Earl Sweatshirt delived some hard-driven a capella flow towards the end of his set at Lincoln Theatre. (Jake Seaton, WNCN)
Local Natives captivated a packed house at Memorial Auditorium. (Jake Seaton, WNCN)
World-renowned DJ A-Trak's button mashing and disc scratching made for one hell of a party on the Main Stage. (Jake Seaton, WNCN)
RALEIGH, N.C. -
Day two of Hopscotch 2013 is in the books! I was hoping to have a feature on Los Angeles rapper Earl Sweatshirt, but he wasn't in the mood for interviews after his set at the Lincoln Theater. So instead, here's my unofficial Top 10 Hopscotch Moments -- so far ...
1. The nonstop dance party of Holy Ghost!'s set at the Main Stage on Fayetteville Street. This New York-based synthpop act trotted out one captivating song after another Friday night. Their act sometimes seems like a throwback to the best of synth-heavy ‘80s and the City Plaza crowd loved every second of it.
2. Unfortunately, I began Hopscotch out on the sidewalk with several dozen of my newest friends, since the Body Games set at the Pour House was at capacity. Fortunately, I made it in for the last two songs, and their quirky/awesome cover of Michael Jackson's "Will You Be There" (complete with Free Willy video clips projected behind the band) was a perfect way to kick off the weekend. It was great to see a local act set up the rest of the festival so well.
3. The entire Local Natives set was stellar, but "Wide Eyes" took things up a notch. The studio version of this song has an intense restraint that they completely blew away on the Memorial Auditorium stage. Taylor Rice smashing his tambourine on Kelcey Ayer's cymbal as the song peaked was a great visual.
4. Earl Sweatshirt delivering some hard-driven a capella flow towards the end of his set. It had this fierceness that the Lincoln Theater crowd ate up. "Hardest verse of this year," Sweatshirt told the audience afterwards with a grin.
5. It had been a couple years since I last caught a Future Islands show, and I almost forgot how much fun it is to watch exuberant lead singer Samuel T. Herring. He's one of the best frontmen around, and his stage presence is infectious.
6. Beloved Binge had a poignant moment at the beginning of their set Thursday night at the Bekeley Cafe. You can't help but take note when the lead singer starts things off by saying, "This first song is about Alzheimers. My grandmother wrote these lyrics."
7. Co.'s set at the Berkeley Cafe was great, and chatting with lead singer Brian Hannon afterwards was often hilarious. They were happy to be playing Hopscotch and it was pretty obvious that they had a lot of fun.
8. We were in serious hustle-mode after the Local Natives set, and I'm really glad we were able to catch the end of Big Daddy Kane. The hip hop legend was a last-second addition when Action Bronson had to bow out. Walking into a breakdance contest on the Lincoln Theater stage put a smile on my face.
9. A-Trak's button mashing and disc scratching made for one hell of a party on the Main Stage. All the blinking LED shutter shades in the crowd served as a great visual tandem to the turntables on stage.
10. Carrboro's Gross Ghost was the first band to play the Main Stage and you couldn't have asked for a better atmosphere. The weather was superb and there was a buzz around Fayetteville Street before they even got started. It set things up perfectly for the rest of the night.