Hopscotch Fest, make sure you check out Day 1 and Day 2 first, or the whole story will be spoiled. David is in blue and Jheri is in green, so keep up.
Saturday, we groggily woke up at my apartment and met Sam at her place for a pancake breakfast, which was lovely and quite heavily instagrammed. Energized by syrup and ready for a new day, we drove with Aaron downtown to catch the distorted folk stylings of Old Bricks at Kings, after which Sam and I bounced over to White Collar Crime's day show to catch the Nirvana-channeling noise assault of Roomrunner, easily one of my favorite sets of the weekend. Frontman Denny Bowen quipped amusingly between songs about the oversized artist wristband he was wearing, saying "I feel like an anime character with a tail coming from their wrist."
I woke up Saturday feeling like a mess, and I knew immediately that the next day I'd be feeling worse, so I decided that I'd go as hard as I could the whole day. I'll kill the suspense for you and go ahead and tell you it put me under the weather for a week, but was completely worth it. After David, Giancarlo and I groggily moped about the living room for thirty minutes, Aaron picked us up and we headed to Sam's place. Sam had made pancakes for all of us. David, Giancarlo and I have been having fun lately posting pictures of each other posting pictures to instagram, so we circle jerked that madness for a minute before finally heading to downtown Raleigh for the final day of Hopscotch Fest. Our first stop when we made it downtown was a coffee shop that was very pleasant and a name that I've forgotten entirely. Afterward we met up with our pals in Hundred Waters (whom I'd first met last year when they were touring with Levek as part of his band.) After chatting for a while and catching up on life, we headed over to Kings to catch Jane Jane Pollock's thrilling live show. I saw JJP last year at Total Bummer and fell in love, and once more my eyes filled with hears as the band began their exuberant pop. As soon as the set finished I made my way to Sadlack's with Giancarlo and Aaron to see Museum Mouth. As usual those cuties killed it with a short-but-sweet set. The best thing I can say about the band is that they play Wilmington frequently and I still will go out of my way in other cities to see them.
After Museum Mouth finished I chugged the rest of a second coffee I'd ordered and we headed to The Hive to catch Woodsman shred the stage at the Phuzz Phest day show. On the way we saw Audrey and absorbed her into our group. After Woodsman finished up I helped them get their gear to their van because a meter maid was getting fussy about where they'd park for just a few minutes. I also ran into Hank from Grip Tapes, who introduced me to Toon, a Durham-based MC who played Thursday night with fellow Durham rapper The Real Laww. Toon was a really cool dude, and I was glad to meet him because I'd really wanted to catch his set but was still in Wilmington when he played. Next Giancarlo, Audrey, Aaron and I headed to a "Chinese food" place called City Wok (isn't that a Southpark joke?), where I ate the worst fried rice I've ever had and some General Tso's chicken that wasn't spicy at all. Then it started raining, while we were eating outside, because that meal didn't quite suck enough. Thanks to the rain we were forced to hang out for a little over an hour in the Sheraton lobby while killing time until the night shows began. David, Giancarlo and I passed the time by loudly singing a number of Soulja Boy songs.
While walking back, we passed the folk band Megafaun, who were playing in the middle of the street to an adoring crowd, so we stuck around for a bit while Sam shot photos and interviewed people. After snagging some food, we hung around the city plaza to catch The Roots, until the second huge rainstorm of the weekend rolled in and we were forced inside the Sheraton, awaiting word on when the Roots would take the stage. This was fun though, I got to meet Danny Brown, and Jheri, Giac, and I went in on an impromptu rendition of Soulja Boy's "Pretty Boy Swag" in the lobby, which had people around us smiling. Soon the rain passed and we went outside to see the Roots. I met up with some friends in the crowd who smoked me up as the Roots played, and I was loving the universe.
Amidst the storming outside, I became certain that this would be the fourth time I'd almost gotten to see the Roots before some random circumstance prevented it in the last minute, so I headed over to The Hive to catch Toddlers' set. I was there for five or six fantastic tracks before Andrew from Potholes In My Blog shot me a text message to let me know The Roots were finally going on soon. I met up with Andrew and his ladyfriend, Mallory, to enjoy the set and finally see the group I'd been trying to see for five years. Due to the whole rain mixup none of our photographers were at that set, so I'll never be able to prove that happened.
After that set, we ran over to CAM to catch Nobunny, which was wild. I had never even heard of dude before that night, and proceeded to get my introduction by fire via a huge mosh pit in the center of an art museum.
After the Roots I headed to CAM for Nobunny's set, one of my most anticipated of the weekend. For the past few years I've been digging Nobunny's jams thanks to being introduced to him by Eric (of Gravity Recs), so as soon as the set began I sent Eric a text saying simply "I HOPE YOU'RE HERE!" Moments later he grabbed my shoulder from behind, spun me around, and we hugged excitedly. Then for about thirty minutes we geeked out as Nobunny pumped energy into the crowd, getting everyone moving around while he pranced about in his tighty (used to be) whiteys and leather jacket.
After Nobunny's set I began to make my way outside, but before I could get to the doors I was stopped by a guy who looked vaguely familiar. As an expression of confusion moved to excitement on my face, I realized that standing in front of me was Konstantin Kazmierski, Deniro Farrar's manager and a friend I'd only interacted with online before now. Deniro was also there, and I met and chatted with him for a bit before none other than Toon showed up and we realized we all knew each other. I also ran into my buddy Dylan from Persona La Ave, whom I hadn't seen in about two years. At this point Danny Brown's set was staring, so we headed back into CAM, where I also met back up with Andrew and Mallory. Danny Brown was definitely a highlight of the weekend for me, as I've been listening to XXX a lot this summer. The energy of the show was every bit as massive as his recordings would make you think.
I stuck around for a few songs of Danny Brown, then went over to meet Aaron at Gorilla vs Bear headquarters aka Laurel Halo's set, which was.... odd. I enjoyed it but her set was maybe a little abstract for my tastes, or I just wasn't stoned enough. We stuck around for a bit and then bounced over to Sunn O))) at the auditorium. A show that was audible from far outside the venue, the set was less a concert than an existential meditation. I was sitting there holding a balloon I had brought from Danny Brown's set (which I ended up flinging from the balcony at Wye Oak) and the thing was in danger of popping from the sheer soundwaves. I stared into the smoke that covered the stage and I swear I saw human history and a Lovecraftian story playing out in the billows, real talk. Their music is that emotional.
After Danny Brown's set I got to go hang out backstage, as Flosstradamus were up next and are friends of Deniro and Konstantin. I didn't really say much to anyone as I'm secretly pretty bashful, but it was still a great time and an awesome way to close out the weekend. During Flosstradamus' set I was at the side of the stage dancing like my life depended on it while Danny Brown and Deniro Farrar were doing the same thing (though they both had found some girls to join them) only feet away. I once more didn't have a photographer with me, so instead enjoy a picture of Deniro, Kon and myself. Whoa whoa whoa, don't enjoy it that much! Anyway, after the show I met back up with Aaron outside of the venue and we made our way to the Sheraton lobby to meet up with the rest of our crew. After collecting everyone we ma our way to our sleeping buildings. The next morning Giancarlo and I would meet up with Eric to head back to Wilmington and discuss all the finer points of our respective weekends over a few bowl packs.