Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hopscotch 2016 - Thursday Night (9/8/16)

By the time the first full night of Raleigh's Hopscotch Music Festival began, I had already seen a boatload of bands.  Between the earlier PotLuck day party at Slim's and the previous night's non-Hopscotch house show at Kosher Hut, I was already in danger of burnout.  I had to pace myself.

I ended up seeing only four club shows... five shows total counting the always wonderful Wye Oak at City Plaza... so no photos :( as I didn't have a press pass this year.  But I've photographed them several times before.  Better for once to put up the camera, and just listen to Jenn Wasner's voice.  Always give me chills.

Didn't hang out for Wolf Parade; not really my thing.  Plus needed to go take a break between the day and night shows.  Again, pacing.

Actually, I did catch another show or two of sorts.  Caught a little pop-up show by Television... err, Less Western... playing at the WKNC photo booth when picking up my wristband.
Then I caught a bit of a performance piece called In Spectrum, by Reflex Arc (dancer Ginger Wagg and saxophonist Crowmeat Bob).  Wagg writhed, wriggled, and ran among the lights of artist Lincoln Hancock's installation "Flag" as Crowmeat shadowed her physically and musically.  Not really sure of the meaning behind the movements, but every now and then, you need to take in art that leaves you scratching your head.  Prevents rust.      
Little poster out back by Slim's.
My first Hopscotch-proper show was prompted by seeing Charleston's Secret Guest the night before at Kosher Hut.  They were so good there, I wanted to see them on the bigger stage at Kings.  They didn't disappoint.

Secret Guest start out with guitars on fire...
The trumpet on that last song tho...
I'm learning that all of Secret Guest's shows end something like this...
I hung around Kings for the dark guitar noise of locals Lacy Jags.  Their sound really boomed in the big room at Kings.  I hadn't seen them in a while, and they've sharpened what was already the pretty well-honed edge they had from the Day One.

Lacy Jags...
Patrick taking a mid-song nap during his fifth show of the day (he pretty much spent the entire PotLuck day party onstage).
My night was planned around making sure I didn't miss the Snails.  So knowing the Pour House would fill up well before they went on, I set up shop sidestage before the band before them... Palm.  Palm apparently has a pretty big following themselves, and played to an enthusiastic full house at the Pour House.  Their jazzy math rock isn't really my taste, but I have to admit I was impressed.  The synchronicity between players was amazing.  And the Animal Collective-like vocals that kicked in more as the show went on put them in my soft spot.

I didn't want to miss the Snails.  I had yet to see them, despite the fact that I'd been a fan ever since that night a couple of years back on  Letterman.  You know, that night the little band from Baltimore wowed Dave?  (Future something, I think)   Well, earlier that night, another B'more band -- the Snails -- played a great set of their own under the stands, to an eager crowd of fellow invertebrates.  That was the REAL story.

At the Pour House, frontman Samuel T Herr... I mean Sammy Snail... took the stage with  gruff sarcasm: "We're fucking snails!  We've been around for MILLIONS of years.  Maybe you've heard of us."  But he could back up the 'tude.  His voice and stage persona are the kind that only the fine-tuning of millions of years of evolution could produce; survival of the fittest.  Pretty early on, the show got a little risque, as the band shed their shells and actually spawned into the crowd!

But seriously, the whimsy was great, and it was complemented by great songs and stagecraft,  proving that the Snails can hold their own with their fellow Baltimore bands of the phylum Chordata.

"We're fucking snails!"...
Off came the shells, and out came the eggs! (NSFW)
Sandy Snailbelow gets a ride...
 I was entranced, and I shall never eat snails again!

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