Monday, September 10, 2012

Hopscotch 2012 Day 3: NOBUNNY, Oren Ambarchi

The crowd at Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) was damp and slightly confused. On stage was a man in a tattered bunny mask wearing nothing but a vest, leather chest strap and black briefs.

As NOBUNNY ripped through their first songs, there was laughter and lots of pointing. It seemed many folks at CAM didn’t know what they were getting into.

NOBUNNY’s lead singer danced around the stage animating his silly lyrics with tons of gestures. The look in his eyes was maybe the craziest anybody would see all weekend at Hopscotch.

Very quickly, the confusion and laughter turned into enjoyment. NOBUNNY plays an infectious style of pop punk reminiscent of the Ramones and the audience was reeled in. Each song was a jolt of energy and melody and by the end of the short set – the band only played about 25 minutes – the front of the crowd was in a frenzy.

With Finnish singer Mirel Wagner delayed because of a flight cancellation, I took shelter from the latest wave of rain at Memorial Auditorium and listened to Australian experimentalist Oren Ambarchi.

Sitting alone on the stage in front of a set up of numerous gizmos and electronic instruments, Ambarchi distorted the sound from his guitar is endless ways. He built the sound up until it shook the foundation of the venue.

His performance moved between drones and pulsating beats. The transitions were slow at times and instant at others. At once, it was both aggravating and comforting. Ambarchi was an appropriate opener for Sunn O))) who would be taking the stage next. Thanks to all of the physical music at Hopscotch this weekend, Memorial Auditorium is going to need to tighten every single bolt come Monday morning.

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