, Saturday the 7th.

My brother Dave and I headed to Hopscotch around 2 PM. We got to the art gallery and frame shop, Rebus Works, which was one of the venues hosting Shopscotch day parties featuring venders, food trucks, and all kinds of arts 'n crafts. Raleigh band Goner, one of my local faves, performed on an outside stage and rocked hard.

During their set, Goner, made up of Scott Phillips, Chris Dalton and Greg Eyman, were joined on a few individual songs by Dan Phillips (Scott’s brother) from the band Zapruder Point, and Sam Madison from the local rockers The Bleeding Hearts. It was a fine start to our day of live music.

After that, we went to Lincoln Theatre with the hopes of catching Chris Stamey and the Fellow Travelers. We got there in time to see the last several songs of their set. Stamey (pictured below) and his band, which included Skylar Gudasz, Brett Harris, Django Haskins, and Matt McMichaels, did lush arrangements of songs off of Stamey’s strong new solo album, Lovesick Blues. “Now this is orchestral pop!” I said to Dave at one point.

We wandered around a bit afterwards then found our way to City Plaza for the headliners at the main stage that night. We didn’t see any of the set by the Lollipops, another Raleigh band, but we caught the Breeders who are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their classic album Last Splash. After they finished performing the entire track listing of their best known LP, the Breeders encored with songs from a few of their other discs, including their cover of the Beatles’ “Happiness is a Warm Gun” that originally appeared on their 1990 debut disc Pod. Check out my shaky iPhone video of them doing “Cannonball” from earlier in their show:

A large part of the crowd scattered after the Breeders left the stage, which I guess shows that there aren't a lot of fans of the space rock music of the headlining British band Spiritualized 'round these parts, who took the stage around 8:45. But maybe their appeal is becoming more selective as Spinal Tap's manager Ian Faith would say.

I don’t know their music very well, but I agree with Raleigh News & Observer music critic David Menconi who wrote “Spiritualized followed with a series of crescendos that dazzled but never quite seemed to achieve resolution. It was plenty impressive while it lasted but still did not leave much of an impression afterward.” Read Menconi’s full review of Day Three for the N & O.

We then went to Slim's Downtown Distillery, which was packed, and saw a chunk (2-3 songs) of Broken Prayer's set.  

It was getting late so my brother went home, but I was determined to get to Memorial Auditorium at midnight to see the great John Cale (pictured below), one of the founders of the seminal '60s band The Velvet Underground and creator of over 40 years of influential solo material. 

I wasn’t familiar with his newest stuff, like his 2012 album Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood, but after witnessing him power through such tracks as “I Wanna Talk 2 U” (what a Prince-like title!), and “Scotland Yard,” I definitely aim to check out the new LP and further explore his canon (I only own Paris 1919!). 

Whew! It was a tiring but satisfying day of good tunes and some good food and indie beer. I’m considering it a warm up for next weekend in which I travel to Chicago to attend Riot Fest for the sole purpose of seeing one of my all-time favorites, the newly re-united band The Replacements, play their second show in 22 years (the first was in Toronto last month).

Check back at this space to read all about it.

More later…

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