Hopscotch is rad and North Carolina should be proud to host this event. I’m not much for show reviews, but here are a few things that crossed my mind at a few sets at the festival…
Watching Converge play made me want to hear hardcore for the first time again. There was a cluster of younger kids right front and center having a very real experience that I, in my jaded mid-20’s, have not gotten from live music in quite a long time. Jacob Bannon, put most of his crowd focus into these kids during the bands hit list of a set, as if he knew that most of the people in the room probably just knew his band from Pitchfork.
Gary Clark Jr. was one of the featured acts that I really was not planning on making a point to see, but I am very glad that I did. This guy is making the blues cool again. The guitar is an instrument has no gray area between making a person look like the coolest guy at the party or the guy that nobody wants to admit they invited. Gary Clark Jr. was definitely the coolest at this party of a few thousand people, breathing new life into the American tradition that is the blues, all the while emitting Prince-like swagger.
Anderson .Paak is probably the best performer in hip-hop right now. When a hip-hop artist plays with a full band, it usually just seems as if they’re trying to give college freshmen their parents’ money’s worth (anyone that saw Chance The Rapper at UNCC last year can vouch for this brand of corniness). However, .Paak is just different and pulls this off with a sledgehammer of genuine energy.
Erykah Badu is the last living rock star.
I wish I could take Julien Baker with me everywhere to silence all the rest of the people that might be in the room.
Vince Staples: the best way to turn the fuck up to brutal honesty.
Every single person that considers themselves a part of a “scene” in North Carolina should support Sylvan Esso.
Listen to ET Anderson, Secret Guest, Zack Mexico, Konvoi, Pink Flag, Toke, and Shadowgraphs.
All photos by Michael Kuhn.