Reviews in 200 Words

Hopscotch Music Festival: Night One (of Three) Recap: Gray Young, Cults, Best Coast

In Music Festival on September 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm
Editor’s Note: September 9, 10, and 11 mark the inaugural weekend of Raleigh, NC’s Hopscotch Music Festival. With 130 bands strewn across 10 venues with wrist band admission there’s a lot to catch – and miss – on any given night. These reports are just one account of a promising new tradition in the New South.
We’re supposed to “hop” around this festival — dipping in and out of Raleigh’s downtown clubs to catch emerging artists and torchbearers alike. But some of us had to work on Friday morning, so we parked ourselves at Tir Na Nog in hopes of beating what would surely be a capacity crowd for Best Coast.
Consequently we were treated to three energetic – if conflicted – sets from locals Gray Young, up and comers Cults, and the de facto headliner. Gray Young brought the firepower with bright, noisy guitars – a controlled crash of one-noted tension and release that waned by the end.
Cults (try Googling that one) should have destroyed the crowd with unadulterated pop. Instead, weak volume left the audience craning necks to hear their sunshine melodies. Also, it’s hard not to love a band with three guys and one lady who all sport Rapunzel-worthy black tresses.
Finally, much-hyped Bethany Cosentino took the stage with her band’s fuzzy haze. There were peaks and valleys, but it was clear Best Coast is a live act that sounds better that way. Lyrics and nuance lost in recording were abundant and sharp. Believe the hype while wishing for some variety.

-Jay Cullis


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