Not going to lie, by the third day of Hopscotch things are starting to get a little exhausting. If you've been taking in the day parties and staying out until the last band of the night plays their last notes, you've managed a good twelve to fourteen hours of live music a day. But the party is still going strong, and the festival saves some of its best acts for the weekend, so there's nothing to do but grab some coffee, rally, and get out there.
And really, there's nothing like starting the day strong. We did that at the Merge Records day party, where Mount Moriah frontwoman H.C. McEntire performed a solo set, featuring both songs from her band and new material that she's working on for her solo debut to be released next year. D.C. punk provocateur Ian Svenonius followed with his own solo project, Escape-ism, also releasing a record on Merge soon. From there we ran over to the Red Hat Amphitheatre, where the official festival schedule had already started, to catch Flock of Dimes, the solo project of Wye Oak singer Jenn Wasner. And then finally wrapped up the afternoon with one more day party stop around the corner at Deep South to catch The Veldt, who had played a festival set the night before at the same time that The Afghan Whigs were on (one great thing about the day parties, the chance to catch some of the acts that have schedule conflicts during the main event).
As the evening started, local electronic producer Body Games opened City Plaza with an energetic set. A couple of last minute main-stage cancellations shuffled the schedule a bit, but we were able to catch singer Tei Shi at Red Hat and then rush back to City Plaza for the headliner there, rapper Big Boi. Solange headlined Red Hat, but unfortunately declined to allow photographs.
As usual, there was a lot going on in the venues, but no line-up was stronger than the chilled-out bookings at Nash Hall, a new venue to the festival. Hand Habits, the solo project of Meg Duffy (who also plays bass in Kevin Morby's band), opened the evening there, and the chance to drift away on her calm acoustic melodies was a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the weekend. She was followed by Baltimore musician Ami Dang, who combines electronica with traditional Indian music stylings (complete with sitar!) for a unique hybrid sound. Quirky singer-songwriter Aldous Harding rounded up the night before rushing over to the packed Pour House to catch former Television member Richard Lloyd. Finally capping off the night was LA noise-pop quartet Cherry Glazzer, who released their third album Apocalipstick at the beginning of the year.