Feelings, man. A spectacularly simplistic summation of one of the biggest shows by one of America’s most spectacular rock bands.
Hop Along headlined the relatively newly minted Brooklyn Steel and sold the dang thing out; a far cry from the first time I caught them in September of 2013 at the old Asbury Lanes. So much has happened since then, including the release of the band’s breakout, Painted Shut, leading to the wider recognition they so richly deserve.
Frances Quinlan’s voice remains one of the most traditionally unquantifiable in the modern rock-music scape and its range was on full display in a venue that would typically engulf lesser singers with its set up. Hop Along’s latest record, Bark Your Head Off, Dog, translated well to the near 2k cap venue, but it was the material off of Painted Shut that seemed to have the most muscle behind it. And that is the sharpest criticism you’ll read here relating to Hop Along The Band at Brooklyn Steel The OK you’ll find here.
It occurred to me mid-way through Hop Along’s headlining set, and a stretch of days earlier, that maaaybe there is an unbreachable gulf between rock bands and the pop/rap ones that routinely command the larger purses at festivals which have become an essential part of an artist’s routing/income. Can a band like Hop Along break through towards headlining or sub-headlining something like a Bonnaroo? There’s still plenty of science out on the issue, buuut looking at the bodies jumping up and down throughout their set at Brooklyn Steel, not unlike the full throng at the beloved, haunted Asbury Lanes, the sauce is very much still bubblin’ up. Likely, for some years time yet for this Philly-based unit to strive and prosper up.
Cheers to you at Gov Ball 2030.