I am so grateful that I got to go to Hopscotch last month and see so many of my favorite artists perform live, most of whom I’ve never got to see before. Here are some of my favorite songs that I heard and saw being performed at Hopscotch.
It’s hard to pick just a few songs from Caroline’s set to talk about because every song she played was my favorite. I was in awe of her performance the whole time. She has an amazing voice and range, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her as she danced around the stage; throwing kicks in the air, spinning around, and mimicking her lyrics with specific moves. Of course “So Hot You’re Hurting my Feelings” is up there for my favorite performance, it was the first song I heard by her and it instantly became one of my favorite pop songs. The crowd was super into it and her energy during this song, and the whole set, was infectious. Another one of my favorites was “Caroline Shut Up” because she does an amazing vocal run during a breakdown before going into the last chorus and I was mesmerized, it’s hard to explain what she does without listening to the song, so I would suggest checking it out if you haven’t. She also played three unreleased songs that were all wonderful, and I can’t wait for them to be released so I can listen to them on repeat.
Unfortunately I missed Wednesday’s set on Thursday at the Moore Square Stage, but I was able to see them at Ruby Deluxe the next day and it was amazing. I just recently got into them after they released Twin Plagues in August, and seeing them live made me an even bigger fan. I loved seeing “How Can You Live If You Can’t Love How Can You If You Do,” because it is one of my favorites off that album. It’s a slower song, different from most on the album that are layered with fuzzy guitars, loud thumping drums, and strong bass lines, but this one is stripped down and the lead singer, Karly Hartzman, is at the center of the song. The lyrics are beautifully written and vulnerable, which I admire about all of Hartzman’s writing, but this one sticks out the most to me. I also loved hearing “Cody’s Only,” “Handsome Man,” and “Fate Is…” which is from their second record I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone.
My dad actually introduced me to Dr. Dog a while ago. I remember he would play them around the house and I always loved hearing “Shadow People,” “Jackie Wants a Black Eye,” and more from Shame, Shame, but my favorite song he would play was always “Broken Heart.” I haven’t gotten super into Dr. Dog and didn’t know many songs they played, but I was really excited when they played this one because it reminded me of my childhood. Of course I had to enjoy the song a bit for myself, but I was also focused on taking a video of it and sharing it with my dad so he could somewhat experience it with me. They played “Shadow People” before it too, so I was excited by that two song run. The band sounded great live and were really tight.
I don’t know many names of Flying Lotus’s songs, I really like his 2010 album Cosmogramma, and he did play “ Do the Astral Plane,” but I haven’t listened to much of his other releases. That didn’t matter though, because one of the great things about his set was that you didn’t need to know his songs, you just had to let loose and jump around. He played some remixes, one which included a Kero Kero Bonito song that made me super excited, a song off of Drake’s new album, and “Wesley’s Theory” from To Pimp a Butterfly. The crowd was super energetic and it was fun to dance with friends and watch others enjoy themselves too.
The Parquet Courts set was so great, they were energetic and had great stage banter that made the breaks in their set super entertaining. They performed some new songs off of their album Sympathy for Life, which were all good and made me excited for the release of the album. I was most excited when they played “Almost Had to Start a Fight/ In and Out of Patience,” because I’ve listened to that song so many times and it was enjoyable to watch them play it. I also loved when they played “Wide Awake” because they had another member join them to play all of the bells and whistles that are on the recorded version, which add so much to the atmosphere of the song. The bass line is so dancey, and I did not see one person not moving around during that song.
Archers of Loaf
This was my second time seeing Archers live, unfortunately I had to leave halfway through their set to catch Animal Collective, but they played most of my favorite songs pretty early. Like most angsty teens, discovering Icky Mettle was a very important part of my high school experience. There’s nothing quite like shouting the lyrics in your room to “Wrong” or “Might”, and it’s even better to be able to do it live with the band. “Web in Front,” was one of my favorite songs to hear live. I love the dynamic between Eric Bachman and Matt Gentling as Gentling shouts “All I ever wanted was to be your spine,” and Bachman powerfully sings over him about a failed relationship. They are still able to put so much emotion behind songs that are over 20 years old and I found that to be really special knowing they put so much effort into their performances.
Animal Collective is one of those bands that I really love, but I never thought I would see them in my lifetime. I’m not sure why, it’s possibly because I am much more attached to their earlier releases than their new ones and that’s what I’d really want to hear live, but surprisingly they did throw in some old songs in their set. They played “In the Flowers,” the opening track to Merriweather Post Pavilion, and one of my favorites from that record. It sounded beautiful live. My favorite song they played was “The Purple Bottle” from their 2005 release Feels. The song is so energetic and Avey Tare does a lot of screaming in the song, and of course I had to yell along and jump around. I made it to the barrier for their set and I had a great time watching each member make their unique sounds come to life.