My Morning Jacket Will Rock Hangout Fest And You Can Stream It All Here

18 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hangout Fest founder Shaul Zislin looking forward to unplanned ‘magical moments’ hours before this year’s festival opens.

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. 3:30 p.m.: The Hangout Fest’s executive director, Sean O’Connell, appears relaxed as the event sails through its final day. But the Detroit soul singer played it off, and when sound – if not the stage lights – came back on, he brought the crowd back into the groove with a version of the Run DMC/Aerosmith mash, “Walk This Way.” The crowd of several hundred cheered and, best of all, Hawthorne rolled with the punch, moving past the issue and on with the night. 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. During an interview in the artist village prior to his set, the blond-haired musician said, “The most important aspect of any Mayer Hawthorne show is fun. Fun is number one for me.” And the first half of his set reflected that as Hawthorne – who counts R&B heavies Curtis Mayfield and Barry White as influences – showcased a variety of music, including his most recent evolutions mixing hip hop and soul.

Zislin was impressed with how he handled the “technical issue” which he said went on for “13 minutes too long.” And as for the roughly 7,000 fans roaming around the festival grounds, he wasn’t surprised that there were no boos, and that folks were already buying into the chilled-out vibe the sixth-year festival is known for. “Hey, it’s Hangout man,” he said. “(The Kick-Off Party) gives an opportunity for a lot of people who are not going to the festival to get a taste of it, which is great.” Things will start gathering momentum early Friday as tens of thousands of weekend pass-holding fans flock to the Gulf Shores festival sight to hear more than 80 groups scheduled. 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. Headliners like Beck, the Foo Fighters and the Zac Brown Band are the obvious draws, but Zislin said he’s more looking forward to discovering “these amazing bands that have these breakthrough sets.” The example he gave was Athens, Ala., band the Alabama Shakes who, one year after organizers comped them tickets so they could hand out demos and enjoy the Hangout artist experience, took the eastern Surf Stage and brought the sandy house down. He mentioned performers Future Islands and Vance Joy – playing the western Hangout Stage on Saturday and Sunday, respectively – as some he and other organizers have been watching on the rise. “There are definitely a number of young and up-and-coming bands that are mixed in with the established acts, and it’s going to be great,” Zislin said.” On the whole, the Thursday Night Kick-Off was also great, with nine acts sharing three stages and a range of sound. 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.

The younger members of the crowd – most in the signature Hangout Fest uniform of bathing suits and flip-flops – danced to EDM groups like Grandtheft and Black Tiger Sex Machine in the Boom Boom tent. While a mix of folks, including several festival performers, gathered for the main show at the Palladia Stage where, once the technical hiccups were ironed out, blues supergroup The Word brought its high-energy blues fusion to the twilight. 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. It can only be assumed that had The Word been booked to perform over the weekend, there would have been some impressive sonic tributes to blues giant B.B. 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.

And while it was by all accounts a successful prelude to Hangout Fest, Thursday night did have the feeling of Christmas Eve, where the vibrations of future echoes could almost be felt before the weekend even started. 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. He said expanded shade areas will help beat the heat and, perhaps even more important, flushable toilets will make their debuts. “Now we’re six years into it,” Zislin said. “There’s always challenges to be worked through, but they’ve definitely been fantastic partners helping solve problems.” 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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