Highlights from 2014 Hangout Music Festival Day 3: OutKast, Jack Johnson, Zedd, and more
Hangout Music Festival came to a close Sunday in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Sundays at music festivals always have a bit of a different vibe than the other days. It can really polarize the audience between the lame-os and the coolest people on the planet. Some people are passed out in the middle of the field from the fatigue brought on by the weekend, while others are still going 110 percent to get the most out of their weekend. The conversations overheard in the crowd are always the most interesting on Sundays, and the community between different groups of friends can spawn some interesting stories.
On Day 3 we saw Bastille, Portugal. The Man, and Jack Johnson on the Chevrolet Stage; Zedd in the Boom Boom Tent; Andrew W. K. at the Palladia Stage; and finally Capital Cities and OutKast on the Hangout Stage.
Best headliner of the weekend: OUTKAST
Wow. After hearing rumors of the duo being timid and distant from the audience during their first few reunion performances last month, we can quickly squash those rumors. They came out blazing with "B.O.B.", and the crowd was all-in for the last hurrah of the weekend. Playing 24 tracks total and featuring everyone's favorites — Ms. Jackson," and "So Fresh, So Clean" — and closing with "The Whole World, there were plenty of sing-a-long opportunities. Everyone loved it. The VIP area was the biggest collective of drunk people dancing around pools, which was perfect for people watching.
Band that had the biggest unexpected showing: BASTILLE
For a 2:30 pm timeslot, the Chevrolet stage on the east end of the beach was as crowded as it was all weekend for the UK rockers. With their radio and commercial success over the past year, the fans lined up early to get a close view.
Seeing as "Pompeii" has kind of burned out over the past six months by over-plays on the radio, it was sort of refreshing to see it in its live incarnation. We're excited to see where this band will go next. They could be on the fast-track to a headlining set if their follow-up album is anywhere near as successful as the their debut, Bad Blood.
Best beach dance party: CAPITAL CITIES
These dudes really brought it all and had the tightest live sound all day. With dueling lead vocals, they brought a strong delivery over the entire beach. Spencer Ludwig (trumpet) completed the bands flair with soaring solos in the bridges of the songs.
The finale of their set was an extended version of their hit "Safe and Sound." The band added an extended outro where everything went balls-to-the-wall. After Sebu Simonian (vocals) requested that everyone in the crowd remove one article of clothing, the crowd went insane. An entire sea of people jumped in unison and swung their shirts around like crazy animals. Usually on Sundays at festivals, the crowd is a bit tame and fatigued from the entire weekend of sensory overload. This set was the exception and one of the biggest dance parties of the weekend.
Best cover song of the day: PORTUGAL. THE MAN
Portugal. The Man performed "Dayman" from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There were a lot of confused faces in the crowd from those that haven't seen the show, but those who knew the reference went crazy for it.
Electronic act we wished had brought along its collaborators: ZEDD
Zedd (Anton Zaslavski) commanded a closing DJ set at the Boom Boom Tent. With Fog Machine Blasts, Confetti Dropps, Ribbon Cannons, the stage production was outstanding and a real treat to watch. Blazing through his singles, he kept everyone's attention and everyone's feet moving the entire set. Unfortunatley, their was no guest appearance by Hayley Williams of Paramore for "Stay the Night" or Foxes for "Clarity."
Artist best suited for the beach: JACK JOHNSON
With the relaxing sways throughout Jack Johnson's entire discography, it's hard to think of a more appropriate place to see him live than on a freakin' beach. What's even more special about Johnson's set at Hangout was that it was on his birthday. The crowd decided to take it upon themselves to start singing Happy Birthday immediately after the first song. JJ was grinning ear-to-ear as he thanked the crowd.
This was the most excited fan base I'd seen on Sunday, as people in the front row had been waiting a good seven hours for the birthday boy. The crowd up front were treated to a great set.
Unfortunately, for the back of the audience, that was not the case. The stage Johnson played on did not carry the sound well toward the back of the audience, and sounded almost muffled or muted. You could overhear people talking over the performance in every direction. It left a lot to desire for the folks that decided to show up later and got corralled in the back of the beach.
Ultimately, the problem was that the stage had some issues with sound for a few other sets this weekend, so it wasn't just isolated to Johnson's set. Hopefully the festival adds another tier of speakers behind the soundboards to accommodate larger crowds.
Hardest partier of the weekend: ANDREW W.K.
"Party hard" was the theme of Andrew W.K.'s Sunday evening set. The crowd was a bit smaller than expected for his set due to everyone booking to the Hangout Stage for OutKast or leaving the festival early to beat traffic.
Featuring many inflatable balloons, crowd surfers, loud guitars, and drinking chants, Andrew W.K. kept with his party mantra, even on a Sunday evening.
It felt like a set that was a bit out of place, sandwiched between Jack Johnson and Outkast. It would probably have been more fitting for them to perform on a Friday or Saturday set at the Boom Boom Tent. But, that's the beauty of music festivals — you can have the soft acoustic sways of Jack Johnson performing up against a polar opposite sound of the raging guitars and anthems of Andrew W.K., and it somehow works.
Were you at Hangout? Let us know your favorite moments in the comments section below!