hopscotch music festival: saturday

hopscotch music festival: x

Speakers didn’t cover Hopscotch this year because Matt done gone and gotten himself a baby, and I was reeling after we had a break-in in July and Butthead McStealy walked off with not only all my camera gear but also my camera bag, which contained my entire collection of press passes in a pass holder. NOT COOL, BUTTHEAD MCSTEALY.

Anyway, on Saturday because I was missing it, Trav and shep. and I went over to Raleigh, intending to do the day parties and then bail for Michigan State / Oregon — and then my buddy Dan came up with enough passes for us to get into the mainstage City Plaza shows, and I got to shoot X and American Aquarium.

It was so, so good to shoot again. It was so great to shoot American Aquarium, the band who made me want to take concert photos, on such a big stage. Trav and I came home blissed out and peaceful and exhausted, and I am still those things. Photos from City Plaza below, and everything here.

hopscotch music festival: x

hopscotch music festival: x

hopscotch music festival: x

hopscotch music festival

hopscotch music festival: american aquarium

hopscotch music festival: american aquarium

hopscotch music festival: the dead tongues

hopscotch music festival: laney jones & the spirits

hopscotch music festival: teardrop canyon

hopscotch music festival: flesh wounds

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festival: hopscotch music festival 2013

hopscotch music festival

hopscotch music festival: holy ghost!

hopscotch music festival: gross ghost

This is the third year in a row that I’ve photographed Raleigh’s weird, charming, brilliant Hopscotch Music Festival, and while it might have been the year I saw the fewest number of bands (… 30 or so over the weekend), it might be the year I had the most fun. Hopscotch is, always, a festival that feels as much like a family reunion as it does a music festival; Hopscotch is the time of year I see / meet / catch up with people who I follow on Twitter, went to college with, live less than a mile from but just don’t see enough. Sometimes the summer gets away from me, I don’t see enough people, and Hopscotch happens in September and I see everyone and get juiced up again for taking photos of musicians and live music and living in North Carolina and, you know.

Existence.

Hopscotch is a big fat music festival family reunion that makes me happy about existence.

hopscotch music festival: the breeders

hopscotch music festival

One of the things that Grayson and Greg have always done best with Hopscotch is landing things that are unique; or if not entirely unique, unique enough that they only happen three or four times. This year it was, for me, the Breeders playing the middle set of Saturday’s City Plaza set, doing Last Splash in its entirity. It didn’t disappoint me; that record still resonates with me, and is still something I listen to on the regular, and hearing it live, in that booming open space, just made my heart soar. “Cannonball”, of course, that bass line shuddering out while I was standing in the photo pit and it gave me goosebumps, but also the plaint of “Do You Love Me Now” and, god, the metaphorical thunder of “Divine Thunder”. It was fucking awesome.

hopscotch music festival: spider bags

hopscotch music festival

The day parties are, of course, one of the things that makes Hopscotch unique, and as usual, they were impeccable — Churchkey’s Friday Slim’s party, Trekky’s Saturday Pour House party, the Odessa / OCSC party at Kings on Saturday. I didn’t make it to as many as I have in the past, but the sets I saw were all fantastic, both old favorite bands (Spider Bags, Gross Ghost in a packed encore to their Friday City Plaza show) and some new to me folks.

hopscotch music festival: san fermin

My favorite non-local sets were San Fermin — the Triangle Speakers In Code contingent gives that record FOUR THUMBS UP — and Marnie Stern. I ate a million delicious things, mostly Beasley’s and the Times and about six pounds of carbs at the VIP party on Thursday night. I took pictures of people’s shoes, and several creepster photos of Grant in the photo pit just because I can.

hopscotch music festival: saints apollo

preview: hopscotch night three

hopscotch music festival: the breeders

hopscotch music festival: the breeders sound check

Utter soul-bursting joy is listening to the Deal sisters cover ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ because, you know, they’d finished playing Last Splash, and they had some more time on stage, and, as Kelley said, “We know a Beatles song.”

As always, Hopscotch, as a whole you were beautiful, and you had a single moment where I was so joyous I thought I might puke. And I mean that completely as a compliment.

preview: hopscotch night one

hopscotch music festival

hopscotch music festival: marnie stern

hopscotch music festival 2013

Three from night one. More to come.

I have been awake for 45 minutes; I have written my Jam of the Day, I have answered a day job question over the phone, I have pared down last night’s photos, I have scarfed a bowl of instant Thai peanut noodles, I am ready to go.