Friday, September 09, 2011

Hopscotch 2011 Day 1: Dinosaur Feathers & Lower Dens at Kings Barcade

All photos by Emily Price
With only two acts to choose from in the 8:30 slot, Kings Barcade was packed for the energetic Brooklyn band Dinosaur Feathers. For a crowd that was still warming up, Dinosaur Feathers was a great way for people to dive head first into Hopscotch.

The band’s combination of world influences, dance pop and aggressive guitar playing slowly got the crowd dancing. Dinosaur Feather’s music is contagious enough, but seeing lead guitarist Greg Sullo and bassist Ryan Michael Kiley thrash about on stage makes them impossible to resist.

When they finished, the crowd was still thick and I decided to wait out the set change rather than risk missing Lower Dens, but it might not have been a bad thing.

Lower Dens filled the bar with drone and bits of melody. At its best, the music was intense, but more often it sapped the energy from the room. While the band was good, they weren’t good enough to keep me from wondering what I was missing elsewhere in Raleigh. Thankfully, Lower Dens would end on a high note.

Bandleader Jana Hunter is easily the most compelling member of the band on stage. She came out incredibly focused and serious, but throughout the set her strict exterior cracked. She smiled, joked and even unbuttoned the very top button on her shirt. When she showed that she enjoyed her music, it became much easier for the audience to enjoy it as well.

Dinosaur Feathers

Lower Dens

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