Yesterday, the 2019 iteration of Hopscotch Festival took over downtown Raleigh. It’s an exciting year for Hopscotch, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Stereogum was there as well, throwing a day party for the first afternoon of the festival. We posted up at the linked venues Kings and Neptune’s; upstairs at Kings, it’s a naturally-lit room where the vibe splits the different between a DIY space and a coffee shop, while downstairs at Neptune’s is drenched in funky red lights and adorned with retro decor. Thankfully, we didn’t get a full-force hurricane experience here, just a lot of rain for most of the day. Audience members soldiered through it, coming out to help us kick off Hopscotch and bouncing between upstairs and downstairs across eight different sets.
The afternoon began with the heavy classic rock-isms of David Nance Group; it was a (joyfully) pummeling wake-up at the beginning of the day, after which stripped-down and intimate sets from Infinity Crush and Tomberlin provided a meditative reprieve. Ric Wilson delivered his disco-rap hybrids under the red lights of Neptune’s, making it feel as if it was two in the morning rather than two in the afternoon.
Later, Uniform offered a blistering set you could hear well out into the street above; the same went for the Messthetics’ wiry, math-y jams. Illuminati Hotties brought their arsenal of hooks upstairs, and finally Stereogum House Band Charly Bliss closed the whole thing out with a sweaty, sugary rush, leaving everyone high on endorphins as they ventured out into Hopscotch’s first night. Check out performance photos and portraits of the whole day below. And if you were there, thanks for hanging with us through the storm!