Man, there is always way, way, way too much music to sample at the Hopscotch Music Festival.
With 148 acts scheduled to perform at the annual festival, which runs Sept. 7-10 in downtown Raleigh, there are many worth putting on your must-see list: KAYTRANADA, The Afghan Whigs, Busdriver, Lee Fields and the Expressions, The Veldt, Har Mar Superstar and so on.
They cover the range of genres, from rappers to alt-bands to country singers to plenty of regional performers.
Last year’s festival attracted 25,000 music fans, the highest to date. As this year’s festival has a fourth day of shows (Sunday) at Red Hat Amphitheater and a new venue (Exhibit Hall A at the Raleigh Convention Center, known as “The Basement”), that number is expected to increase.
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But we only have so much space, and time, to see all of the acts that require a ticket. That doesn’t include the free day shows.
So we present here the headlining acts that’ll be playing at City Plaza and Red Hat Amphitheater – and we’ll also mention an opening act that we hope will pique your interests.
Margo Price: In the already crowded field of country-music It Girls (Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Brandy Clark, etc.), Margo Price stands out for being as authentic and down-home as they come. On her 2016 debut “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter,” Price used her Illinois-bred, working-class upbringing as material for a good-ol’, recorded-in-Memphis, country album (released by Jack White’s Third Man Records). Expect more of that when she drops her second album, “All American Made” next month. (City Plaza, 8:15 p.m.)
Opening act you should check out: Skylar Gudasz. This Durham-based songstress beautifully evokes the ’70s-era music of Joni Mitchell and Rickie Lee Jones. She’s an indie-pop star in the making. (City Plaza, 5:50 p.m.)
Future Islands: If you know of this Greenville-bred, Baltimore-based synthpop band, you might have seen them on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” before he retired, and watched as lead vocalist Samuel T. Herring wowed both the host and the crowd with his over-the-top singing and dancing skills. Look for Herring to continue his goofy dance moves as he and his band perform tunes from their recently released fifth album “The Far Field.” (City Plaza, 9 p.m.)
Opening act you should check out: Birds of Avalon. Hailing from Raleigh, this band mixes the psychedelic with the progressive. The lineup includes Paul Siler and Cheetie Kumar, who own Kings Raleigh and Neptunes, the downtown Raleigh music venues. Kumar, who is the Birds of Avalon guitarist, is also a James Beard-nominated chef at Garland restaurant. (City Plaza, 5:50 p.m.)
Run the Jewels: Can you think of a more hell-raising rap pair than El-P and Killer Mike? What started as two MCs joining forces for a mixtape full of hardcore beats and subversive rhymes has morphed into a supergroup now on its third project (simply titled “Run the Jewels 3”), where they continue to light fires under their fans with their outspoken, socially relevant bangers. These guys have managed to do the impossible: make hip-hop that could set off a party and a riot. (Red Hat Amphitheater, 8 p.m.)
Opening act you should check out: Rapsody. This pint-sized female MC used to roll with Raleigh clique Kooley High. But these days, she’s been killing it with 9th Wonder of Durham and Kendrick Lamar. (Red Hat, 6:30 p.m.)
Solange: Last year, Solange Knowles released “A Seat at the Table” and proved she could make an album just as brilliant and unapologetically black as her big sis Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.” This will most likely be the hot ticket of the fest, especially since, before she deleted her Twitter account, she asked what we have to do to get briefly incarcerated Durham protester (and her “new hero”) Takiyah Thompson out of jail. So don’t be surprised if you catch Thompson onstage, getting proud with the singer. (Red Hat Amphitheater, 9 p.m.)
Opening act you should check out: Sir the Baptist. With his debut album “Saint or Sinner” fresh out, this Chicago rapper/singer is looking to attract some believers with his music. (Red Hat, 4:15 p.m.)
Big Boi: Since Andre 3000 continues to be an elusive MC, doling out intermittent yet killer rhymes whenever he feels like it, we may never get the full-scale OutKast reunion many of us want. Nevertheless, Big Boi continues to churn out albums. Just this summer, he released his third studio album, “Boomiverse,” with production work from longtime collaborators Organized Noize and appearances from Snoop Dogg, Adam Levine, Gucci Mane and – whaddya know! – Killer Mike. We wonder if Mike will show up and do his verses from the album. (City Plaza, 8:15 p.m.)
Opening act you should check out: ILOVEMAKONNEN. Now that he’s parted ways with Drake’s OVO Sound label, the out-and-proud Atlanta MC/singer is ready to get more love from audiences. (City Plaza, 6:30 p.m.)
Angel Olsen: With her torchy vocals and a musical style that could go from folky to hard-rock at a moment’s notice (listen to her third album “MY WOMAN” from 2016 and tell us if we’re lying), Angel Olsen seems like a more attainable Lana Del Rey. But along with being another Hopscotch headliner this year, the St. Louis native is also doing a fest that’s not too far away from where she currently lives, in Asheville. It seems fitting that a versatile indie performer like Olsen would play Hopscotch, a fest that prides itself on snapping up a stable of diverse, indie acts. She’ll fit in just fine. (Red Hat Amphitheater, 8 p.m.)
Opening act you should check out: Cloud Nothings. This Cleveland foursome comes with the sort of power-pop/indie-rock music that you know will be appearing soon on a CW teen drama. (Red Hat, 3 p.m.)
What: Hopscotch Music Festival
When: Sept. 7-10
Where: Various locations in downtown Raleigh, including Red Hat Amphitheater and City Plaza.
Cost: $45-$349. There are some free day shows. Single-day passes and weekend passes are sold.