Location: Gulf Shores, AL
As we flew out of the Tampa Bay airport and into a thunder-fillled Thursday night, our flight attendant prayed over the PA system, “rain, rain, go away, y’all come out some other day.” Despite a high likelihood of storms all weekend, we dropped into Gulf Shores, Alabama under clear skies and the rain never did come back. And instead the sun showered down on the people and beaches of Hangout Fest.
Umphrey’s McGee – “The Show Goes On (feat. Lupe Fiasco)”
A jam band staple at festivals all over the U.S., UMG showcased their talents with elongated guitar solos that began as simple ideas and flourished into percussive, head-spinning solos. It may be a product of the EDM scene, but UMG’s take on the “drop” was creative and economic. The band used them sparingly, and each time it was employed, it was for a different musical reason. Sometimes, it marked the beginning of a new song, or meant the entrance of a new instrument, and another time it would allow them to cut off an improvisation that had exceeded its time. The highlight of the show was the unexpected drop-in of Lupe Fiasco, towards the end of their day set. To the tune of “The Show Goes On” from his album Lasers, the crowd was happily surprised. See video below:
Small Concert Standout:
Houndmouth- “For No One”
We have posted about Houndmouth on RunTheMill before, and had high hopes for this quirky, but sensational Louisville and Indiana-fostered band. Garbed in a full cape, the lead singer led a fanatic small crowd through its newest album Little Neon Limelight. And it was a particularly fun to hear it amongst southerners. A new favorite cut was “Black Gold:”
Zac Brown Band- “Bohemian Rhapsody
This is not the first time ZBB has covered Queen, (iHeart Radio Music Festival 2014), but when every person knows the lyrics out of 10,000 person audience, it is usually not a bad time. No video from Hangout, but enjoy the previous version below:
Jack U (Diplo & Skrillex)
Flying high off their recent album featuring cuts with the likes of Justin Bieber, I was underwhelmed by Jack U’s overall set. It’s peaks were short-lived, and overshadowed by foreseeable drops. I think the set suffered from too much hype, too little preparation, and a lack of flow and diversity that usually allows Diplo and Skrillex to stand out from the EDM crowd. In fact, Major Lazer’s set later on in the festival demonstrated that sometimes the whole is not always greater than the sum of its parts.
Best Surprise Group:
San Fermin – Emily
- Ever since I heard the song “Sonsick,” I knew San Fermin had an interesting, poignant story to tell that could cut through the constant music chatter. That being said, I was blown away by the musical chops and stage presence of the San Fermin group. The standout new single from the show that we happened to walk upon was, “Emily,” which showcases composer and song-writer Ellis Ludwig Leone’s natural tenor voice, and his penchant for tight arrangement and orchestration.
Concerts we attended:
Umphrey’s McGee (featuring Lupe Fiasco)
Galactic with Macy Gray
Trampled by Turtles
Roddy Walston & The Business
Zac Brown Band
Queen’s Under Pressure Bohemian Rhapsody