Review: Hangout Festival, Day Two

Following Rudd I ventured out into the sun and roamed the festival grounds. I caught some Minus the Bear and a little Dead Confederate. Neither caught my interest so I headed towards the main stage in anticipation for Cee Lo, and ended up riding a Ferris wheel on the way.

Cee Lo was due onstage at 3:30PM; 3:30 came and went, and Cee Lo did not show. After about 15 minutes of restlessness from the crowd festival promoter Shaul Zislin came onstage, and made the unsurprising announcement that Cee Lo was “in the area” but delayed. Instead the Foo Fighters stormed the stage to a fury of shrieks and screams from excited and surprised fans. In the pure spirit of rock and roll the Foo Fighters set into Alice Cooper’s School’s Out, followed by Queen’s Tie Your Mother Down, then Breakdown by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The Foo Fighters’ cover set ended with Prince’s Darling Nikki, which Dave Grohl dedicated to Cee Lo.

Halfway through Darling Nikki I began to make way for the other side of the beach for Primus. According to Cee Lo sprinted on stage just as the Foo Fighters wrapped up Prince. He then performed Gone Daddy Gone > Crazy > Fuck You > Rock the Casbah in less than 20 minutes, and that was that.

Across the festival colorful freaks and geeks lined the shores near the Surf Style Stage in anticipation for a back to back agenda of Primus then the Flaming Lips. Primus hit the stage right on time at exactly 4:30. The audience enthusiastically welcomed the legendary eclectic funk rock trio to the stage, but skipped on the traditional chant of “Primus Sucks.” In the past I have seen Primus practically tear down venues, causing mosh pits so fierce people returned bloody. In this case the audience remained calm and kept raging head banging to a minimum.

Similar to a majority of bands on the lineup, Primus stuck with their greatest hits including Jerry was a Racecar Driver, Tommy the Cat, Sailing the Seas of Cheese and My Name is Mud. Les Claypool’s fingers danced up the neck of his bass as Larry LaLonde sparked currents of electricity from his guitar. With the help of drummer Jay Lane, Primus played generous thumping grooves, but skimped on the bass funk bounce they are known for. Their sound carried on flat and lethargic like a throbbing sun burn. Regardless, it was an honor seeing Primus perform not in a dark dank theater, but outside on the beach.

An hour after Primus the world was still in tact and the Flaming Lips caused a psychedelic uproar with confetti cannons, streamers and balloons. Their radical celebration featured dancers hand picked from the audience, decked out in Dorothy costumes. As cliché as it was, clearly we were no longer in Kansas but somewhere between Oz and the ocean.  The Flaming Lips played their set backwards from their typical agenda, opening with Do You Realize?, She Don’t Use Jelly and Yeah Yeah Yeah, songs the band generally save for the end. To twist matters more, the band encored with lead freak Wayne Coyne surfing the crowd in his famous space bubble, and the rest of the band sliding out of the big screen that framed the stage. I am getting ahead of myself!

The Flaming Lips played over an hour of splendor, primarily sharing selections off their last three albums Embryonic, At War with Mystics and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Somewhere in between, multi-instrumental genius Steven Drozd used his iPhone as an instrument, projecting electronic scratch melodies into an instrumental jam.  The band closed out their set with What is the Light? off their beloved 1999 album The Soft Bulletin. Alas, the freaks overcame and the world remained in tact as the last piece of confetti brushed the sand.

The superstar headliners of the evening were the Foo Fighters, performing for the second time that weekend to thousands upon thousands of people. Even though they sounded incredible, the turn out for the Foo Fighters’ headlining set was so crowded that I lingered towards the back for about four songs before calling it a night. Plus, I figured I already got my Foo Fighters fix earlier that afternoon, thanks to Cee Lo. However I did stick around long enough to hear Grohl perfectly sum up his day:

“Today was an amazing day,” he said. “Let me tell you what I did today. I woke up, got some room service then got on a bus to come here. Then I went swimming in the ocean (massive applauds) and someone comes to me and says, ‘Hey Dave. Cee Lo didn’t show. You wanna play a set?’ And I said, ‘Sure, I’ll come play a set of some of my favorite classic rock tunes.’ So I did. I got to come out here and play School’s Out, Tie Your Mother Down, Breakdown and Darling Nikki. And when I was done? I went swimming in the ocean. Then? I took a nap. Then? I ate a lobster. Then? I had four Coronas and four shots of whiskey. And now I’m out here ending your night. That’s a good day.”

Grohl was right, it certainly was a good day.

Check out the rest of Allison’s photos from Day Two…

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