Photo by Matthew Brantley.
In the past few years, Hopscotch Music Festival‘s profile has grown exponentially, and this year’s lineup features nationally renowned artists of all styles, such as Erykah Badu, Television, Baroness and Young Thug. There are also a number of equally talented, hard-working local bands in the lineup, too.
Thursday, September 8
Grohg @ The Lincoln Theatre; 9:30 p.m.
After toiling in obscurity for years, Grohg has recently had a string of higher-profile shows, opening for the likes of 1349 and Valient Thorr. Founded in 2011 by Will Goodyear (ex-Between the Buried and Me), they spent three years honing their sound before releasing a limited edition seven-inch, “Darkness and the Freedom It Breathes,” through Raleigh’s finest metal merchandiser, Holy Mountain. In the short run time of this EP, Grohg unleashes an infectiously energetic burst of black ‘n’ roll that is a perfect complement to the angular, fuzzed-out crossover of Mutoid Man, the blackened thrash of VHÖL and the chaotic blitz of Converge. Drummer Joel Willis also pulls double duty in No One Mind, so buy him a beer if you see him.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=3631864351 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]
Pie Face Girls @ Kings; 11 p.m.
Another local band with a long history in the DIY scene, Pie Face Girls had been playing house shows in the area for years before releasing their first tape last year through Armus Productions, a local DIY label operated in part by Ryan Moore of Squall. Their raw, no-holds-barred brand of riot grrrl punk and their unwavering commitment to activism should instantly win over fans of Bikini Kill and the like. Pie Face Girls are the main support for Atlanta femme-punks The Coathangers, and they will be joined by Chapel Hill garage rockers Lacy Jags, as well as South Carolina psych outfit Secret Guest.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=3868314494 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]
Boy Legs @ the Deep South Day Party; 1:40 p.m.
Boy Legs is a collaboration between Jib Butts (Lunchbag) and Dylan Evans (Lavier), two emergent artists from Boone’s growing hip-hop scene, as well as founding members of Crop Circle Club, a new music collective/record label. The project blends Lavier’s lush, minimalist-yet-massive production with Lunchbag’s unique lyrical style, which finds the profound among the mundane like an impressionist painter. Lacy Jags will also make an appearance here before their late show at Kings, as well as Happy Abandon, Jon Lindsay, Grandchildren and JTama Band.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=2029078836 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]
Primitive Ways Records Showcase @ The Pour House; 12-5:30 p.m.
Primitive Ways is one of Raleigh’s longest-running booking agencies for extreme metal. They began organizing day parties two years ago to showcase local talent. As the original opener had to drop, two-piece grind freaks Basura will open, barring any last minute changes. Greensboro’s Miniguns have a more retro-influenced stoner thrash style, while Chateau delivers frigid black metal with just a hint of bluesy rock. Squall serves up a filthy blend of sludge and crust punk, and Bedowyn closes out with a fresh take on traditional metal. Rounding out the lineup are Abacus (Columbia, SC), Savagist (Athens, GA), and Unmaker (Richmond, VA).
Konvoi & No One Mind @ Kings (Day Party)
Konvoi‘s first Hopscotch appearance of the weekend sees them paired with several similarly synth-driven acts. The Boone-based quartet’s blend of snarling post-punk and dark psychedelia pairs well with No One Mind, and the two bands have shared the stage on at least one other occasion. No One Mind may be slightly more accessible than Konvoi, but their sound is no less expansive, with synths that transform simple chord progressions into cosmic swirls of constantly evolving modulations. The headlining act is Moss of Aura, the solo project of Gerrit Welmers of Future Islands, appearing with exploratory pop duo Other Colors and hip-hop outfit Bond St. District, all from Baltimore, MD.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1050046004 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]
Friday, September 9
MAKE @ Pour House; 9:30 p.m.
Another long-running local band with a recent surge in popularity, MAKE began to receive more attention with the release of their second full-length “The Golden Veil” last year, which was positively reviewed by several critics. They quickly followed with another album, “Pilgrimage of Loathing,” which largely replaces the ethereal atmospherics of the previous record with seething rage at the bleak political landscape. During the lead up to the new album’s release, the band sold shirts and donated the proceeds to human rights group Southerners on New Ground, organized an anti-HB2 benefit show and appeared on several dates of Dragged Into Sunlight’s US tour. MAKE will be will be sharing the stage with Richmond thrashers Occultist, Colorado avant-black metal duo Cobalt and doom legends Yob.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1138241722 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]
No One Mind @ Deep South; 11 p.m.
For their second Hopscotch appearance, No One Mind will be performing with more traditional rock/pop groups, highlighting the diversity of their sound. Formed after the tumultuous breakup of The Toddlers, No One Mind emerged fully-formed, recording a full LP before playing a single show. The album deals with the feelings of resentment on all sides following the breakup, which partially explains how the band pulled off such a quick turnaround. The release date of the record coincides with this show, making this a release show of sorts. Also appearing are Diet Cig, The Dinwiddies and Al Riggs.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=2788818621 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]
Konvoi & The Nude Party @ Slims; 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Likewise, Konvoi’s second Hopscotch appearance is alongside NC artists of all different styles. This mixed-genre bill includes fellow Boone band The Nude Party, whose retro-styled surf rock has fueled many packed out house parties. Durham indie-punk band The Dry Heathens and former NC natives Drag Sounds deliver no-frills rock riffage, while shirlette ammons offers a more reflective, soulful take on blues rock. The Durham-based poet/musician’s latest album features appearances by The Indigo Girls, as well as fellow natives Hiss Golden Messenger and Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso, among many others. Washington, DC’s Scanners round out the lineup.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=537476669 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]
Sylvan Esso @ City Plaza; 8:15 p.m.
This Durham duo has been making waves since the release of their self-titled album in 2014. The combination of Amelia Meath’s earthy vocal lines and Nick Sanborn’s hypnotizing production blends the spirit of folk music with the futurism of electronica, which makes for a truly captivating listening experience. Their headlining set at Hopscotch is their first of six festival appearances this fall, as the band is scheduled to appear at Washington, DC’s All Things Go Fall Classic and San Francisco’s Treasure Island Music Festival, among several others. Sylvan Esso will be performing with Long Beach rapper Vince Staples and Durham glitch-pop artist Tuskha, also known as Phil Moore from Bowerbirds.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1079560567 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]
Eldritch Horror @ Kings; 9 p.m.
Eldritch Horror formed in 1990, during the heyday of OG death metal. They released a few demos that gained a cult following before breaking up when their guitarist moved to Florida. Two decades later, they reformed and re-recorded their old songs, which resurfaced last year in the form of their first full-length “Untouched by the Sun.” The album is a time capsule which transports the listener to a period when death metal was still full of boundless possibilities, before rigid formulae and stagnation set in. Eldritch Horror will appear with Necrocosm, one of the next generation of Raleigh death metal bands, as well as Earthling from Richmond and Tribulation from Sweden.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=3413410114 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]
Konvoi & Crete @ Slims; 11:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Konvoi’s third appearance of the weekend sees them paired with the synthy post-punk band from Raleigh, Crete. The two bands have many similar attributes: both bands’ foundations are their driving guitar lines and energetic drums, which are then blanketed in pulsing, psychedelic keyboard washes and topped with snarling vocals. (Full disclosure: this writer works at a pizza joint with Arwen from Crete, which may be why that description sounds like a recipe for music pie.) Providence, R.I. political punks Downtown Boys headline the show, serving up fast tracks with a twist of bilingual lyrics and saxophones. Minneapolis post-punks Voight-Kampff complete the lineup.
Toke @ Schoolkids Records Day Party; 4 p.m.
Wilmington has produced a number of high-potency stoner metal acts over the years, and Toke is one of the strongest new strains. Pothead stereotypes aside, Toke is one of the hardest-working bands in the state right now, constantly booking tours and making festival appearances on the DIY circuit. Their consistently kickass live performances have generated considerable word-of-mouth buzz, as audiences cannot fail to “follow the smoke toward the riff-filled land.” Toke will appear with Chapel Hill drone act He Who Walks Behind the Rows, Raleigh doom crew Horseskull, local thrashers Gross Reality and Durham doom punks Wailin Storms.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 track=783551729 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]