featuring Horse Jumper of Love
December 29, 2018 at Paradise Rock Club
Hop Along helped Boston ring in the new year at the Paradise Rock Club on December 29th. It was the first stop on a three-show New Year’s Eve run, as they played shows in Asbury Park, NJ the next two nights. The band has spent a large portion of the year on the road, supporting their new album Bark Your Head Off, Dog, released this past April. This show had a party atmosphere, with festive lights strung around the venue, an excited crowd, and the show’s proximity to New Year’s Eve. It’s been quite a year, and Hop Along provided much needed catharsis because sometimes you just need to belt out the lyrics to a beloved song in a room full of people doing the same.
Opening the show was Horse Jumper of Love, a Boston alternative rock band. The three-piece is made up of Dimitri Giannopoulos on guitar and vocals, John Margaris on bass, and Jamie Vadala-Doran on drums. Together, they achieve a uniquely brooding sound with forlorn lyrics, distorted guitar, and an underground feel.
The audience kept growing as the night progressed, and the venue had sold out by the time Hop Along took the stage. They started off with a lively track ‘Young and Happy!’ from their 2012 release, Get Disowned, which seemed fitting for the celebratory atmosphere. The crowd seemed equally excited to hear old and newer favorites, cheering as loudly for ‘Waitress’ and ‘Tibetan Pop Stars,’ from 2015’s Painted Shut, as they did for ‘Fox in Motion’ and ‘How Simple,’ off their new record.
The incredible music wasn’t the only thing that made the concert so enjoyable. As lead singer and guitarist Frances Quinlan jokingly stated, “It wasn’t so much the songs but the spaces in between the songs that made the evening.” The banter between bandmates and audience members gave a conversational and informal feeling to the whole affair. A recurring joke was the audience’s seeming inability to pronounce the B in “boo” when they cheered for the band by saying “woo.” Later in the show, Frances recollected on the year and tried to pinpoint a funny story to tell. She remembered a time when a bird fell dead out of a tree, only to realize that had happened the previous year and was actually kind of sad, though it seemed funny at the time.
At the end of the show, Hop Along returned to the stage for a highly anticipated encore. They began with an energetic cover of Daniel Johnston’s ‘True Love Will Find You In The End’ before jumping into what is likely their most widely acclaimed song, ‘Tibetan Pop Stars.’ It elicited the most audience participation of the night, as most everyone knew the lyrics by heart. Frances’ powerful voice led the charge as she, and most of the venue belted out the repeating chorus “Nobody deserves you the way that I do.” Hop Along then closed out the show with ‘Prior Things.’ As the last track on their new record, the song provided a sense of finality and closure to a wonderful night of celebration and music.
Photos by Kailey Williams
Horse Jumper of Love