Warehouse — a bonafide Hopscotch gem — needs to package warning labels with their records. In addition to “INVOLUNTARY EARGASMS” I also propose “NOT FOR USE WHILE DRIVING.” There’s something to be said about music so immersive that it almost gets you into a car accident. My deepest apologies, Rob and Bree — nearly killing your friends goes beyond bad journalism.
Raleigh came alive Friday night. Traversing crowded streets was a far cry from the Twilight Zone episode we faced late Thursday night*, though we would trek into the fifth dimension in the upstairs room above the Busy Bee Cafe. This is where I watched a man play a guitar in the position of a meditating Buddha. Only he didn’t just play a guitar: He conducted a symphony of pedals, held a Toys-R-Us laser gun to the pickups, caressed the strings with the bow of a celo. Twelve minutes melted into a singular experience, and I have a sharp pain in my ear to thank for my return to reality.
Tycho teased us from five blocks away; the security guards teased us even more when they said we weren’t allowed to bring our cameras in. This is when we lost contact with our photographer. Leaving my camera behind, I swam through a sea of metrosexuals until I located her. This is when she laid out a plan for what would come to be known as “Operation: Sneak into Tycho.” All went well until a particular guard approached me.
“May I see what’s in the bag?”
I decided to play dumb: “Oh… Is there some sort of no camera policy?”
He took an eternity to breath between before his response. “I don’t care about cameras, just the usual stuff. Food, drinks, drugs.”
It only took him three seconds to realize I wasn’t a druggie, and we were in — cameras and all.
*Our Uber driver educated us on the going ons of Raleigh: Apparently some genius(es) decided the space above bars was prime real estate for new residents. New rules have been put into play in the interest of the new kids on the block: Sitting outside is prohibited after certain hours, and noise ordinances go into effect as early as nine o’clock. Good job, asshole(s). You just killed Raleigh’s night life.
Night 2 of Hopscotch took on new life as opposed to it’s previous night, maybe in part to social lubricant or the setting in of cannabinoids. Tycho, for me, was a mere instant as the night promised more engaging activities. But I will say that the band handled their technical difficulties with maturity and poise – and for that I will always remember the performance. Shortly after, Luke and I had the opportunity to meet up with Lost Trail for a sit down and to talk about their music and process – the interview was followed by a set that could only be explained as religious – from the first note I was swallowed whole by the depth of sound being emitted from Zach’s guitar and field of effects. There was beauty in the sincerity of the crowd’s attentiveness – mimicking Zach’s cross legged performance each listener was fully engaged by Zach and Denny’s dense soundscapes. As I totally zoned out Luke pulled me back to reality and reminded me that we needed to meet up with Bree and check out SMLH – SMLH is on another level, if you missed this performance you probably missed the best performance of the festival so far. SMLH, in recorded form, fills out analog vigor. But live, the performance is a complete contrast – full and technically sound. The night rounded out with a pleasant surprise from Big Ups, I wasn’t super familiar with them but I was totally convinced they were a pop punk band.
Dwight Yoakam – City Plaza
Moenda – The Hive
Warehouse – Deep South
Zack Mexico – Pour House
Las Rosas – Deep South
Leverage Models – Neptune’s
Porches. – Deep South
Z’s – The Hive
Jessica Pratt – Kennedy Theatre