Oh, I don’t want it to be over, please tell me Hopscotch isn’t over.
Saturday morning started late. I was supposed to go into work for an hour or so to proofread all of my drawings and reports for Monday’s client meeting. I went Third Place instead. I needed Third Place, after last night’s metal experience. I drank coffee. I enjoyed sitting still.
But only until Tonk started at Deep South, which was exactly how I wanted to start my Hopscotch Saturday.
Loved it, as I knew I would. I said hi to Tracy and Gregg on the way out, and missed Willow by seconds, but had to catch the R-line over to Hibernian to meet three of my favorite people:
Please, nobody tell the dog he’s not “people,” he won’t take it well. All four of us thought Justin Robinson and the Mary Annettes were great. I’ve seen them a few times, and they’ve coalesced into something really interesting. Still love what he does with that autoharp. It’s eerie and intense.
We stayed for Mipso. I will always stay for Mipso. I have a soft spot for sweet North Carolina boys singing harmony. We hung around longer than we meant to. I wasn’t sorry.
Tate and I bounced over to Mecca, where Megafaun was playing. This is one of the prettiest spots in Raleigh, especially when the sun hits it just right:
and I’m pretty sure this little one enjoyed it most of all.
Tate and I made it to our respective houses-across-the-street in time to cool off and change. I had made a tragic outfit choice, which was a three-layered dress so short I couldn’t sit down in it. It may or may not have looked good enough to be worth it; what I know for sure is that the bottom layer twisted left, the top layer twisted right, and the middle layer just climbed north and gathered in the middle, and in order to keep it at a decent length I had to hold it down while walking. It is a cocktail-party-only dress from now on. I couldn’t take another minute of it. I sat still again for a little while. I made myself dinner, involving the last of the fresh tomatoes from my garden and multiple vegetables. I hydrated. I felt regrouped.
And then the bottom fell out of the sky, and it rained and rained and rained. It wasn’t a problem for me; I actually had to go do that hour of work at my desk. My office is across the street from Deep South, where my 9 pm show would be. Poor Willow’s volunteer shift on the plaza was tonight, and she got moved into the Sheraton until they sorted the weather out, but I was warm and dry. So I did go to work, and proofread and edited, and finished at 8:59. I started for Deep South- and then almost had an epic, monumental Hopscotch fail. I was so worried about work that I’d forgotten to get my volunteer pass beforehand at Wristband City.
And Wristband City was closed.
I sent Tate a tragic message. “Won’t see you at Deep South, sorry, too late to get my pass.” I’m sure she could infer that I was about to cry, at Wristband City, because I was seriously going to miss Shovels and Rope, and Shovels and Rope was my only don’t-miss band of the festival. Tate sent me back the best piece of Hopscotch Magic yet: she and her husband had an extra VIP wristband, given to them by a festival sponsor, that nobody was going to use. It was mine mine mine mine mine.
So twenty minutes later I was in at Deep South as a VIP. I saw Chelsea Crowell, Johnny Cash’s granddaughter,
and then Starlings, TN. Willow had been released from her volunteer duty just before they started, and the band picked her out of the crowd to take a band photo and gave her a free CD for being engaged in the music. Willow has that kind of smile. It’s one of the many reasons I just love her. That, and she actually got permission from the bartender for me to dance on top of the bar, just in case I needed it for Shovels and Rope.
Things went nuts just as Shovels and Rope took the stage. We were on barstools up front, and then the crowd rushed in, so when the music started, I was standing on the rungs of my barstool and leaning on the bar. Shovels and Rope tore it up.
That picture looks kind of serene, but trust me, it’s was way more noise than you would think two people could make. But then, they have a kickdrum, and that goes right through me, and makes me want to behave inappropriately. That girl is a powerhouse.
I was standing on the rungs of the barstool dancing to the extent which that precarious position would allow, and worked my way up to balancing on one knee on the barstool. It is a testament to the power of this band that I considered the fact that I could be setting myself up for a third knee surgery, and proclaimed it to be worth the risk and the potential $5,000 out-of-pocket expense anyway. By fourth or fifth song I had negotiated rung space on two barstools, and midway through the set I made my way to sitting on the bar.
Willow tapped me on the shoulder to make sure I knew how close I was to achieving my “dance on top of a bar” life list goal, which I joke about often because it is such an unlikely thing. I pointed out that there was a giant hanging lamp in my way, not to mention the video trivia screen. It wasn’t ideal. In the end, I made it to dancing while sitting on a bar, which is not quite the same thing. Partly, I wasn’t quite ready to do it, but mainly, it wasn’t about me anyway. It was about the band, blasting it out and rocking Deep South to its foundations. I loved every single second.
I am spent. We thought about catching the last part of Wye Oak, but I believe that you should end Hopscotch with “perfect” if you can, and “perfect” it was.
Far past my bedtime, and there is one more party tomorrow. It’ll take some coffee. But I’ll get there. I will get there.