Saturday, May 20th, may have been the best day of Hangout Fest 2023, in my personal opinion. With headliners such as Paramore and SZA, you simply cannot go wrong.
The day started off with Nashville-based indie rock band COIN, who simply never gives a bad performance. I have personally seen them many times, but this was one of the biggest crowds I have ever seen them play for, which is a huge accomplishment for them. They opened their set with “Watering a Dead Flower”, off of their recent album, Uncanny Valley. They played many hits such as “Crash My Car”, “I Want It All”, and “Talk Too Much”, where lead singer Chase Lawrence even walked through the crowd. They also gave a beautiful performance of their song “Malibu 1992”, which was really special to hear on the beach.
We also saw artists such as the beautiful blue-haired Charlotte Sands, who gave an amazing and energetic performance. She definitely should have been on a bigger stage. She opened with her hit “Tantrum”, and proceeded to play hits such as “Dress”, “Bad Day”, and “Every Guy Ever.” Fans were jumping and screaming so loudly for her and she was reciprocating their energy.
AJR gave a super interactive and amazing performance, as per usual. They even called out some people in the crowd, one of which was a guy who they said they had seen at almost every show in the South and Midwest for the past twelve years. As their set came to an end, they explained how they made and produced their song “Weak” before performing it. Overall, an amazing performance and maybe one of the best of the weekend.
Sabrina Carpenter took the Shein Stage in a beautiful silver sparkly two piece outfit, as she walked to the piano to open her set with album opener, “emails i can’t send”. She then got into hits such as “vicious” and “because i liked a boy” before closing with her smash single “nonsense”. She gave a really special intro to her song “tornado warnings”, explaining that it was based off of a time she was with a guy and they both got tornado warnings on their phones, and she took it as a sign from the universe that she should not be with that guy. She also proceeded to say that she felt as though she had to lie to her therapist during that phase of her life, so she encouraged the audience to go to therapy and make sure that their therapist is a good fit for them.
Up next was the amazing Paramore, who never fail to put on a show. Opening with “You First” off of their recent album, This Is Why (QRO review), it was obvious from the first note that this set would be wonderful. They played smash hits such as “Ain’t It Fun”, “Still Into You”, and “Misery Business”, and even brought back an old hit, “The Only Exception”, where they encouraged everyone to hold up their lighters or flashlights, creating a beautiful moment on the beach.
SZA closed out the night with an amazing set filled with choreography and amazing visuals based off of her album, SOS. She rose up from a platform that visualized water, which went perfectly with the theme from her SOS album. She played hits such as “Kill Bill” and “Kiss Me More” which the crowd went absolutely crazy for. SZA was a perfect headliner for Hangout Fest this year.