GULF SHORES, AL – Saturdays are the best days for music festivals. The acts are great, the weather is usually the best and the people watching is phenomenal. This is of course because Saturday is the most convenient day for festival goers. So my hopes were highly set and they were vastly exceeded.
We started off at the Hangout stage watching Mutemath singing with the lead singer, Paul Meany’s, daughter on stage singing her own rendition of “Stressed Out” (Twenty-One Pilots) which was so cute and so sweet. I was elated. I also really wanted to use that word.
Then, when I thought it could not get any sweeter, they covered “Black Hole Sun,” in memory of the late Chris Cornell (RIP) of Soundgarden. I wanted to cry but no one is supposed to cry at a music festival so I sucked it up. After listening to Mutemath and sitting in the VIP pool with a bunch of strangers, I decided to explore the festivities. And I was not disappointed.
I ran into a giant inflatable Sour Patch Kids obstacle course and watched as people, who were not in their best state of mind, barreled and bounced back and forth for some candy prizes. I could have sat here all day and just watched people slip and fall, but I had a job to do! I’m a reputable journalist!
So then I found this arcade tent
First off, whoever thought of this idea needs a Nobel Peace prize. This tops the PS4 tent from last year’s BSMF. (which was also at Hangout Fest this year) I walked in and I am surrounded by old-school box arcade games, pop-a-shot basketball goals, and that punching bag game. I watched as person after person fed dollars into this punching bag and tried to out-punch the other. I was in paradise. Alas, I had to make my way back to the music, so I left my arcade utopia towards the Surf stage so Band of Horses could sing to my soul.
So there I was, propped up by the pool, listening to Band of Horses sing, and it was great. These VIP areas are worth the money, which may be easy to say as someone who didn’t pay #media. And so it was great, everything was great but then it started to sprinkle right when Band of Horses started “The Funeral,” which is definitively their most well-known song. The mood was SO set! Light sprinkle, Band of Horses and everyone was singing along. So great. Then the bottom falls out and suddenly the mood is not set.
Within the ten seconds that it took me to get to the media tent, I was drenched. The crowds cleared out and everything was sad.
Until ten minutes later when the rain just stopped! Festival is back on, frowns are undoubtedly turned upside down and the stage is set for Twenty-One Pilots (whose set has now been moved up to 9) Hallelujah, the day is saved.
People start piling in and I find a spot in the crowd. Somehow I ended up behind Chris Melberger, a guy I followed on vine for years. I even accidentally photobombed his selfie, you can check it out on twitter #fiveminutesoffame.
Twenty-One Pilots started their set with a video of Godzilla, who was named Hangout Fest, emerging from the water to destroy Coachella. Shots fired. Then Tyler and Josh emerged donning their ski masks performing “Heavydirtysoul.”
Things are going great, Tyler Joseph is running around stage falling down, smoke is everywhere, and they even brought out Mutemath to perform their remixes. Then the saddest noise was made. Tyler tells us that he’s being told that the weather is getting too bad and they need to evacuate the stage and that the show is over.
I thought they were joking! I said, “surely not,” and they decided to play one last song before the rain. It was “Car Radio,” and halfway through their gear was shut off, but the crowd picked up right where they left off. It took a siren and message from the loud speaker to get people moving to the exits. What a crowd, what an experience. There’s a tear in my heart, though, I need to see them again to get the full experience.
So that’s it, our night was dramatically cut short due to rain. Sad face. Here’s to the finale, day three here I come.
Photo credits: @AustinWho