Festival Review: Hopscotch Festival 2013, Day 2 – Raleigh, NC

Hopscotch 2013

Read our Day 1 coverage here.

Gross Ghost

All photos by Evan Kaloudis unless otherwise stated

The City Plaza stage on Friday began with a double dash of local artists, both of whom are slowly on the rise. Carrboro’s Gross Ghost took the main stage, probably their largest gig yet, with extreme confidence. The band is set to release their second album to follow up last year’s Brer Rabbit, and many of the newer songs made their way to the downtown stage. They blended seamlessly with the band’s older material, and singer Mike Dillon’s voice sounded better than ever. I’m more than sure they won over a few fans that day. Next up was Future Islands, a band originally from North Carolina, but now finding themselves living in Baltimore. Regardless, the Triangle continues to call them one of our own, and their triumphant set on the main stage proved this. The crowd ate up singer Sam Herring’s every movement, as he proved himself to be one of the more underrated frontmen in the game. The band has garnered a widespread praise for their live show, which they themselves claim is their strong suit. But if their new songs were any indication, we may be in for a treat. –Ryan Nichols

Future Islands

Future Islands photos by Ryan Nichols

Thurston Moore x Merzbow: THURZBOW

Leaving the big theatrics of the City Plaza stage, we made our way to the close confines of Kings’ Barcade, where we were aware a very, very special set was about to happen. Announced softly by the festival as “Merzbow with Super Secret Special Friends,” many people made their way to Kings right around 7:30. The secret was out the minute that Thurston Moore walked up the main stairway at Kings, rather than the side employee one (he had to know what he was doing), immediately silencing everyone waiting for the doors to open at 8. At approximately 7:58, crashing drums and extremely loud washes of guitar began to flood from behind the door at the top of the stairs. Within moments, the doors opened and extreme noise burst out, and as we were let in, we were able to see Merzbow, Thurston Moore, and John Moloney freely jamming cohesively as a three piece. Despite any expectations, the piece was much different than we expected (lots of drone), instead, the three created a driving, rocking piece of music that likely shattered any eardrums not protected. Moore flailed across the stage in his trademark style, busting out his old feedback and file-on-guitar tricks, and Merzbow somehow just created noise with his table of instruments. Moloney held it down, throwing in fills and beats that fit no matter what the other two were playing. A really special, and solid piece of Hopscotch magic. –Nichols

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