Thursday, September 11, 2014

Full Report | 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival Day Two

All Photos by Aggie Donkar Unless Noted

Lonnie Walker

I've seen Lonnie walker 6,654 times now.  More than anyone has seen any band in the entire world. Hell, I've seen Lonnie Walker more times than the number of shows Lonnie Walker has played. Chew on that for a second.

So while Lonnie Walker's set in City Plaza was no shocker, the new material they played showcased a step forward both in song-craft and their live persona.  As bouncy as ever, the was another element in there that, while I can't articulate it in words, rounded things out, and seemed to achieve what they've been close to for some time now.

- Matt Smith

St. Vincent

The most memorable of all Hopscotch shows by a quick minute, St. Vincent took to the stage after a Radiohead-esq computer voice very personably asked the audience to put their damn phones down and enjoy being in the moment.  Surprisingly -- it actually seems this made a bit of a difference.

I'm not sure what David Bryne did to Annie Clark. It seems like more possession territory than some sort of muse, but that's not to say it doesn't totally work.  Because it does, and in that moment where she's robotically moving her appendages during a part of a song where it makes no damn sense -- it all makes so much damn sense.

Truly exemplifying the "live experience," she sounded amazing, looked cool-as-shit in her bloody-eyeball-sequined dress, and utilized not only every inch of the stage, but also every member of her band.  Whether standing in the front singing, or way back in the back of the stage playing guitar -- she owned it. The stage, and the plaza, was hers that night.

Here's to hoping she Bowies us and reinvents herself on the regular. 

- Matt Smith


I'm not going to say anything amazing here.  But that's not to say Spoon wasn't awesome, it's just that, Spoon was Spoon, but this time, Spoon in all white! Shazaaam! 

For real though, these guys are seasoned festival-vets.  They were the first band I ever saw at SXSW at a tiny-little day party at Club Deluxe. And my they've grown since then. The old songs have taken on nuances that are vividly noticeable to those of usthat fell in love with them via Series of Sneaks. You can hear the newer sonic elements they've toyed with over their past two LPs begin to sneak their way in -- making the contrast between those gems from Kill the Moonlight and They Want My Soul far less-blunt than they could have been.

Even a slow-jam like "Who Makes Your Money" translated very nicely in the middle of their set - bookending an up tempo start and kicking off what would be the funkier portion of their time with us.

- Matt Smith


There are few things I like better in the festival-setting than some loud-ass dream pop. Call me a romantic, but that shit is like Calgon to me, alleviating every care in the world and even though I can't dance one-single-bit, I sway my non-existent ass back n' forth like I know what I'm doing. 

So when Gems blurped on our radar during our festival research, they immediately vaulted to the top of the "must-see" list, even though it was half-way across the city at what has become the douchey venue at Hopscotch inexplicably.

Gems has yet-to-release a proper LP, and while in this day and age while that's not important, the fact they have yet to piece together a complete package seemed to resonate in their live set.  It all sounded good. Great at moments when Clifford John Usher and Lindsay Pitts really hit their stride. "Medusa" was certainly a highlight, and shed quite a bright light on what these to can accomplish when firing on all cylinders.

The majority of the set remained in the good, to the all kinda sounds the same territory, which for a new band thrust into an odd setting, isn't a bad thing at all. They certainly piqued this-blog's interest.

- Matt Smith

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