|All photos by Kevin Norris|
During the heavy parts of Des Ark’s set, Argote played like she was literally possessed by her music. One minute she’s telling jokes about being vegan in a venue sponsored by a barbeque restaurant and the next she’s thrashing and stumbling about, whipping her guitar around without fear. The pain and anger of the music was boiling inside her. When she sang quietly, she barely let the lyrics pass her lips, building the tension until she could explode in violent shouts.
In the middle of their set, Des Ark set up in the middle of the crowd for some very quiet acoustic songs creating a scene that was reminiscent of last year’s Megafaun set in the same space. The first few rows of people sat down to help signal people in the back to be quiet, but it was still difficult to hear.
This variety solidifies Des Ark as a must see act every time they play, a status that had already been achieved Kurt Wagner.
For their first proper performance in the continental United States, KORT's Kurt Wagner whipped out some silky smooth dance moves. He glided easily side to side on the stage and dipped the microphone every time he sang.
His counterpart, Cortney Tidwell, was much more coy. She played hard to get as Wagner showed off. The set built up nicely. The early songs showcased Wagner’s incredible ability to draw the audience in by holding back.
As the set went on and the songs got louder — the band covered Motorhead and Emit Rhodes, the latter of which Wagner jokingly introduced as Superchunk song — Tidwell began to steal the show. She gave such a fiery and powerful performance during the band’s final song; Wagner had to fan her with a towel as they left the stage.
After a short two-song encore that didn’t stand a chance of living up to previous song, Hopscotch 2011 was in the books.