When I awoke Sunday I had to wait for Audrey to return from her cousin's bat mitzvah. Once she got back we headed out for the third and final day of Hopscotch. We also picked up a friend who was planning on seeing just the Flaming Lips show at the Plaza later that day. We had some time to kill before Flaming Lips played (about 2 hours) so we hit up a few day shows during the wait. Keep up after the jump for more photos from Audrey and how the festival wrapped up for us.
Butterflies, whom I'd never heard of before, was playing the Trekky Records showcase at Pour House. A friend of a friend of a friend was playing drums with the band, which turned out to be the best aspect. I try to keep it positive over here, so I'll just positively say the band could have done without vocals. Everything else was incredibly solid.
After Butterflies we decided to hit up Lump Art Gallery, where All Day Records had a pretty rad showcase going on. Various folk musicians including Hiss Golden Messenger, Steve Gunn, Nathan Bowles & Mike Gangloff were alternating through instruments and songs, with artists just dropping in and out for tracks. It was really cool to see so many musicians working in a group like that.
Around 7pm we headed over to City Plaza. Superchunk was just finishing up their set and Flaming Lips was up next. I didn't listen to good music in the 90s and I wasn't into "indie" music until like five years ago really. With that said, this was still my most anticipated show of the weekend. If you've read even one show review of Flaming Lips then you get it. Wayne Coyne starts things out by entering the crowd in his giant space bubble. Note that he calls it that; it's not just something I named it. All the while the rest of the band is furiously jamming on stage until Wayne rejoins them. The rest of the set was spent going through some of their best tracks while continuously launching confetti and huge balloons into the crowd. You'd have to hate fun to not have a good time when Flaming Lips play.
After Flaming Lips, Audrey and I decided to hit up the Andrew Cedermark show at Deep South. On the way there we also saw Chaz Bundick of Toro Y Moi posing in front of some LEDs, a shot too good not to steal. Plans to see Andrew were unfortunately foiled as Audrey is under 21 and therefor wasn't allowed into the venue, despite having a photo badge and all. She decided instead to go grab some food before heading over to Future Islands set. In the next hour I spent more time running around than I had the entire weekend. Andrew Cedermark and his band, Buffalo Wildwing, were fantastic. I'd been waiting a long time to catch his furious noise pop live and it translated perfectly. After a few songs I jetted over to The Union (which was fortunately next door) to catch the last five songs of Gross Ghost's set. I couldn't be happier to have made it in time because this was the best I've ever seen Gross Ghost. Eric from Gravity Records was there for the set, and afterward we talked a bit about how good it was. He pointed out how many longtime Gross Ghost fans were front and center, something we agreed must have felt good for the band. Mike Dillon also told me that having the full band together presenting the songs as he always knew they should be played live helped keep the energy at its most vibrant. Once Gross Ghost finished playing a one hitter was packed and passed several times before we all headed to Unknown Mortal Orchestra's set at Five Star Restaurant. On the walk over I got to chat briefly with Stu McLamb of The Love Language, who told me that on the upcoming record he's being a little more experimental and trying some new things he's wanted to do for a while. I'm a huge Love Language fan so I'm excited to hear that come to fruition. Unknown Mortal Orchestra sounded great despite more sound problems from Five Star. Just as with White Ring, the vocals weren't coming through loud enough at all. Regardless, this was Eric's most anticipated show of Hopscotch, and he's taken to calling UMO the best new band of 2011 so you know it was good.
Next up I quickly darted over to Future Islands at Lincoln Theatre, where Audrey was already taking some photos. On the way there I ran into former-Wilmington homie Sarah Kinlaw and Bryan Wade Keller Jr, who form two-thirds of dark-psychedelic trio SoftSpot. We arrived in time to catch the last Future Islands song, one good enough to make me sorely regret missing the rest of it.
The final show of the night was Yelawolf. The whole crowd had a lot of fun, dancing wildly to explosive beats; something made it that much more annoying when he would stop the beat so he could rap over nothing. I believe my dude Shady Blaze said it best with his recent mixtape Rappers Ain't Shit Without A Producer. Still, it was a fun show and I'm glad we caught it. The next two hours would be spent wandering through various after parties before deciding we were too tired and heading off to sleep. Hopscotch was a helluva festival; I had a great time, and it totally wore me out. I can't wait for next year.