Highlights from 2014 Hangout Music Festival Day 1
The 2014 Hangout Music Festival kicked off Friday in Gulf Shores, Alabama. We posted yesterday about our favorite things from the festival pre-party, and today we bring you the highlights of Day 1. We saw Allen Stone and Ingrid Michaelson at the Chevrolet Stage, The 1975 at the Palladia Stage, Childish Gambino and STS9 at the Boom Boom Tent, and finally Dawes and The Black Keys at the Hangout Stage. Check back tomorrow for our Day 2 highlights!
Band with the most annoying fans: CHILDISH GAMBINO
It was nearly impossible to move in the Boom Boom Tent even before Gambino hit the stage. I overheard lots of bickering about people cutting to get up front. Specifically, a group of three girls were not to pleased that I was trying to get to the photo pit and get ahead of them in the crowd.
Most likely to break this year: THE 1975
The 1975. Since the release of the band's debut self-titled album in October 2013, their live sound and performance have improved ten-fold. Introducing a live saxophone, instead of a back-tracked saxophone added a lot to songs like "Heart Out", "Pressure" and "Me". Set highlights included "Robbers" and the closer, "Sex." The crowd was screaming back every word at Matty and The 1975 crew as the band drank bottles of wine in between songs.
Favorite sing-a-long: DAWES
Dawes performed "When My Time Comes" — such a great live song, with about 1,000 times more energy than the studio recording. It's definitely a staple of Dawes' sets over the past few years, and always a good time to let the vocal chords do the work and shout as loud as possible along with the band and the fans.
Headliner report: THE BLACK KEYS
The Black Keys played a roaring set of fan favorites, opening with "Howlin for You." But they also introduced a majority of their brand new album Turn Blue in a live setting. The new tracks translated really well into a live atmosphere. The extended versions of a few songs allowed the guitar riffs to breathe and gave new life to a few songs. Although it seemed a lot of fans were turned off by not hearing singles for their entire two-hour timeslot.
Best drunk food: The $10 Grilled Cheese. Worth. Every. Single. Penny. Will be going back for seconds.
Worst drunk food: A personal pizza that tasted like it was out of a microwave.
Best thing that happened all day:
A nervous feeling set in during Childish Gambino's set at The Boom Boom Tent as two police officers hopped on the side of the stage, clearly something was wrong. They made an announcement in between songs that they were looking for a little girl that went missing from her mother during the show. Not 30 seconds later, the girl was found safe and sound, and promptly returned to her mother. I haven't heard a bigger cheer from a crowd all weekend. After that, it felt all was right in the world again and Gambino went on with his set.
From what I could tell from the side of the stage, the stage managers and Gambino's management team handled the brief situation with professionalism to allow a quick break in the set.
And immediately after, Gambino went into a four-minute freestyle that was off the walls. It's something he does during every set, but this freestyle was insane and incredibly fast with a great flow.
Best encounter with people who are clearly under the influence:
A couple during STS9 REALLY wanted me to get their picture, and not just one... they wanted a whole personal photoshoot. They pulled me as I was walking and made me get about five different angles of them. The two were in great spirits though, and seemed to be having a blast... so I didn't mind doing it. They probably should have also gotten a room during that set...
The best place to relax between acts:
The Hammocks! Perfect for an afternoon nap in between sets.
The most corporate thing we saw:
Man, Pizza Hut and Coca Cola are EVERYWHERE at Hangout. But, we did get a couple of free pizza slices out of it; so no complaints here.
The Hangout Stage & The Chevrolet Stage — I mean they are literally on the beach. Pair the perfect weather this weekend, great music, and ocean breezes and sand and baby, you got a stew going!
Best place to get cell reception:
Ha. Ha. Yeah right.
People of Hangout:
Are people still wearing headresses to these things? Have we not learned our lesson?
Hoola-Hooper in a trance at STS9. Dance like no one's watching, right?
This guy is about to say "f--k"
Girls "hanging out" at Childish Gambino
Group of friends enjoying good music on the beach