As a first-time attendee of Hopscotch, I was thoroughly blown away. The festival was amazing: great people and great music in a great city. After a few days to catch up on sleep and collect my thoughts, I compiled a list of my favorite moments from Hopscotch 2012.
The mosh pit at Holograms (performed Thursday night at The Contemporary Art Museum)
This Swedish band specialized in short, loud, guitar-heavy songs that certainly kept the crowd moving. A pretty big mosh pit formed in front of the stage and didn't stop once. The exuberant energy was contagious, and the rest of the crowd was still head-banging and having a good time (although we did have to dodge a few flying beer cans).
Friday's day party featuring Lonnie Walker and The Love Language (outside The Contemporary Art Museum)
The atmosphere at the day party was almost like a small carnival. People were walking around and watching the shows while five or six food trucks served dishes that smelled tantalizingly delicious. Even the hot sun couldn't put a damper on the festival, and a huge crowd formed by the stage to sing along with the bands.
Zola Jesus (performed Friday night at The Lincoln Theater)
I think this was my favorite show of the whole festival. This petite blond singer had so much energy that the crowd couldn't help but follow suit. She loved the crowd too; at one point during a song she jumped off of the stage and disappeared into the crowd while still singing, leaving us wondering where in the world she went off to. The venue was filled to the rafters and it stayed that way until the end of her set.
Field Report (performed Friday night at The Longview Center)
After the cramped conditions in some of the venues and after standing so close to the speakers I could feel the bass vibrating my shoelaces, I needed a nice break at a more relaxing show. Field Report definitely delivered, and The Longview Center was a perfect location for their more mellow tunes. I got a plush front row seat and the band's folksy, soft-rock music was relaxing (but still made you want to tap your feet and nod along to the beat).
Even though Hopscotch was exhausting, I'm so glad I was given the opportunity to attend. I didn't leave a single show thinking, "Man, I wish I had gone to see someone else instead." I had only heard of a few of the bands, but I think that's what Hopscotch is all about. Get out of your house, go explore your city and discover something new.