Highlights from @HopscotchFest #Hopscotch17 #VisitRaleigh |A #soNCsavvy Recap by SobeSavvy.com

This past weekend, SobeSavvy.com was out and about in Downtown Raleigh for Hopscotch Music Festival. If you saw my recap from last year Hopscotch 2016, then you know this is a fun festival for music lovers that is not to be missed!

Official Guide 2017 Hopscotch Music Festival           

This year for #Hopscotch17, there were 120 Bands and Four Days of shows playing at the large outdoor main stages in Raleigh City Plaza, Red Hat Amphitheater, but also perfomances at The Basement inside the Raleigh Comvention Center plus day parties at the local clubs/bars. The festival features music for everyone in almost every genre: rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, electronic and more! For me, that’s what makes Hopscotch unique because it’s not genre based and does not cater to one specific type of music. It appeals to those of us who believe music is universal and all are welcome to enjoy it in the city of Raleigh!

Hopscotch Festival partners with Visit Raleigh to put on an amazing 4 Day Music Festival   

Downtown Raleigh and its many venues makes this the perfect place for this festival because once you park your car, you can literally just “hopscotch” all around downtown and take in the acts. We downloaded their fantastic interactive app that allows users to customize their own music festival acts they want to see. 

Sort by venue or performer ,open up a calendar and set reminders for who, what, where,when to go see your fave artists on the HOPSCOTCH MUSIC FESTIVAL App

I decided to share our highlights on Hopscotch 2017 based on the venues and the people, performances and festival fun we saw at each place. Take a look and I hope you are inspired to go next year!

Raleigh CONVENTION CENTER (Wristband City, The Basement, Official Merch, & Flatstock) 

#Hopscotch17 | Inside the Convention Center

The Convention Center serves as the command center (in my opinion) for the festival. Here is where the festival fun begins after you pick up your wristbands from Wristband City (which allows you entry to see acts at all the venues). This is also the place where you can buy swag from the official Merch Market or even a cool piece of poster art from Flatstock. Hopscotch made great use of the convention center by creating a new venue space called ‘The Basement‘. An Exhibit Hall was transformed into a indoor club with a cool vibe complete with two full bars, a great sound system and plenty of dance space. Here is where we saw performances from Har Mar Superstar, Lee Fields and the Expressions and Kaytranada.  Watch a video recap >>here<< of their performances and if you want to see more photos, check out my facebook album

#Hopscotch17 | Friday Night in ‘The Basement’

CITY PLAZA

#Hopscotch17 Snapchat Filter + City Plaza

Just a couple of blocks over from the Convention Center at 400 Block Fayetteville was the City Plaza stage venue. They had all sorts of vendors/booths to buy and sample food and drinks. We had some great samples of IPA beer at the Goose Island Tent to get our party started!

#Hopscotch17 | Beer Sampling at City Plaza

On Friday, we saw Future Islands ,who hails from my hometown of Baltimore,Md. They are a synthpop band whose performance in 2014 on The Late Night Show w/David Letterman gave them national exposure and a expanded fan base. They rocked the plaza with their energy and passion! 

#Hopscotch17 | Future Islands at City Plaza

Saturday we returned to City Plaza for Big Boi hailing from A-T-L Georgia! The now iconic group OutKast was the soundtrack of my younger years, so I was very excited to see one half of that dynamic duo. He was joined by producer Sleepy Brown, who is a great artist in his own right. He ran thru a medley of OutKast hits like “So Fresh and Clean”, “Rosa Parks” and “Ms. Jackson” to name a few. Big Boi has not lost a step since their heyday. He rocked the mic as the hip hop legend that he is. Many of us rapped along to every lyric and turned the City Plaza venue into one big outdoor hip hop party!  

#Hopscotch17 | Big Boi, along with Sleepy Brown, performs

See video clips of the performances by Future Islands and Big Boi at City Plaza >>here.

LENOIR STREET PARTY

#Hopscotch17 | Ice Cream Competition + Food Drive + Lenoir Street Party

Hopscotch’s inaugural Lenoir Street Party was not only fun, but family-friendly. We went on Saturday for the Ice Cream Competition, which was held Saturday, September 9 from 1 – 5 p.m. at Gate 3 of Red Hat Amphitheater. The event was sponsored by the Carolina Hurricanes and their Homegrown Series which focuses on local artists, apparel designers, chefs, and musicians. The Winners were:

  • Lumpy’s..won for Best Regular Ice Cream
  • Mama Birds..won for Best Vegan    
  • Maple View ..won for Best Gluten Free! (I had some of their ‘Wolfpack Praline’ and it was soooooo good! Trophy worthy!

#Hopscotch17 Ice Cream Competition

The Lenoir Street Party which ran all weekend, was also where Hopscotch ran their 2017 Food Drive. Inter-Faith Food Shuttle offered $5 off festival apparel and a chance to win 2018 VIP passes with a non-perishable food item donation. This food drive also featured a life-sized cartoon art installation and can sculpture by Paul Friedrich, all sponsored by Coastal Credit Union.

#Hopscotch17 Food Drive

Beer & Wine, Spirits sampling booths were there but our daughter #outandaboutAva had the most fun traveling back in time to try 3 soda flavors of 1893 from the makers of Pepsi Cola and crafted in the Carolinas. We got some cool wooden like sunglasses and enjoyed some photo booth fun!  Lots of interactive tents and food trucks made this a great way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon.

#Hopscotch17 | #1893PepsiCola Photo Booth Fun with #outandaboutAva + her Nana + her Dad

RED HAT AMPHITHEATER

#Hopscotch17 Venue Red Hat Amphitheater 

Red Hat Amphitheater is Raleigh’s premier outdoor concert venue and this is where headlining act Solange set the stage ablaze with her stellar performance! Solange had what I like to call the album of the summer. Entitled “A Seat At The Table”, this album features songs filled with affirmations of self love, positive messages and healing.

#Hopscotch17 Snapchat Filter + Solange

Her show combined what Hopscotch is all about: Music & Design . Her entire band and backup singers dressed in red gave us a what look and felt like a solar experience!

#Hopscotch17 Solange and her band

#Hopscotch17 Solange gives Raleigh a Solar Eclipse

#Hopscotch17 | Solange sings her hit ‘Cranes in the Sky’

She sang a good portion of her Grammy award winning album and also a few of her classics from her earlier albums. “Cranes In the Sky and “Don’t Touch My Hair” were fan favs. Her self choreography was a combo of soul/funk moves with a dash of disco. It was almost retro in it’s feeling and felt totally authentic and free, as seen here in my Instagram video:

Definition of Art : Solange @hopscotchfest #Hopscotch17 #hopscotchfest

A post shared by Lifestyle|Food|Travel|Fun BLOG (@sobesavvy) on

She took all in attendance on a ride and none of us wanted to get off.

See youtube video recap of Solange >>here << and thank you for reading. Bravo to Hopscotch Music Festival for another wonderful year!

@Jeezy ‘s Trap or Die 3 Tour was 🔥Recap @RitzRaleigh #TD3 #SnowSeason #TD3Tour #Raleigh ⛄

Ever been to a show that was cold and lit “at the same damn time”?! Well that’s how it was here in Raleigh, NC  at the Trap or Die 3 Tour when Jeezy AKA The Snowman came to perform at The Ritz ! The sold out concert was filled with fans who came to see a living legend in the rap game. Young Jeezy is one of the pioneers who created and popularized the Hip Hop subgenre called “trap music”. He hails from Atlanta and took time to rep for the “404” during his extended set. The crowd came to bounce, scream and have a good time. The venue was packed wall to wall.
Opening up for Jeezy was Raleigh’s own Ace Henderson, followed by Lil Durk who did a great job in getting the crowd hype for the Snowman. If you hurry, you can check out more of the concert on RitzRaleigh’s Snapchat.

If you are thinking about seeing Jeezy in concert, let me assure you it was a pretty good show. In fact, it was Trap or Die! Everyone had a good time rapping along to his extensive song list.Hits like: That Trap or Die 3! Going Crazy, Bout That, Old joints! That 103. Young Jeezy bought all of Raleigh & Durham’s Atlanta hip-hop  fans out ! Standing room only! As my friend Sam the Man would say “It was flavor for real”! 

Don’t miss the chance to experience your favorite Jeezy “Trap” tracks performed at a venue near you!

TRAP OR DIE 3 TOUR DATES

Mar. 1 – Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom
Mar. 3 – Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live
Mar. 4 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
Mar. 7 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
Mar. 8 – Wallingford, CT – The Dome
Mar. 9 – Philadelphia, PA – The Filmore Philadelphia
Mar. 11 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Mar. 12 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Mar. 16 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz🔥🔥
Mar. 17 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues
Mar. 18 – Greensboro, NC – Cone Denim Ent Center
Mar. 22 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
Mar. 26 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Mar. 27 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
Mar. 28 – San Antonio, TX – Aztec Theater
Apr. 4 – Riverside, CA – RMA
Apr. 5 – Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater
Apr. 6 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues

Old School Hip Hop & RnB lives! Thanks to “Back 2 the 80s’ Tour ~#Raleigh Recap @decRaleigh

Yo Baby, Yo Baby, Yo!!!! Old School ruled and packed the house last night, Saturday February 4, 2017 at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium for the Back 2 the 80’s Tour ! 

Fans came out ‘funky fresh dressed to impress ready to party’ to see this show featuring Doug E Fresh, Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane, Whodini, Al B Sure, Cherrelle, Hi Five and Chubb Rock! 

The music was great, the vibe was nothing but a Generation X party y’all and I would definitely recommend seeing this show if you love old school REAL Hip Hop and RnB.

Cherrelle opened the show. She became legendary with a myriad of solo hots and also with Alexander O’Neal. Father time has done nothing to slow her beauty or vocal chords.

Followed by Chub RockChubb had great interaction w/the audience as he hosted an old school hit after hit review !

Hi-Five sang a melody of their greatest hits including “The Kissing Game”, They also paid homage to New Edition, with “Can You Stand The Rain” .

Here is a short clip of Al.B.Sure working his way thru a crowd of lady fans singing RnB classic “Secret Garden”. It was an uplifting experience for one lucky fan!


Whodini
: The trio of Jalil Hutchins, John “Ecstasy” Fletcher, and Drew “Grandmaster Dee” Carter filled the early ’80s with memorable jams such as “Magic Wand” and “The Freaks Come Out at Night,” which they performed while escaping from straitjackets underwater.  They were in all their glory onstage with their infamous wide brimmed hats and all.

Big Daddy Kane: The Grammy-winning rapper and former member of the Juice Crew’s mix of rapid-fire rhymes and swagger inspired generations of MCs, including former hype man Jay-Z.Big Daddy has not lost once ounce of his iconic swag. He is still the ultimate “smooth operator”. He took the crowd through a playlist of his biggest hits culminating with his number one smash “Ain’t no Half Steppin”

Slick Rick: Allmusic dubbed the Grammy-nominated rapper “hip-hop’s greatest storyteller” for reasons that become obvious when listening to hits such as “La Di Da Di” and “Children’s Story”. This UK import has a unique way of weaving a tale while keeping a rhythm all of his own. It took me back to middle school and just had me smiling from ear to ear.

Doug E. Fresh was as always was the MC extraordinaire. He kept the crowd grooving with his unique blend of rap, beat box.He is literally a walking encyclopedia of hip hop. One of the originators of the genre. His icon status was on full display as the crowd went wild during his set !!

Look out for the Back 2 the 80s Tour coming to a city near you ! Check your local listings and Ticketmaster to buy tickets here ! 

RECAP ~ #NuSoulRevivalTour let the #RaleighNC fans know #GoodMusicStillLives ! @DECRaleigh 

In celebration of drawing over 10,000 soul and R&B music lovers, from all over the U.S, to the largest annual Soul Music Festival in the SE region, the producers of the ATL Soul Life Music Festival are expanding on that successful concept. The 22-city NuSoul Revival Tour is boasting a lineup of some of the genres’ finest who have been quite busy in 2016. The tour kicked off last night in Raleigh, NC at the Duke Energy Center of the Performing Arts.

SobeSavvy was lucky enough to witness this great event. I was joined by my cousin who admitted, ” I came for Musiq SouldChild” ! Although I love ALL of the artists on this tour roster, I also could not wait for the headliner Musiq Soulchild to do his set. But before we get to that let’s talk about who was up before him.

Opening up on stage was beloved Grammy Nominated and; Multi-Award Winning Artist, Avery*Sunshine whose loyal fan base includes music icons Aretha Franklin, Baby Face, Teddy Riley, Jazzy Jeff, and Patti LaBelle. Avery has the vocal chords and stage presence that any real music fan could appreciate. The crowd included hundreds of folk who came there just to see her. She.is.amazing.Whether bllads or uptempo james Avery is a force to be reckoned with !

“First Couple of Soul”, Kindred the Family Soul came out first.Since their debut with Surrender to Love which charted #29 on Billboard R&B and received a Soul Train Award and a BET Award nomination, Kindred the Family Soul continues to show fans why they are fondly known as the First Couple of Soul.  Their lead Single “Where Would I Be (The Question)” from their second album hit top 10 on urban AC radio and they celebrated critical success with the 2014-released, A Couple Friends.  “Their albums are filled with a level of substance rarely found in popular music, and they combine that with great grooves and vocals. It is for that reason Kindred has been one of the most important acts of the 21st Century.

I had been wanting to see this husband and wife duo for forever and they did not disappoint. ” Far Away” was my favorite song of theirs and it just took me back to when I first heard it with my husband many moons ago. They were so energetic and just plain uplifting. The love they share in their union definitely came through with the warm interactions they had with each other on the stage.

Chester Jermaine Jennings better known as Lyfe Jennings took the stage and the crowd {ladies}went wild.The cautionary tale spinner who is well-known for his superior lyricism and signature ballads -Lyfe Jennings – has been delighting his fans since his critically acclaimed platinum-selling debut album, Lyfe 268-192 Jennings continues to raise his own bar.  In 2013, he covered Michael Jackson’s classic hit, “Human Nature” exclusively for Grammy.com’s Reimagined series. And, in 2015, the raspy-voiced singer released Tree of Lyfe, which he has described as his most personal work to date.

His singing and acoustic guitar skills are a rare blend. I discovered my love of this artist some years back when I was mesmorized by his smash hit ” Must Be Nice” It’s now iconic music video which to date has over 44 million views stands as proof that he is a visual artist himself.. Judge for yourself below:

https://www.youtube.com%20/embed/GkpN3uiZ-Ew

When he sung Must Be Nice this arms were swaying and we all were harmonizing {some better than others} to the beat !

Finally, what alot of us had been waiting for..MUSIQ !! The man who has had two platinum albums, two gold albums, and seven hit singles, and continues to amass industry nods such as awards from Billboard, BET, ASCAP, BMI, and Soul Train.&nbsp was coming on stage.

He has also earned award nominations from MTV, the American Music Awards, the NAACP, and 11 Grammy nominations since arriving on the scene over 15 years ago. The singer who enjoys fusing soul, R&B, funk, jazz, and hip-hop has also enjoyed notable collaborations with Carlos Santana, Mary J. Blige, Ice Cube, tour mates Kindred the Family Soul, Ceelo, Bilal, Swizz Beatz, Estelle, and India Arie – perhaps some of them will make an appearance on the tour.

His appeareance last night followed an exciting 2016 which includes his seventh studio album, Life on Earth entering the US Billboard 200 at #27, his single “I Do” reaching #3 on Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and performing in the highly anticipated musical adaptation of the cult classic, Love Jones.

Musiq took control of the audience and played a compilation of his many many hits. “So Beautiful” sounded so great. After so many years Musiq has not lost a step or a vocal chord. I simply loved it . Great night. Great company.Great Concert.

This tour is also a party for a cause , per their press release…The NuSoul Revival Tour seeks to send the message that “Good Music Still Lives! “while continuing to support artists whose music is the soundtrack, and in some cases, a blueprint of areas of our lives.  It also seeks to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease which affects over five million individuals in the United States.

Here is a short video clip from last night’s concert in Raleigh of Kindred the Family Soul singing one of my favorite songs “Far Away”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQEqjncDLxK/

 

 

To the NuSoul Revival Tour, style:initial;vertical-align:baseline;font-weight:bold;font-size:13px;line-height:normal;font-family:"color:rgb(70,70,70);text-align:justify;”> 

#NuSoulRevivalTour     #GoodMusicStillLives

Coming to a city near you!

 

#Durham enjoys a night of #RetroSoul @DPAC w/@LeonBridges & @LianneLahavas #ComingHome Tour

leon

A little more than a year ago Leon Bridges http://leonbridges.com/music-and-video/ was a 23 year old dishwasher in Dallas/Ft.Worth, Texas. He played whatever gigs he could get at local coffee houses there on the side. Tonight he performed before thousands at the DPAC arena in Durham http://www.dpacnc.com/ What a difference a year makes!

He put two of his songs on the Sound Cloud music platform last year that garnered the attention of Columbia Records who promptly signed him to do an album. While his first album was in production, he built further buzz during last year’s SXSW festival in Austin. He was THE topic of the entire festival and his following grew. His debut album entitled, “Coming Home” was released in June 2015. He had arrived. The Album’s title piece became a hit. The album was recorded on Analog straight to tape. This old school method {which D’Angelo also used for his underground album “Messiah”}captures a richness that digital simply cannot. He has been compared to Sam Cooke and the comparison is valid.

Lianne la Havas, http://www.liannelahavas.com/ the acoustic folk alternative singer/guitarist opened for him. This British ingénue has carved out her own little niche amongst her fans. Her crisp playing and song bird delivery was a delight to behold. She performed a few songs from her grammy nominated album, “Blood”. Instead of wardrobe changes, Lianne changed acoustic guitars 3 times during her set! It was A great beginning to a wonderful evening.

leon4

The headliner was up next. Leon’s smooth delivery and stage presence was magnetic. His clothing; bowling shirt and polished brown saddle shoes are an important part of bringing the 50’s and 60’s back to life. But garb alone is not enough for long term success. His talent is unique. He commanded the stage and had the audience in a soul induced trance. I was pulled into the rhythm of his guitar and yesteryear voice. Warm and rich like a warm mug of cocoa on a cold winter evening. Leon is different than everything else out there today and THAT is a good thing indeed.

#SobeSavvy shares #Hopscotch16 Highlights! @HopscotchFestival #Raleigh #Music #Festival

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Hopscotch was a favorite child’s game of mine. I used to skip from one number to another number on one foot. I had the pleasure going to a fantastic music festival with all performance venues/acts concentrated in downtown Raleigh. This 3 day festival is aptly named HOPSCOTCH! http://hopscotchmusicfest.com/

Fans can literally just hop and skip to see multiple acts one after another after another just a block or two apart !

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This is Hopscotch’s 7th year throwing one of the most fun and eclectic music festivals in the nation. This year over 20,000 fans can expect to see 120 regional and national artists/bands in various downtown clubs and theaters. Some acts are even performing at the CAM art museum. We spent 9 straight hours Friday taking in as much of the festival that we could! For the first time in festival history they utilized The Red Hat Ampitheatre for Friday night. The weather was warm and sultry. In other words..PERFECT!

The festival’s “wristband city” was set up inside the Raleigh Convention center. Attendees went there to pick up their wristbands and visit various sponsor booths and view some eclectic modern art pieces.

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The soul blues rocker himself, Gary Clark Jr performed a great set. He is an amazing guitarist and vocalist that reminds one of past soul rock greats.

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Up next was the headliner, the amazing Ms. Erykah Badu. She blessed the fans with an extended set which included her playful banter and many of her great hits. Fans delighted in her spiritual energy and unique force of her voice.

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Unlike most music festivals that are centered around one genre of music, Hopscotch defies that norm. Artists here perform almost every genre one could imagine. From Bluegrass and country to New Orleans own gender bending self proclaimed “Queen Of Bounce”, Big Freedia.

Freedia performed a late night/early morning set at the famous Lincoln Theatre venue. The crowd was diverse and full of bounce energy. Big Freedia and her crew gave what can only be descibes as a “COLORFUL” performance ! See the IG video below, which clearly verifies my description of her performance.

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Artists perform indoors at various clubs and music venues that fans must have a paid wristband to enter but some acts perform in open air city plaza downtown where anyone can just hang out and vibe to the unique welcoming atmosphere that Hopscotch is known for.

Fans can opt to purchase one day wristbands, which gives you access to all venues and Red Hat on Friday night or for a real deal, buy a 3 day band to enjoy everything and everyone the festival has to offer.

Check out this link for the official schedule: http://hopscotchmusicfest.com/schedule/

They also have a fantastic App for the festival where you can build your own custom schedule of acts you want to see. Get in in the Google Play Store for Android or in Apple App Store.

You still have a few hours to enjoy the fest..See ya next year !!

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@KoolntheGngLIVE @Bootsy_Collins @TheMorrisDay strives to #KeepinTheFunkAlive in #Raleigh

On Saturday July 24,2016 , SobeSavvy.com joined thousands of other funk music veterans at The Walnut Creek Amphitheatre to experience Bootsy Collins, Kool & The Gang along with Morris Day & The Time.

DJ Doug E. Fresh opened up the evening with one of his classic sets familiar with the young and old{er} alike!! Former James Brown band member, world renowned bassist Bootsy Collins was up first. Bootsy was an integral part of Parlament/Funkadelic in the 70’s. He also has worked with a myriad of other artists throughout his 40 year career. He played many of his classics like “I’d Rather Be With You and “Let me ride” to name a few. He made multiple costume changes since he is also known for his colorful and outrageous stage stylings !

Next up was Morris Day and The Time. They started their set with a video tribute to their mentor and friend, Prince Rogers Nelson. Once that touching video montage ended it was time to party. They went through some of their many memorable funky tunes. From their famous balled, ” Gigalos Get Lonely too” to the dance anthem “The Bird”..The choreography was still tight and yes an assistant made sure to hold up a mirror so Morris could check out his profile.

Kool and The Gang came on next. Their history is richer than most casual fans could ever guess. Robert “Kool” Bell founded the group when he was 13 years old !
They started out as an instrumental band that had a huge hit with the now iconic song, ” Summer Madness” 1974. Their famous extensive horn section was highlighted during the show. Their hits span over 4 decades. They have had #1 hits on the pop and R&B Charts. “Hollywood Swingin” kicked off their energetic set. Crowds favorites were ” Joanna”, which many couples stood up and slow danced to. “celebrate” brought the crowd to a fever pitch.

Here a few pics from my Funk-tastic night in the Capital City !!