This festival recap is brought to you by Hunter B. Hunter is a fellow SMU alumni, hailing from Ft. Worth, TX. Currently residing in Dallas but headed to Austin where he was recently accepted into the University of Texas MBA program – Hook’em Horns! His favorite bands include, but are not limited to: The Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers, Hayes Carll, Outkast, Guns n’ Roses, Robert Earl King and The Futurebirds. When not jamming out, Hunter enjoys traveling, skiing, hunting, Jiu Jitsu, and Texas Football.
Hunter’s life moto is – “We’re here for a good time, not a long time”.
Sometimes Life’s a Coin Toss – You know, toss the coin out the window and just go for it
First and foremost, I have to say that Hangout was the most enjoyable music festival I have ever attended by a longshot. Easily the best part about Hangout, even better than the music itself, was that you could buy as many unopened beers as you wanted!?! No two per person. No shitty plastic cans of Miller Light. I’m talking a bag full of iced down Budweisers, Bud Light, Stella and Lime-A-Ritas. It was heavenly. Sorry, but I had to get that out of the way. Oh ya, did I mention that Hangout is on the beach? Every morning would start the same. William “The Hobbit” Edwards would wake us with a delectable cocktail followed by some boogie boarding/beach time before we headed to the venue. Every show we would dig a giant sand couch for our crew to lounge in. Nothing like lounging in a sand couch listening to Jim James rock his new album in full, while catching a killer base tan. GTL baby. Another thing that separated Hangout from the other festivals I’ve been to is the people. Since Hangout is a destination, everyone that was there genuinely wanted to see the music. We never had any problem with people being assholes, starting fights or anything like that. I guess the distance/expense kept away many of the dirty wookies that usually infest these types of events. Sure you had to deal with the frat bro’s and preteens, but at the end of the day it could be much worse (see Bonnaroo). Oh one last thing. To quote Hunter S. Thompson, “Buy the ticket and take the ride.” The ferris wheel and the big drop were freakin awesome! Oh also, the fireworks were the bees knees this year.
Now, on to the music…I put a list of the shows that we attended at the bottom of this post and highlighted each band so you can skip around if you want. Before I give you the play by play recap that most of you won’t read, I am going to give you the awards for the festival.
1) The Revivalists – If you don’t know, you better ask somebody
2) The Black Crowes – I’ve seen them five times but they were on fire and reminded everyone of just how good they can be
3) Tom Petty – First time to see him, did not disappoint to say the least
1) Tom Petty – Friend of the Devil (Grateful Dead…first time since 1997 and only 6th time ever!)
2) Stevie Wonder – Imagine (John Lennon…I cried, what of it?)
3) Trey Anastasio Band – The Devil Went Down To Georgia (Charlie Daniels Band…I lost it)
4) Gov’t Mule – Since I’ve Been Lovin You (Led Zeppelin)
Best Bands You Might Not Know About – Sheepdogs, Bright Light Social Hour, The Revivalists, Moon Taxi
Biggest Surprise – Passion Pit…They were awesome and I had no idea
Most Fun – Steve Aoki…Preteens everywhere.
Most Miserable – The Roots…I love their music but it was so freakin packed and most of my time was spent trying to get to and from the bathroom which was 1000miles away from our home base.
As you can see there wasn’t really a method there I just listed things I liked.
Hot, but a great lineup. The Sheepdogs really got the people goin and was one of the better shows of the day. They played a new tune called, coincidence of the day, Hangout, which was very choice. Not sure what song it was during but they rocked a 7 minute Allman Bro’s style dual guitar facemelter that was dirty. That was my fourth time to see them and each time they get better and better. Certainly the best thing Saskatoon, Canada has ever produced. As I said, Jim James played his album in full, closing with Wonderful. We hunkered down and cooled off in the ocean breeze while JJ rocked out for us. His new album is awesome live. Wish it was at night because I heard from those who saw him in Dallas that his light show is strong to quite strong. Ryan Bingham is one of my favorite new Texas country singers (although I thought his most recent album sucked) and he nailed it. We sat right behind a big “Come and Take It” flag for the show which really set the mood. He played a good mix of old classics (Sunshine, Depression, Bluebird, Southside of Heaven, Dollar A Day and closed with Bread and Water) along with some new ones which were at least better live. This was my first time to see Passion Pit and I have to say I was extremely impressed. It took me about 6 songs to realize that that chick singing was actually a dude (seriously, honest mistake) but I loved it. This is normally not my type of music either but they really sold me and are now on my list of bands I don’t want to miss when they come to town. Next up was Big Gigantic. We actually missed most of Big G due to a sunset Ferris Wheel ride and a quick trip to the ER Tent (One of the girls we were with was running full speed out of the porta potty and the last door opened and stopped her in her tracks. Ended up with a nice shiner and cut over her head. No stitches. Moving on). Kings of Leon was a bit underwhelming. It was great to hear them and they played some solid oldies (Crawl, Taper Jean Girl, Fans, On Call, The Bucket, Closer, Sex on Fire, Use Somebody) but all in all it wasn’t the best show we came across.
Started off right with Bright Light Social Hour. If you don’t listen to them, you best get on it. They are one of my favorite bands to see live. Unfortunately they just replaced their keyboard player who was one of the best but they still rocked the house. They only have one album out currently but they played a lot of new ones that got the early risers movin. They closed with a great cover of Young Man’s Blues by The Who which has become a signature closer of theirs. Next we headed to the beach to see Gov’t Mule and Warren “Sausage Fingers” Haynes did not disappoint. After getting the crowd warmed up he tore into Broke Down on the Brazos > Since I’ve Been Loving You (Zeppelin) > Soulshinse > I’m a Ram > Thorazine Shuffle > Mule. What more can you ask for? Watch the whole set here Gov’t Mule Hangout 2013 on youtube. After Mule we schlepped all the way across the beach (aka Hell, aka Red Planet) to the Chevy Stage for The Roots. As I mentioned before, this was a miserable experience. The walk from one main stage to the other looks a whole lot shorter than it is and is a miserable walk if you talk the beach route. There should be some sort of “Objects may seem closer than they appear” sign or something there. I almost died. When we finally got to where The Roots were playing, it was so packed that you couldn’t even get close enough to hear them. The only saving grace for that show was that they covered Sweet Child Of Mine. Next was one of my favorite shows of the weekend, The Black Crowes. As I said, I have seen them 5 times or so but there was something special about this set. I guess it was just a classic setlist: Twice as Hard > Sting Me > My Morning Song > Stare it Cold > Wiser Time > She Talks to Angels (Mandolin version) > Thorn in My Pride > Soul Singing > Remedy > Hard to Handle > Hush > Hard to Handle. Chris Robinson was right on top of it the whole time and never gave the crowd a chance to take a break. After our experience for The Roots, we decided there was no way we were going to go to Bassnectar and opted to dig a monster sand couch for Tom Petty, which was a great call. Besides, you could hear/feel the bass from the Bassnectar show literally a mile away. Tom Petty was incredible. It was probably a combination of being on the beach and this being my first show, but it really hit the spot. The setlist was money and his cover of Friend of the Devil, which is one of my all time favorite songs, was a real treat. Just before the show ended we decided to hop on the ferris wheel and we caught the entire firework show from the very top. Needless to say, it was a great way to cap off Day 2.
Morale was low. God bless Bill “The Hobbit” Edwards for making get out of bed and go to The Revivalists at 12:15. This was the show of the weekend for me. I have been listening to them for a couple months and was excited to see them live but had no idea what I was in for. They incorporate all types of influences into their music – rock, reggae, jam, rap, electronic, country slide, Nola horns, blues and it sounds incredible. They had at least 15 people on stage and their lead singer has incredible stage presence and can get the whole crowd jumping around like maniacs on a moment’s notice. We took a much needed lunch break after The Revivalists to eat at Steamers, which I highly recommend, before coming back for Moon Taxi, another one of my favorite up and coming bands. They are such a high energy band and their keyboard player is a magician. If they come through your town, don’t miss them. Next we went to Ellie Goulding cause we had nothing better do it. I can’t really comment on her music. We rolled over to Moe after Goulding, found our usual spot and then a couple of us went up to the front for a nice facemelting sesh. The highlight of this show for me was meeting Lon Marchand, the founder of Righteous Tuneage, a wonderful music email chain I am a part of. I am not a huge Moe fan (as in I like their stuff but I don’t listen to their music on the reg and this was my first show), but they were most excellent live. Another band I won’t miss if they come in town again. We decided to get a head start on the crowd and dig in for Trey Anastasio Band early but as we made our way over to the Chevy Stage, we passed the Boom Boom Tent where Steve Aoki was playing and the scene sucked us in. Everyone grabbed on to each other and hung on for dear life as we crawled through thousands of preteens to get closer. I more or less blacked out for the thirty minutes that we were in there and have no idea what he was playing/singing but I had an awesome time! After that mess we went over to the Chevy Stage for TAB to get our noodle on. This was another first show of mine and I was blown away! I don’t know all of his stuff but The Hobbit knows everything so he guided me through the show. Their horns section was awesome and Trey had the Trey face on the whole show. Highlights from this show were Gotta Jibboo, Ooh Child (70s song that you all know if you heard it), The Devil Went Down to Georgia and Black Dog (Zeppelin) closer. Last but not least…Stevie Wonder. What can I say, Stevie killed it. He was up there just bobbing away, mumbling words that no one could understand and it was AMAZING! Everyone was happy and dancing. Not to brag, but we were the most popular people there because we snuck in some 300 glowsticks and were handing them out to everyone. Easily the highlight of the show for me was as follows. My special lady friend (the same one that busted her face open on the porta potty door #TrooperAward) and I decided we should get up close for at least a few songs. Higher Ground came on and we made our way through. We got up real close, danced our faces off, she got on my shoulders and had a grand ole time. Just as we were about to head back to the group, we decided to stay for one more song. After some rambling from Stevie, he started into an intro which I somehow immediately identified. Is this Imagine? No way, no f’ing way. Yep, it’s Imagine. 35,000 people run ragged from 3 days of partying face, harmonizing one last time. Chills, tears, the whole shabang. It was incredible way to end an perfect weekend.
Needless to say, I had an awesome time at Hangout and I can’t recommend it enough. Hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to next year.
Hangout 2013 Schedule
Friday, May 17
Sheepdogs (Letting Go 2:30-3:45)
Jim James (Hangout 3:45-5:00)
Ryan Bingham (Letting Go 5:00-6:15)
Passion Pit (Hangout 6:15-7:30)
Big Gigantic (Hangout 7:30-8:45)
Kings of Leon (9:00-11:00)
Saturday, May 18
Bright Light Social Hour (Letting Go 2:30-3:30)
Gov’t Mule (Hangout 3:30-4:45)
The Roots (Chevy 4:45-6:00)
The Black Crowes (Hangout 6:00-7:15)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (8:45-11:00)
Sunday, May 19
The Revivalists (Letting Go 12:15-1:15)
Moon Taxi (2:15-3:15)
Ellie Goulding (Hangout 2:15-3:15)
Moe. (Letting Go 4:15-5:15)
Steve Aoki (Boom Boom 5:15-6:30)
Trey Anastasio Band (Chevy 6:30-8:30)
Stevie Wonder (Hangout 8:30-11:00)