Good grief. Every year, Stopover gets bigger and bigger while I manage to get older and older. I just can’t party like I used to it seems. Which is a shame because this year’s Stopover was party central. This year’s Stopover seemed to especially hit its stride as the festival is getting a better and better handle on using diverse venues like Ships of the Sea and Trinity United Methodist Church along with old staples like The Jinx and Wild Wing Cafe.
Things kicked off on Thursday night with a bang. After a couple of interviews with *repeat repeat and Pronoun (both of which will be coming out a little later this week), I hit the ground running with drink in hand. Starting the night off with the excellent trio of acts at Ships of the Sea was the perfect way to settle into the festival. Garden Giant, The Dig, and Kishi Bashi all put on stellar sets and made for a pretty high benchmark.
The next hour was a bit of a whirlwind that had me catching some awesome local acts like Taze Daze and Isaac Smith along with touring acts like Chain of Flowers and *repeat repeat. The set that really lured me in though was pronoun for sure. The Brooklyn by way of Boston artist really draws on a ton of alt rock/early emo influences to a phenomenal effect. Plus, any band that covers Third Eye Blind is due for some major props in my book. I closed out the night by catching Daddy Issues (who I’ve been trying to catch live for at least 3 years) and JEFF The Brotherhood at The Jinx. Definitely a killer way to close out the night.
Friday, as expected, was a bit of a struggle. And not only because of the hangover from Thursday night. With artists like Alanna Royale, Lee Fields and the Expressions, CUSSES, Allison Crutchfield and the Fizz, Walker Lukens, and A Tribe Called Red all playing, I knew I would be running around from the get go. As predicted, one of my favorite sets of the night came from New York’s High Waisted. The pop infused surf-rock band was born when the members discovered their mutual love of surf rock vinyl while at a taco/tequila bar (really, the most perfect band formation ever) and have been tearing up clubs ever since. With new material in the works, now’s definitely the time to get acquainted with them before they blow up even more.
Saturday seemed to sneak up on me pretty quickly but would have no shortage of rad acts to catch. An unexpected nap caused me to miss Charly Bliss (there’s always one that slips away) but since I was also catching Julien Baker, who may or may not have caused me to get a bit misty eyed during her set, Belle Game, Caveman, AJ Davila, and Crocodiles, I figured I couldn’t be too upset. An unexpected surprise was Yoke Lore who put on a fantastic indie folk set. Another one of the major standouts from Saturday most definitely had to be Dirty Dishes, the fuzz rock trio who made their way down from New York. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I hadn’t heard them prior to their set but all I can say is that I’m definitely a fan. Crafting fuzz into a hooky, riffy product is a challenge for some but Dirty Dishes is a master of the craft.
As always, Stopover is a blast. It’s a hard thing to try to explain Stopover for those thinking about jumping on board for the first time but I think I’ve finally figured out a decent explanation of the appeal. You remember summer camp? Stopover is a lot like that. Except with more booze (lots more to be exact). You see familiar faces, you make rad new friends (even band buddies!), and at the end of the day you’re glad you were there but you’re also totally ready for a solid 16 hours of sleep. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m overdue for my 16 hours. Happy Stopover, kids. Until next year!