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Hangout Fest 2013 Super-Review: Sunday (MSM, YHT, MM)

29 May 2013

written by Mod Mobilian




Hangout Fest 2013 Super-Review: Sunday


You Hear This – Chris K. Davidson

Best Coast: I’ve had Best Coast’s latest album, The Only Place, in my iTunes library for a few months now, so I was definitely looking forward to this performance. They put on a great set. If you have never heard Best Coast, picture a 21st century, female Buddy Holly tossed in a blender with Patti Smith-esque post-punk and Go-Gos energetic pop. The lead singer interacted with the crowd fairly well, most notably telling an attendee that she wanted to marry him because he was from Chicago.

GROUPLOVE: This group was distinctly West Coast indie-punk, whose male vocalist sported aqua green hair and female vocalist sported a full skeleton jumpsuit. Their energy was undeniable as they chased each other around the enormous Hangout Stage. They marveled several times at their good fortune playing the same stage as Tom Petty and Stevie Wonder and kept the crowd completely engaged. Bravo, GROUPLOVE.

Imagine Dragons: I admit that I did not know that Imagine Dragons was that popular. They came by for a meet and greet in the media area and I talked to them briefly before they left to prepare for their set. The media area overlooked the Chevrolet Stage, so I positioned myself on a couch by the edge and accidentally fell asleep. I woke up to the sound of Imagine Dragons and looked out into the crowd. I could not see the end of the mass of bodies. I was then informed they had over a million followers on Twitter and Facebook. They were a huge deal after all. They performed with the full assault of a Las Vegas rock band and played hit song after hit song. They’re blowing up and I feel like this is only the beginning.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Yeah Yeah Yeahs debuted with a haunting single, “Maps”, almost ten years ago and have since established themselves as one of indie and alternative rock’s most exciting acts. Karen O was maniacal in her vocal delivery and stage presence. It was quite the sight and the rest of YYY brought everything to the table in terms of solid songcraft. One of my favorite performances of the festival.

Bloc Party: The British band has built its reputation as a solid blender of angular indie rock and melodic goodness. They also made their Alabama debut, playing to the crowd’s beach ball throwing antics and showcasing a wide variety of songs from their four-album catalog. Their lead guitarist made his instrument sound almost like a keyboard before tearing at it with lightning speed. Even in the lingering daylight, the light-show was incredible and dramatic.

Trey Anastasio Band: Jam bands do really well for beach festivals and Trey Anastasio’s performance was no exception. He played a mesh of solo tunes and covers, most notably “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” and the Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood” with his band inviting the opportunity for incredibly lengthy improvisations. I only saw 4 songs, but they filled up a half-hour alone and no one seemed to be complaining.

Stevie Wonder: The final performance of the night featured the legendary soul and R & B pianist and songwriter, Stevie Wonder. Even at 63, Wonder had the ability to awe and rev up a crowd. His band was the biggest of any act with four background vocalists, two guitarists, a bassist, a horn section and three full drum sets. He played funkified versions of Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, the Beatles and John Lennon songs that lasted six or seven minutes with many invitations for the crowd to take over the microphone. He closed with the phenomenal classic, “Superstitious”, and Hangout 2013 came to a successful close. Here’s hoping next year is just as memorable.


My Spilt Milk – Scarlett Rayner

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Karen O, front woman for The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, looked as flashy as usual during the bands set on the beach. Adorned in a green glitter suit and a Michael Jackson T-shirt, she was far from beach attire, but her flashy style matched the tone of their set. The band played hits including “Heads Will Roll,” “Cheated Hearts,” and their 2004 hit “Maps,” which Karen O dedicated to Stevie Wonder, who followed them.

Throughout the weekend, the beach vibe was as dominant as any headliner in shaping the day, and that vibe was as much the point of Hangout as the music. Before leaving the stage, Karen O. acknowledged as much when she sent a shout-out to the “ganja smokers” and the “weekend warriors.”

Imagine Dragons

This Las Vegas band drummed in the mood for the last day of Hangout. Lead singer Dan Reynolds sang while banging on his huge bass drum in the center of the stage during the opening of the set. Imagine Dragons played an array of upbeat hip-hop jams with a funky mix of percussion-heavy sounds. During the middle of their set they played a rendition of Ciara’s, “Like a Boy,” where Reynolds got on the mic and yell “What you mad? Can’t handle that?”  The group’s infectious dance groove had the crowd going wild when they played their hit, “Radioactive.” Afterwards, Reynolds told the crowd that he’d broken his hand but that the show must go on.

Stevie Wonder

From John Lennon to Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder managed to honorably pay tribute his influences songs while also flawlessly playing his originals. The rendition of the Beatles’ “Day Tripper” and Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” presented Wonder as he reached effortlessly from classic rock to reggae. Halfway through the set, Wonder spoke out against gun violence saying that things were far more beautiful alive, and he told the crowd that his daughter Aisha was recently engaged in New Orleans – news that brought cheers for the substantial contingent of New Orleanians that made the drive.

Naturally, Wonder played from his own substantial catalogue of hits including “For Once In My Life,” “My Cherie Amour,” “I Just Called To Say I Love You,” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Every song he played, whether a cover or an original, transmitted a message of gratitude and compassion for life and music. He finished with an extended version of “Superstition” accompanied by a spectacular fireworks show that brought the fourth annual Hangout Music Festival to a close.


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