Hopscotch Music Festival has always been one of my favorite music festivals. It is one of the most diverse festivals ever. This year was no exception. The festival included everyone from blues legends from the 50’s (Ironing Board Sam) to one of the most iconic MCs (Big Daddy Kane) to the founders of both The Velvet Underground (John Cale) and Sonic Youth (Thurston Moore) to one of the greatest noise musicians from Japan (Merzbow) and everything in between. One of the greatest things about this festival is that while there were certain acts I knew beforehand, many of the acts I only learned about because of the festival. I discovered a lot of my new favorite acts by looking them up beforehand and listened to them or even just by being dragged to their set during the festival. Hopscotch Music Festival is definitely one of my most favorite weekends of the year filled with unforgettable experiences.
-Thursday night I received my first unforgettable introduction to Body Games. They are an incredible new group from Chapel Hill whose brilliant indie electro-pop complete with a great lights show and Lion King projections had they whole crowd grooving along. They even covered Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There” from Free Willy which oddly enough fit perfectly as everyone nostalgically danced along.
-New local stars Sylvan Esso blew everyone out of the water. Their beat-driven breed of infectious electro-pop had everyone dancing and Memorial Auditorium shaking.
-Kurt Vile and The Violators played last to close out the night at Lincoln perfectly with their warm wash of guitar driven rock as everyone lost themselves in his music.
-Thurston Moore, although not on the official Hopscotch bill, played a day show at Kings with drummer John Moloney. It was incredible to see such an iconic legend in a setting such as this.
-Future Islands have become local music gods so it is obvious that would be one of my highlights. Future Islands performed new-wave synth-pop to perfection as Sam’s antics kept the crowd entertained. They played many favorites from over the years as well as some songs from their upcoming effort that they announced.
-Speedy Ortiz was one of the bands I was looking forward to see the most of this festival and they did not disappoint. Their hour long set was rock solid made full use of the stage and filled every corner of the room with their guitar driven noise-pop.
-As a fan of the Pixies and more recently of The Breeders, it was a dream come true to see them perform live at Hopscotch. The entire band was having a great time as they joked back and forth between songs off of The Last Splash. Their energy fueled that crowd as everyone sang and danced along. They even got to play a few more songs after the last song on their album that they were playing in full. Their performance was utter perfection and you could see the excitement of them playing together again.
-City Plaza not only knocked “seeing The Breeders,” off my bucket list, but “seeing Spiritualized” as well. They played a perfect mix of songs that spanned most of their career complete with projections and lights. The whole show and atmosphere was just an incredible experience as dusk began to settle.