Hop Along Live at Spirit – Review
By Thomas Troyan
On Wednesday June 6th, Philadelphia indie-rock stars Hop Along played Spirit Hall in Lawrenceville. When the band took the stage after openers Calyx and Bat Fangs, the audience anticipation was high. The band began playing “How Simple” the lead single and opening track from their 2018 release Bark Your Head Off, Dog and the crowd exploded with many around me screaming along, ready for whatever the band had. With a setlist drawing equally from their newest album and 2015’s Painted Shut, Hop Along delivered a show-stopping performance that nobody should miss out on.
The live band consisted of five members, led by singer-songwriter Frances Quinlan, and brought an energy on stage that they managed to keep up for the entire performance. With small moments of banter between the audience, including a shoutout to a house-venue the band played in Pittsburgh many years ago, Hop Along seemed truly excited to be back in town.
What has always stood out to me as a fan of the bands music was how versatile Frances’ voice is as a singer, and it definitely sounded like she was giving it her all that night. She has an extreme talent for singing the songs in a way that is instantly recognizable, while also providing something wholly distinct from their records. The highlight of the show, in my opinion, was the encore that the band gave. After closing with the final track from Bark Your Head Off, Dog, “Prior Things,” Frances returned on stage alone to deliver a wonderful solo performance of the song “Happy to See Me.” She was then joined on stage by the band for an energetic performance of “The Knock,” and ended with the fan-favorite “Tibetan Pop Stars,” during which the crowd went wild.
Hop Along is more than just five talented musicians playing their music. Rather they were a force, powered by an enthusiastic crowd, ready to impress. Before seeing them live I was interested to see how some of their music would translate from the studio. But now, having experienced them, I must say that if they are playing anywhere near you, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t buy a ticket and go.
Remaining Tour Dates
06/16 • The Riot Room | Kansas City, MO
06/18 • Dada Dallas | Dallas, TX
06/19 • Barracuda | Austin, TX
06/20 • White Oak Music Hall | Houston, TX
06/22 • Delmar Hall | Saint Louis, MO
06/23 • Zanzabar | Louisville, KY
07/28 • The Southern Cafe and Music Hall | Charlottesville, VA
07/29 • Taft Theatre | Cincinnati, OH
07/31 • Rose Music Hall | Columbia, MO
08/01 • Opolis | Norman, OK
08/03 • Meow Wolf | Santa Fe, NM
08/04 • The Crescent Ballroom | Phoenix, AZ
08/05 • The Irenic | San Diego, CA
08/06 • Teragram Ballroom | Los Angeles, CA
08/08 • Great American Music Hall | San Francisco, CA
08/09 • Sierra Nevada Big Room | Chico, CA
08/10 • Wonder Ballroom | Portland, OR
08/12 • Neumos | Seattle, WA
08/14 • Neurolux Lounge | Boise, ID
08/16 • The Urban Lounge | Salt Lake City, UT
08/18 • Maha Music Festival | Omaha, NE
08/20 • Wooly’s | Des Moines, IA
08/21 • Pyramid Scheme | Grand Rapids, MI
09/09 • Pitchfork Octfest | New York, NY
They’ll also be playing in Europe in November, opening for the Decemberists. Check out the dates and get tickets on their website.