My Sweet Summer: The Best of The Hangout Beach, Music and Arts Festival by Canaan Lamp

Every year on the third weekend of May, Gulf Shores gets taken over by music lovers all over the world at The Hangout Beach, Music and Arts Festival. The festival, now its 6th incarnation, entertains a variety of genres and includes multiple performers around the musical landscape. Here's the best of what happened over the weekend:

Foo Fighters

The Foo Fighters returned to the Hangout Fest for the second time in fest history, and the festival made a wise choice in bringing back the rock giants for the second time. The band's set included hits from across the band's 8 studio albums and numerous cover songs, including live set staple "Young Man Blues", and new covers to the band's reptiore, including "Miss You" (as made famous by The Rolling Stones) and "Under Pressure" (Queen/David Bowie). Having seen the Foo Fighters twice and being extremely familiar with their live set and discography, I was expecting to have my mind blown and it surely was. The Foos produced a show that gave 110% and then some, because that's what the Foo Fighters do; they go out and proceed to melt every single face in the audience and let them dance. The festival also featured guest spots from members of Zac Brown Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. There was energy the entire show, even on their slower tunes. The band was the perfect way to kick off the festival, and set the tone for what was an absolutely perfect weekend.

Future Islands

Greenville, North Carolina's Future Islands made huge waves after their appearances on Late Show with David Letterman, and the band continued to ride the massive tidal wave of those appearances and the success of their latest album Singles at Hangout. Samuel Herring is the best front man in music today, no if's, and's or but's about it. He and the band brought the ruckus to the main stage in the mid-afternoon slot, playing songs across their discography including the hit "Seasons (Waiting on You" that they performed on Letterman that led to their acclaim.) Herring's use of dancing, growling vocals and connection with the audience was captivating and extremely pleasing, giving the entire crowd a great show. If they keep up this type of growth, Future Islands will be around for a long time and maybe could be headlining these things in a short period of time.


Beck is an icon, a legend in the business of making unique, rock/hip-hop/folk tunes to massive critical acclaim and the praise of all of his fans who have been with him from the first time they heard the opening riff of "Loser". His set as the final act of the festival on Sunday night was a career spanning spectacle, going for the kill early with "Devil's Haircut", "Black Tambourine", "Loser" and "The New Pollution" kicking off the set. Beck performed full of energy, leading the crowd in countless sing alongs, hand waving, jumping and screaming, never losing a beat as he flowed thru his vast stream-of-consious like lyrics. There were doubters about whether or not Beck could carry a night of the festival, but his performance put all of his critics to rest. Beck was absolutely perfect and was the best way to end the fest.

The Beach and the Weather

Many fans of the Hangout Fest were worried heading into the weekend, after the weather forecast called for extensive storms, some of which featured chances of rain at 80%. However, the need for rain jackets and worry was unwarrented as outside of a brief sprinkle by the main stage during Spoon's performance, the weather was wonderful and the cloud cover provided cooler temperatures. The beach was also in tip top shape, as we know that the beach and the Gulf of Mexico are really the top attraction at every Hangout.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

New Orleans' own Preservation Hall Jazz Band had by far the busiest weekend of all the bands at Hangout. After coming in with DJ Windows 98 (aka Win Bulter of Arcade Fire) and then performing the song "In The Clear" with the Foo Fighters, the band performed their own set of jazz classics at the BMI Stage themselves on Saturday night. On top of all that, they performed an additional set on the Salt Life Stage on Sunday, featuring numerous guests including Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Beats Antique and Lake Street Dive among others. Preservation Hall had some of the most work but also seemingly the most fun at the fest, and I surely do hope they end up back on a Hangout bill in the near future in some sort of capacity.

And there were so many other fanastic acts over the weekend, like Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, Jenny Lewis, Spoon, Jeff the Brotherhood, Deap Valley, TV on the Radio and more.

Hangout 2015 was a total success! I can't wait to see who the fest will bring next year! Hangout is always a top notch, fantastic festival that is always well run and extremely professional. Every festival has it's bumps and bruises, especially with security, but once inside, Hangout was once again one of the most fun times of the year.

The staff of the Lost Sandal would like to thank Hangout for the incredible hospitality we recieved while in the media area and around the festival. It was a pleasure to attend and we hope to return next year.

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