Hangout Fest came to Gulf Shores, Alabama, Friday-Sunday, May 19th-21st.
The weather god nearly allowed Hangout Fest to make it through all day Saturday – until a storm wiped out the last hour or so of the festival.
Twenty-One Pilots were on the main stage and I was in the Boom Boom Tent for Sigur Rós when the band was rushed off the stage hastily before the screens were replaced with text warning of imminent bad weather and to exit the festival quickly and safely.
Sigur Rós was one of the sets I was most looking forward to all weekend. Their name is totally out of place among the rest of the names on the Hangout 2017 lineup, and the tent was predictably sparse. The Icelandic band brought their full production, including amazing visuals. It was a bummer when the sound was cut maybe five songs in. A quick browse of Twitter told me Twenty-One Pilots fans were furious, but that’s a band that will be touring exhaustively for years to come.
Mondo Cozmo kicked off the day with a solid rock show, including a killer cover of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” that got everyone on their feet. They also dropped a few lyrics from Soundgarden’s “Fell on Black Days”, homage to the suddenly departed rock icon Chris Cornell.
MUTEMATH made one of the biggest impressions on me this weekend. Lead vocalist Paul Meany showcased some epic dance moves in his all white suit – but he was later upstaged by his super young daughter Amelia, who came out in sunglasses and busted some moves before singing a few words herself. The band also paid tribute to Cornell by playing the first verse from “Black Hole Sun”, which was nice.
Snakehips and RÜFÜS DU SOL put on two very different electronic sets simultaneously. Snakehips was in the way too over packed Boom Boom Tent. Hangout Fest needs to do something about the size of that tent, it could be twice that size and it would still be packed. RÜFÜS DU SOL was on the main stage getting really vibey with their alt-dance tunes.
Band of Horses recently lost two members so I was curious to see what their show would look like just a few weeks later. They didn’t miss a beat, as they played a lengthy set buoyed by favorites like “The Funeral”.
Canadian rapper Tory Lanez had a big crowd on the Beach Stage, alternating between rapping (one word every verse while telling the crowd to throw their hands up) and singing. When he sang he was much more impressive. He got in his feels a little bit to the point I said, “Slow down, R. Kelly” to my friend – and then Tory Lanez launched into “Bump and Grind”. Rain came down pretty hard for about ten minutes during his set, but most people stuck it out.
When the festival was called off early for the day, the weather didn’t look that ominous. Clearly I’m from California and not used to this because ten minutes later it was coming down HARD. Sheets of rain, and as I got into a friend’s car to drive off I saw at least two transformers completely blow up.
With Chance the Rapper, DJ Snake, Mumford and Sons, and Shaggy of all people left to play, Hangout attendees are hoping the worst has come and gone weather-wise and they’ll get through Sunday without any more issues.
-words: Mark Ortega
-photos: courtesy of Hangout Festival