Hop Along came back to Asheville for the second time since their album Bark Your Head Off, Dog was released, this time at the Orange Peel instead of the Grey Eagle. It’s a bigger venue but I’m not sure there were more people, just more space, which is a shame because Hop Along put on an incredible performance.
The night started with openers Kississppi, the first band I’ve ever seen use a headset mic as far as I can remember. They also used a keytar. The second band was Asheville band Floating Action. I wasn’t into either of these personally and was ready for Hop Along by the time they hit the stage.
This was my fifth time seeing them. The first time I ever even heard them was opening for The War on Drugs. I also caught them with Modest Mouse once, Speedy Ortiz once, and the headlining show at the Grey Eagle last year. Of all those times this was the best I’ve seen them. Hop Along is band but singer/writer/guitarist Francis Quinlan is the star of the band. She stretches her voice farther and in more different directions than literally any vocalist I can think of. My voice would be destroyed even attempting a fraction of what she pulls off on their albums and she hit those notes better this time than any of my previous times seeing the band.
The set was a good mix of songs from all three of the bands albums, including more old songs from the debut Get Disowned, than I’ve seen them do before. A good number of songs from their perfect album Painted Shut made the list too, I can’t recommend that one enough. The section of people in the center of the crowd seemed most into the newest songs from Bark Your Head Off, Dog though. They may not have hit every que trying to sing along but they tried and added a bit to the show.
The highlight of Bark Your Head Off, Dog, Prior Things was the pre fake encore song and they came back to end with Well Dressed and The Knock but not before an amazing rendition of Tibetan Pop Stars.
It was a great way to spend a Monday night.