Hopscotch Night 2 got off to an interesting start. After catching Gross Ghost, Future Islands, and Holy Ghost! in City Plaza we made our way to Flether Opera Theater just before 9:30 to get front row seats for Aly Spaltro’s project Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. After getting settled in with the small crowd that was there, Hopscotch director Grayson Currin walked on stage and let everyone know that Night Beds set at 10:30 was cancelled and Lady Lamb was moving to the 10:30 slot. The odd part about it all is that Night Beds was already set up on stage, and began packing up their amps, drums, pedal boards, after the announcement. Their Twitter said it was due to an extreme medical emergency. Their social media has since been quiet. So we bounced around and eventually made our way back to the second row just before Lady Lamb took the stage.
Spaltro played solo this night, taking the stage in the dark and singing her first song a capella, silencing the anxious crowd. The setting for Angel Olsen the night before was very similar, with a very respectful crowd. Unfortunately Lady Lamb didn’t receive the same respect she deserved. She walked out to a cat call from some guy in the crowd, no one could tell who it was because it was pitch black until after her first song. Later in the set she asked the crowd if they had any questions, and a male asked her “What do you look like naked?” It was inappropriate, and uncomfortable and sad. To make it even worse the guy then offered to carry her amp for her. She was flustered, but handled it well. In the spotlight of the stage she wasn’t able to see the crowd, but she said if she could she’d be giving him a cold look, and then quickly followed that up by saying “Why are you here? Go see Local Natives.” Not a dig at Local Natives!
All of that aside, her set was powerful and commanding as she stood on the large stage, surrounded by Mount Moriah’s set up, all by her self with her small fender amp and electric guitar. She never held back, at times stepping back from the mic, taking a deep breath and letting out an all out scream. The crowd was hers the entire time, and she took full advantage. Hopefully that one exchange didn’t take away from her Hopscotch experience.
After Lady Lamb the Beekeeper we bounced over to check out a couple of songs from Local Natives, who we’ve covered a fair amount this year, before heading back over to Mount Moriah. Mount Moriah’s set was one near the top of our list of must see shows for this years Hopscotch. When I first heard they would be playing through all of their releases I thought there was no way, and after hearing them talk about it on stage so did they. Singer/guitarist Heather McEntire noted that when festival directed Grayson Currin asked them to play their entire catalog they thought he was crazy, but they made it happen. And it wasn’t easy. McEntire was supposed to be on a speaking panel about touring at 3 o’clock that afternoon, but had to miss it because they were still rehearsing. Their set was amazing, with friends and musicians bouncing on and off stage playing violin, pedal steel, and filling in all the sounds on each record. The part of the set we caught was mostly made up of their 2011 self titled album, the one I am most familiar with. Hearing “Lament” and “Social Wedding Rings” was one of the top highlights of the night.