Beck finds ‘something sultry’ in the air at the Hangout Music Fest

18 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Sunday at the beach: Live updates from the 2015 Hangout Music Fest, Day 3.

From an early-bird ticket sale to a headline performance by Beck, the third and final day of the 2015 Hangout Music Fest promised to finish strong – and the best weather of the weekend didn’t hurt things either. 9:17 p.m.: Sunday headliner Beck took the Hangout main stage fashionably late, just long enough for people to start to wonder if something was amiss. However, if anybody was miffed at the delay, they quickly forgave the quirky alt-rock-ish artist when he broke out two of his biggest hits “Devil’s Haircut,” and “Loser” within the first three songs. Lawrence Specker will have a full review of Beck’s set posted later tonight. (Dennis Pillion) 7:30 p.m.: It’s probably fair to say that no other artist at the Hangout Fest has delivered a set anything like Mary Lambert’s appearance on the Salt Life Stage.

Lambert, who came to widespread notice when her song “She Keeps Me Warm” was sampled in Macklemore’s hit “Same Love,” has plenty on her mind: Her bipolar nature, body image pressures on young women, coming out as gay and, on the dark “Ribcage,” the emotional price of being open about past traumas. Showcasing the latter, she described the way she’d once mistaken Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag” as a lesbian love song because of the male singer’s high voice. But none of that marred the case Lambert made for herself as the Hangout performer who brought the widest range of emotions to one stage. 5:45 p.m.: Singer Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio and some of his bandmates are a little concerned about the heat. It’s actually pretty moderate if you’re from here, but in his defense, Adebimpe reportedly resides in Los Angeles, where highs are currently in the upper 60s, and the band is facing into the sun. It’s not just enough to deliver a set full of music that ranges from straight-ahead, driving rock ‘n’ roll drive to songs with a layered, emotionally open, atmospheric feel.

By midafternoon Sunday, the total was well over 200, he reckoned. (The chapel also is available for real weddings, for couples who’ve done their paperwork in advance, and has been used for three this weekend.) Several new themed vows were added to this year’s menu, joining previous options such as “Star Wars” and “Game of Thrones.” The most popular of the new ones, Calloway said, was the exchange of “50 Shades of Grey” promises, based on the sexually charged novel and movie. Calloway gestured at a couple who were using the theme as he spoke, in a ceremony overseen by fellow minister Adam Meier. “See, they’re wearing handcuffs,” he said. So as much as you might want to, you can’t call it a binding agreement. 3:30 p.m.: The Hangout Fest’s executive director, Sean O’Connell, appears relaxed as the event sails through its final day. In the past that has indicated that a general admission sellout is imminent, but no such announcement was made this year.) He said he was encouraged by the increased audience the event was getting via radio, TV and online presentation of its performances. “There is a lot more media,” he said. “Word is getting out.” 3:15 p.m.: The festival’s sunniest day is also its warmest, so it’s no surprise that the free water stations presented by Camelbak are popular. So overall, the supply seems to exceed the demand. 3 p.m.: Those early-bird loyalty tickets are still on sale at the festival box office and at the main merchandise area in the Hangout.

The music from songwriter Jean-Philip Grobler and his backing band draws on ’80s pop, especially in the prominent synthesizers that give it a dreamy, atmospheric feel. After the opening song, Grobler – who was born in South Africa and is based in New York – show’s he’s in tune by giving the audience a sincere, “Thanks, y’all.” 1 p.m.: For any early festival-goers needing to shake off the rust caused by two days of sun and sand, the 12:30 p.m. set by MisterWives on the festival’s beach stage was as good as a perfect cup of coffee and could have doubled as a Jazzercise class for most of the crowd, led by the seemingly boundless exuberance of lead singer Mandy Lee. MisterWives weaved a blend of pop-oriented dance tracks with some brass, tambourine, accordion and keys, treading safely in upbeat dance music without diverging into bubble gum territory.

Lee bounced across the stage, belting out tracks from the band’s full-length debut album “Our Own House,” like “Hurricane” and the appropriately-named “Oceans.” The audience swelled as the band’s happy tunes echoed throughout the early festival grounds, and the crowd matched Lee’s enthusiasm jump for jump as beachballs and an inflatable T-Rex (which is apparently bassist Will Hehir’s spirit animal) flew in front of the stage. Perhaps the highlight of the high-energy set was the cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” a jubilant sing-along for those not yet familiar with MisterWives, whose first EP came out last year. The set was a perfect time-and-place moment for a festival that seems to have a lot of those, and the band’s albums are No. 1 on my list to investigate after the festival. (Dennis Pillion) 12:10 p.m.: “We’re going to do the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen,” said Muscle Shoals native Dillon Hodges of firekid, one of the first wave of acts to play on Sunday. “We’re going to play a Game Boy on this next song.” The small audience at the BMI Stage had already learned to expect a certain amount of whimsy from firekid: Hodges had started the set with a solo rendition of “Americana Dream,” a song that pokes fun at newly minted hipster bands, mocking them for clichés such as wearing work boots that have never touched dirt and singing songs about the road even though they’ve never been on tour. Now, Hodges explained, the band was going to perform a rendition of My Morning Jacket’s “Golden” with drummer Josh Kleppin playing an actual Nintendo Game Boy.

So off they went, the various buzzes, blips and tones from the device worked neatly into the tune, a love song with an arresting mix of concrete and abstract imagery. 11 a.m.: The morning began with a few people waiting in line at the festival’s main gates, eager to get started – and another line of people at the nearby box office tent, eager to get a jump on Hangout 2016. She said she’d gotten general admission passes for her family, and she had a quick answer for people wondering why anyone would commit long before next year’s acts are announced: She and her husband have already been to four editions of the fest, and feel confident it’ll be worth another visit next year.

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