Hopscotch Music Festival 2016

Day 2 – Friday, September 9th, 2016

Downtown Raleigh

I am really proud of myself for my Hopscotch 2016 – Day 1 recap. I paid attention, took insightful notes, and came away with a solid piece. Then I threw all that out the window for Day 2 as I simply meandered about the city with no real destination in mind.

Beach House / Anderson .Paak

City Plaza

Beach House: Facebook | Soundcloud
Anderson .Paak: Facebook | Soundcloud

Day 1 was a solid turnout in City Plaza for Wye Oak and Wolf Parade but even more people packed the street for Day 2’s lineup of Anderson .Paak and Beach House.

Hip-hop funk revivalist, Anderson .Paak got the crowd moving early until Beach House emerged through the fog to drop a dark and smoky set.

Erykah Badu

Red Hat Amphitheater

Erykah Badu: Facebook

2016 marked the first year where Hopscotch added Red Hat as a venue and invited hip-hop & soul visionary Erykah Badu for its inaugural run. It’s a good thing too as Red Hat filled up quickly, likely past the point of City Plaza’s capacity.

I received an email from Etix earlier in the evening saying that Erykah was delayed in transit from Texas so her set was pushed to 9:15 but it was actually closer to 10 before she took the stage. The house music kept fans occupied for a while but eventually Erykah’s band took the stage for a jam session in order to buy some extra time.

Erykah finally took the stage in dramatic fashion, both literally and figuratively. She casually sauntered out on stage wearing a 10-gallon leather hat adorned with a fox tail. It didn’t take her long to shed some of the excess leather as the NC heat has a tendency to remain oppressive well into the wee hours of the night.

Young Thug

Memorial Auditorium

Young Thug: Facebook | YouTube

An artist that generated one of the largest pre-show buzzes was Atlanta’s paradoxical fashionista MC, Young Thug. Memorial’s meager pit area couldn’t contain all of the concertgoers so there was substantial spillover into the aisles as Jeffery brought his unique brand of Southern rap. But he left the wedding dresses at home.

Demdike Stare

Fletcher Opera House

Demdike Stare: Soundcloud

After leaving Memorial, I realized that Fletcher was directly next door so I thought I would check out the odd stylings of dark ambient electronic duo, Manchester’s Demdike Stare. I didn’t know what to expect as I’d only briefly familiarized myself with their music that afternoon, but I will be perfectly honest with you: It had been a long day and I was excited to sit in the dark and get weird with Demdike Stare.

I was hoping to more eloquently describe their sound but it is a sensation best experienced. There wasn’t much “show” as DS are simply two chaps with some electronics on a table but they were able to take the scattered, post-midnight crowd on a sweeping and disconcerting journey through dark, industrial landscapes of the mind.

YOB

The Pour House

YOB: Facebook | Bandcamp

To close the night, I staggered over to the Pour House where I had intended to spend the entire night but got sidetracked. That venue’s lineup was stellar: MAKE, Occultist, Cobalt, and YOB. But I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself into the same experience as Day 1 where I pretty much posted up at Lincoln Theatre until it was time to go home. Since I had a pleasantly surprising experience the night before by stumbling into a set by the stellar Battle Trance, I thought I would try my luck again on Day 2 in hopes of turning a corner and being surprised. Unfortunately, I should have stuck with my initial impulse and hung out at Pour House all night to catch bands I actually wanted to see. Oh well. You can’t win ’em all. At least Lan got some dope shots.

I was only able to catch the back half of YOB’s set but that was more than enough for me to solidify the fact that I had chosen my route poorly for the evening. I should have been there, front and center, for YOB’s entire set of top-tier atmospheric doom. (Missing Cobalt might have been my biggest mistake of the Fest though. -Ed.)