Monday, September 12, 2011

Hopscotch 2011 Day 3: Des Ark & KORT at King’s Barcade

All photos by Kevin Norris
King’s Barcade was a showcase of fantastic bandleaders Saturday night as both Aimée Argote of Des Ark and Kurt Wagner of KORT dominated the stage.

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.



Ross Grady said...

I was so delirious with exhaustion by the end of Saturday night I could barely stand up straight. So while I loved the Kort set, I wasn't coherent enough to pick up on the covers. What specific songs were they?

Justin said...

The Motorhead song covered was "Please Don't Touch" which the band actually released as a single on Record Store Day this year.

I'm still looking for the Superchunk song. I wrote down some lyrics, but I'm having trouble figuring out which song it is. My ears weren't as sharp as normal by the end of day three so I may have heard and written down something different than what was actually sung.

Justin said...

The song in question was not a Superchuck cover. According to Lambchop on Twitter (@lambchopisaband) it is "Times Will Show the Wiser" by Emmitt Rhodes and he announced it as a Superchunk song just to be funny.