Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hopscotch - Free Electric State, Hume, Liars, Thee Oh Sees (8/6/12 - Part 2)

Thursday Part 2.  Not as good as Part 1, but really.  Deerhoof.

However, when I made the hard choice to walk out on that show before it was over to trek back to Kings to catch now-half Triangle expats Free Electric State, I was not disappointed.  And that says a lot considering what I just walked away from.  But Hopscotch is all about variety, and taking it all in.  HOPPING around from show to show... guess that's why it's named that?  I only caught their last 3 songs or so, but they were tight as ever, burning up the Kings stage with new material from their recent release, Monumental Life.  When half the band opted to head back to Baltimore, their shows hear became more of a rarity.  So this was a welcome return.  They were clearly enjoying it, as was the crowd.  If they play a non-Hopscotch show soon, I'll be sure to check out the whole set.

Free Electric State...

I decided to stay put for the next band at Kings for two reasons.  (1) To see an act I knew nothing about (something I think you should do at least once a night at Hopscotch), and (2) Because I had just walked to and from Memorial Auditorium in pretty damn high humidity (for the Triangle anyway) and just wanted to sit down and have a cold beer.  I'm glad I did.

Hume came on with two drummers, a guitarist-singer, and a guy operating the most voluminous board of pedals, switches, and sundry gadgets I've ever seen.  The effect was like an Animal Collective for rockers, an effect further emphasized by the vocal similarities to Noah (Panda Bear) Lennox.  You could do worse; those vocals I think are really an underrated part of that band's sound.  Hume's singer has a really good voice.  Overall, a very enjoyable show, with little in the way of expectations and a rather high bar having already been set.


Next, on the recommendation of 2 or 3 people, I headed back to Memorial to see Liars.  Where's a bicycle rickshaw when you need one?  Adam?  (he of local band Rooster for the Masses and, more importantly here, Crank Arm Rickshaws)  Seriously, that's a great way to get around during Hopscotch and any other day/night in Raleigh; I just couldn't catch one just then.

Liars were good; but again, the bar was high.  I knew nothing about them either, and they lean a bit heavy-dance for my taste.  And if you're going to be heavy on this stage this night, again... high bar (do I keep going on about Deerhoof?  Well, you weren't there; or if you were...)  But they had their audience in the palm of their hands.  Three Men In Black, multiple panels of varied instrumentation, spare drums, a whole LOTTA thud.  Between Deerhoof and Liars, Memorial Auditorium has probably exceeded its cumulative decibel limit for the year.


So it's after midnight, and I read Thee Oh Sees were about scheduled to go on down at Raleigh CAM (Contemporary Art Museum).  Take the car down there (enough walkin', last show of the night).  It's packed.  Lines for beer.  Lines for (guys'!) bathroom.  Sardines up front.  Crowd-surfing (it's 2012, folks).  Buncha shirtless guys -- their shirts must've been up on this wall...
#ExplodedHipsterArtInstallation (stage was to left)

But Thee Oh Sees were good, in a drunken, garage-y fun way.  Don't get the mega-crowd, though.  I guess they're a good band for topping off the first night at a great festival.  Again, Hopscotch is all about variety -- something for everyone -- and there was definitely that this first night.  The massive crowd successfully avoided the flood downstairs, and CAM will be open for shows the last 2 nights of Hopscotch (well, Friday night's last band is probably just about winding up there now).  

Thee Oh Sees...

CAM is set up well for a big show, and I can't wait to see T0W3RS there Saturday.  I keep catching their brother/sister band, Lilac Shadows, but keep missing T0W3RS shows lately due to extenuating circumstances.  Not tomorrow -- fingers crossed.  I have, however, already found 2 of the 5 "cassingles" they're hiding around downtown, making up their new EP, Wyatt.  B-sides by Lollipops and Jenny Besetzt (so far, still looking, Derek...).

What did I say after the Part 1 post about getting some sleep?  It's been a LONG week; but here's to a fun weekend of more good music.  

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