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Hangout Fest 2017 Day 1

News

Hangout Fest 2017 Day 1

Nathan Armstrong

GULF SHORES, AL – I don’t know how else to start this except by telling you all that there is a town in Alabama that has a convenient store by the name of “Food Mart,” and then just about half a mile up the road there is a “Food Mart Jr.” I wonder if they are competition or family? Genuine question. 

Anyways! We made the trek from Memphis to Alabama and the last thing I want to write about is the eight-hour drive through “God’s country.” So, without further ado: 

I walked through the gate after finally finding a free parking spot to the very end of A$AP Ferg’s set and got to hear “Work,” and “New Level,” and along with hearing those songs, we got our first taste of Hangout. Bikinis and basketball jerseys galore. 

Side note, I want to do an entire appreciation article for the NBA throwback jerseys I see this weekend. There was a group of guys wearing the entire 92’ dream team roster. Even Laettner. But back to the music.

After wading through the crowd, I found my way into the VIP area at the Hangout stage where MGMT was performing. I looked and the audience was littered with giant inflatable sharks bouncing around. However, MGMT was at Music Fest two weekends ago, so I went down to check out Weezer on the other side of the beach.

One thing I love about Weezer is that they just play. They’re a timeless rock band that doesn’t have some wild stage show. They’re not dressed all crazy. They’re just Weezer, man. A bearded man said to me as I stood there, “Man, I didn’t realize this many people still liked Weezer.” I could have slapped him. 

Weezer does such a good job of staying relevant since their debut in 1992. Opening with classics like, “Hashpipe,” “My Name is Jonas,” and then mixing in a few more recent songs like, “Pork and Beans,” and “Troublemaker,” they keep an audience entertained. Plus, they just play good music, man. 

Finally, after Weezer, I made the long haul back to the Hangout stage to catch Phoenix, who was covering for Frank Ocean. And I’m just going to be honest, I had low expectations since they were substituting for Frank. I thought that everybody would be upset and that no one would want to see Phoenix instead of Frank: I was wrong. As soon as they start playing, people all around me in the VIP area are jumping like kids on a playground. Grown men in the pool are having a splash fight, dunking each other underwater. It was mayhem. I even went to the bathroom and some guy walked in, saw the line, and said, “Man, I don’t have time to wait, that’s PHOENIX out there!” Trust me, I never thought I’d hear that sentence either. 

But that was how day 1 ended, with grown men throwing each other around in a pool, listening to Phoenix. Honestly I don’t know how you top it so let’s see how round 2 goes. 

- @StonePannell

Photo credits: @AustinWho