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The Walking Guys, as their name suggests, walk more than the average musician. The quartet of singer-songwriters have in fact walked their east coast tour all the way from Maine to North Carolina- in their infamous “dad shoes”- and will keep going until they reach Florida. Their tour is predicted to last four months and cover 1600 miles.

Three fourths of the Walking Guys stopped by The Annex in Raleigh on September 26th to play some tunes, and here is the photographic evidence to prove it.

 

 

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Hopscotch season has come back around to Raleigh, and I couldn’t be more excited. When you live around here (or go to school here, in my case), it’s pretty much like Christmas finding out who’s gonna play the festival. And after the seemingly endless anticipation, it’s always even better than you expected it to be.

I was lucky enough to be able to cover Hopscotch for the second year in a row, and it was somehow even better than in 2014. Though I was pretty disappointed that Deerhunter dropped the fest, I had a truly enjoyable experience getting to see some old favorites and discovering new talent.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

The first act I saw this year was Canadian band Ought. They had a tough slot to fill replacing Deerhunter- one of my favorite bands of all time- but I actually loved their performance. Frontman Tim Beeler Darcy was charismatic and the group was obviously happy to be at Hopscotch, which made the whole of it more enjoyable. I hadn’t been familiar with Ought previous to their show, and I went out and bought their album the next day, if that says anything.

Since Godspeed You! Black Emperor didn’t allow photography during their set and I never went through that much of a post-rock phase anyways, I skipped them and went to see local act Grandma Sparrow at Kennedy Theatre. This is one decision I did not regret. Grandma Sparrow puts on a show that I hope everyone gets to see at some point. His narrative-style music and assumption of many characters- from grandma to clown to Ozzy Osbourne-esque rocker- provided a captivating experience. And gimmicks aside, he and his Piddletractor Orchestra have a great deal of musical talent to back themselves up. Anyone who can get adults to spontaneously sit criss-cross-apple-sauce on the floor has my respect.

Next I caught the majority of Lilac Shadows at King’s Barcade. Lilac Shadows is a Durham band which was a popular choice among my friends who also attended Hopscotch. They gave a high-energy performance and I stood between an old man in a cowboy hat and a college kid, which was cool.

Following Lilac Shadows came Baltimore band Wildhoney. They’re another of my favorite Hopscotch discoveries, playing music that was both high-intensity and dreamy.

Next came Jenny Hval and the Apocalypse Girls, which was probably the most memorable set of the night. Hval entered the stage wearing a curly red wig and a hospital gown, followed by two women decked in plastic dresses and matching platinum wigs, who struck up an interpretative dance as Hval sang and Kyrre Laastad, a longtime contributor of hers, played synths while wearing a Hazmat suit. Her set included fake blood, screaming, and a very avant-garde cover of Summertime Sadness, which Hval recorded on her phone.

I concluded my night with Battles at Lincoln Theatre, which was way more intense than I expected. I don’t think I have ever seen people go so crazy for an instrumental band. I was told by people who were on the floor (I was precariously perched on a stool on the balcony) that the ground literally shook. Judging from the amount of sweat soaking through John Stanier’s shirt in that fifth picture, I’m not surprised.

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11TH

Friday opened up with a performance from Tycho and his live band. They got off to a bit of a rough start- the band had too many things plugged in at once and blew a fuse- but once they got their electricity back, it was a captivating show. The sun set as the band played, leaving them illuminated by projections on the screen behind them.

TV On The Radio was one act I was extremely pumped to see. I’ve been a fan of TVOTR for quite some time, and they did not disappoint. I may or may not have lost my cool when they played “Wolf Like Me.” The energy was fantastic even if I did have to literally fight my way into the photo pit.

My absolute #1 favorite Hopscotch discovery was Memphis band Nots. They were recommended to me by my friend Madeline, and I’m so happy I followed her advice and went to see them at CAM. Frontwoman Natalie Hoffman’s searing vocals possess enough raw power to melt the faces off unsuspecting bypassers and Charlotte Watson’s energy and hair were both inspiring.

I caught the tailend of local band SMLH just as Sam Higgins broke his guitar. RIP

Next was Mitski at Tir Na Nog. This was another set that I had been awaiting eagerly, and it was just as perfect as I expected it to be. Mitski- “spelled like the MIT ski team, which has caused some problems for me”- gave an intimate performance that brought several audience members to actual tears. (In the light of full disclosure, I definitely welled up during “First Love/ Last Spring.”)

And then finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for: KING PUSH!! I don’t know how I made it onto the floor for Pusha T’s set at Lincoln Theatre, but I did, and it was absolutely wild. The rapper brought an inhuman amount of energy accompanied by thunderclap sound effects and a short rant about how his new album was AOTY. Everyone I saw seemed to be enjoying themselves (some maybe a little too much.. yeah, I’m talking to you, couple next to me who were so busy grinding that you almost trampled me.) All in all, a great show that people kept talking about for days afterwards.

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH

I was a little bit late to City Plaza and missed The Vibekillers and American Aquarium, but I got there in time to see the area filled with fans decked out in cowboy hats and boots getting down to X. Someone offhandedly made a remark to me about how everyone in the band was super old, but I gotta say, they were going hard.

Dwight Yoakam followed in the footsteps of Godspeed and didn’t allow photography, so I jumped over to Deep South to catch local favorites Less Western, who I had actually never seen before. They put on a great show and had A+ lighting, and overall I was impressed.

I caught maybe 4 minutes of Prurient at Fletcher Opera Theatre. Basically 4 minutes of drone. He made a really dramatic exit from the stage.

Following Prurient was Ian William Craig. It was his first ever show in the US, and he pretty much sounded like an angel backed up by static.

Chelsea Wolfe came next, which I was incredibly excited for. Her performance was magnetic, with lots of smoke and cool lighting to enhance her raw and electric vocals and growling guitar. She played Lincoln Theatre, which was pretty weird considering Pusha T was playing the last time I was there, but it was a perfect venue for her. Wolfe and her band filled the venue with their haunting music, including several songs off her excellent recent album, ‘Abyss.’

The last artist I saw at Hopscotch 2015 was rapper Goldlink at CAM. The set was basically a huge dance party, which was a fun way to end things. Goldlink was a highly charismatic performer who was clearly a favorite with the crowd, who were jumping and dancing as the rapper and DJ Kidd Marvel performed. At one point, Goldlink invited guests on stage, and eventually random members of the audience jumped up on there too. Then he played “Ignition Remix” and it just got way too hype.

All in all, a successful year. Shouts out to Ian for the sick shots. See you next year, Hopscotch!

x

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My hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina may not be a hub for touring bands, but the city’s (and the state’s) tightknit local music scene is a treasure. Saturday, June 27th, music and lifestyle outlet CLTure hosted CLTure Music Fest, a music, food, arts, and fashion festival held at The Chop Shop in NoDa. Photographer Ryne Brownell (rynebrownell.com) took some shots of fan favorites Desert Noises and The Love Language.

4 (3 of 1)

blu (1 of 1)

untitled (2 of 1) untitled (3 of 1)

Desert Noises

concert (4 of 5)

concert (3 of 5)

The Love Language

 

xx

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All photographs copyright Dory Ann Carter.

Lorde performed in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Red Hat Amphitheater on 9/18/14.


 

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