With Day 1 in the books, Friday afternoon saw the Hopscotch Music Festival ready to build on a solid start and kick the party into the weekend proper. As in previous years, the opening day almost feels like a dress rehearsal as the crowds are often a bit thin and everyone is getting a feel for the venues and the optimal timing and pathways to navigate between them. By Day 2, the crowds start to pick up and the weekend truly begins. The mid-afternoon day parties were in full swing as we made our way to Slims to catch some of the Churchkey & The Layabout “¡Que Viva! 2018” party. Some great sets from Dan Melchior, as well as local trio Pie Face Girls who battled the sun and sauna-like humidity-dripping heat on the back porch as they delivered a concise set of their catchy as Hell garage punk. We finished up at Slims with another local act, Drag Sounds, who brought the swagger and raw energy to the garage-rock landscape.
After a short recovery from the afternoon’s festivities, it was time to hit up some of the acts featured on the dueling main stages at both City Plaza and Red Hat Amphitheater, which were running performances simultaneously, but with staggered start times. The overlap between the main stages made for some tough choices. While it was possible to catch all of the acts, you couldn’t linger at any one performance for too long, lest you not have the time to shuttle between the stages, potentially missing the start of one of the other acts. Despite the lineup of M8alla, DVSN, and Miguel at Red Hat Amphitheater, we elected to skip the back-and-forth and camped out at the City Plaza stage where we caught sets from Thundercat and Grizzly Bear. Both sets were solid, if a bit chilled-out. But the Thundercat set was notable for an extra layer of melancholy as Stephen Lee Bruner, who performs under the stage name Thundercat, had just learned of the passing of his good friend Mac Miller. To his credit, Thundercat soldiered on and dedicated his performance to Miller.
With the moving performances at City Plaza concluded, it was off to wander through town and take in more shows. Our late night run was highlighted by performances from Stevie, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, and Breathers, before a storming performance of Purple Rain era Prince songs performed by his band The Revolution. We closed out the evening with a nightcap of noise guitar from Kim Gordon who performed with Bill Nace as Body/Head