Hop Along and Bat Fangs blend folk and rock at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C.

The history of the 9:30 Club loomed large in the minds of the members of Hop Along as they thought out loud, “Headlining at this place is one of those dreams that you never think will come true,”. I first saw Hop Along when they opened for Built to Spill a year ago and after that performance I figured it was only a matter of time before they headlined their own tour.

Much like Hop Along a year prior, the opener Bat Fangs was very impressionable. They opened the show with a jolt as their rock enraptured the crowd. Although Hop Along may have been exaggerating when they said, “It’s hard to follow them [Bat Fangs] when they kick our ass every night,” they rocked the show and set the stage perfectly. The focus of their set was around the singer/guitarist Betsey Wright creating a theme of strong female leads throughout the night.

Hop Along is on tour for their third LP, Bark Your Head Off which was released about a month ago. This album is by far their most ambitious as they’ve continued to develop their unique folk-rock sound that hits like a ton of bricks. Many of their songs lie in a unique place where you’re unsure if you want to cry or mosh. That being said, the band has certainly come a long way from the senior year freak folk solo project of Francis Quinlan, adding her brother Mark on drums and three other members to create an incredibly full sound.

Hop Along

Bat Fangs

The main draw for Hop Along, since the beginning is Francis Quinlan’s voice. This was highlighted in their Tiny Desk appearance which came upon their first trip to DC. It is unique to say the least but the raspy nature of her voice makes the songs simultaneously emotional and passionate. Between her vocals and guitar playing Quinlan is certainly the center of attention and it is easy to see the influence she’s had over the band as its progressed from a solo project to a group effort.

Their hour and a half of songs spanned their discography, with an emphasis on those from their most recent album. The song from their newest album that stood out the most was “How Simple” which is even more delightful live than it is on the record. One of the most notable songs overall was the second to last, “The Knock” from their second album. The song ended with both Quinlan and Joe Reinhart, the other guitarist, on their knees giving every ounce of energy they had left. They closed with “Tibetan Pop Stars” which brought them to fame in 2002.

One of the surprising elements of the show was the friendly nature which they addressed the audience between almost every song. For a band which is known for emotional songs they seemed to be very upbeat and extremely happy to be there. They often spent several minutes between songs either talking about the songs or just giving anecdotes from things like scootering around the city to past experiences at the 9:30 Club as an opener.

The concert lived up to all the hype of their first headlining tour. Those who have passed through the 9:30 in its rich history would be happy to have shared a stage with them. One thing is for certain, though this may have been their first time as an opener at the 9:30 Club, it certainly will not be their last. The band had the same energy as the first time they came to DC, but even more experience making for an incredible concert for all.

Hop Along

Hop Along

Hop Along

Hop Along

Hop Along

Bat Fangs

Bat Fangs

Bat Fangs

Gavin Derleth
Gavin currently goes to school in Washington D.C., studying Political Science and Geography. He enjoys coffee, biking, and spending way too much of his time listening to music.

Hop Along and Bat Fangs blend folk and rock at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C.

The history of the 9:30 Club loomed large in the minds of the members of Hop Along as they thought out loud, “Headlining at this place is one of those dreams that you never think will come true,”. I first saw Hop Along when they opened for Built to Spill a year ago and after that performance I figured it was only a matter of time before they headlined their own tour.

Much like Hop Along a year prior, the opener Bat Fangs was very impressionable. They opened the show with a jolt as their rock enraptured the crowd. Although Hop Along may have been exaggerating when they said, “It’s hard to follow them [Bat Fangs] when they kick our ass every night,” they rocked the show and set the stage perfectly. The focus of their set was around the singer/guitarist Betsey Wright creating a theme of strong female leads throughout the night.

Hop Along is on tour for their third LP, Bark Your Head Off which was released about a month ago. This album is by far their most ambitious as they’ve continued to develop their unique folk-rock sound that hits like a ton of bricks. Many of their songs lie in a unique place where you’re unsure if you want to cry or mosh. That being said, the band has certainly come a long way from the senior year freak folk solo project of Francis Quinlan, adding her brother Mark on drums and three other members to create an incredibly full sound.

Hop Along

Bat Fangs

The main draw for Hop Along, since the beginning is Francis Quinlan’s voice. This was highlighted in their Tiny Desk appearance which came upon their first trip to DC. It is unique to say the least but the raspy nature of her voice makes the songs simultaneously emotional and passionate. Between her vocals and guitar playing Quinlan is certainly the center of attention and it is easy to see the influence she’s had over the band as its progressed from a solo project to a group effort.

Their hour and a half of songs spanned their discography, with an emphasis on those from their most recent album. The song from their newest album that stood out the most was “How Simple” which is even more delightful live than it is on the record. One of the most notable songs overall was the second to last, “The Knock” from their second album. The song ended with both Quinlan and Joe Reinhart, the other guitarist, on their knees giving every ounce of energy they had left. They closed with “Tibetan Pop Stars” which brought them to fame in 2002.

One of the surprising elements of the show was the friendly nature which they addressed the audience between almost every song. For a band which is known for emotional songs they seemed to be very upbeat and extremely happy to be there. They often spent several minutes between songs either talking about the songs or just giving anecdotes from things like scootering around the city to past experiences at the 9:30 Club as an opener.

The concert lived up to all the hype of their first headlining tour. Those who have passed through the 9:30 in its rich history would be happy to have shared a stage with them. One thing is for certain, though this may have been their first time as an opener at the 9:30 Club, it certainly will not be their last. The band had the same energy as the first time they came to DC, but even more experience making for an incredible concert for all.

Hop Along

Hop Along

Hop Along

Hop Along

Hop Along

Bat Fangs

Bat Fangs

Bat Fangs

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