Photo by Kyle Hannon
Gulf Shores, AL’s first Hangout Beach, Music & Arts festival continued yesterday with a diverse mix of artists that included John Legend, Gov’t Mule, The Roots, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Whigs, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, the Funky Meters and Ozomatli, among many others. Legend closed the festival’s main Hangout Stage with a set of his trademark R&B hits that culminated with the festival’s second fireworks display in two nights. The singer also reminded the crowd that there is “nothing wrong with a little PDA.”
Collaborations highlighted the rest of the day’s festivities. Gov’t Mule invited out its former opening act, Davy Knowles, for a cover of David Crosby’s “Almost Cut My Hair” after hearing the guitarist cover the song with his band Back Door Slam earlier at the festival. In addition, Mule brought out recent collaborator Grace Potter for a take on “Gold Dust Woman.” Potter and Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes both also participated in the festival’s official press conference and cited each other as their favorite acts at the event (Potter described the Hangout as “Coachella on the Beach,” while Haynes discussed his strong connection with the region). During an interview with Relix/Jambands.com, Potter revealed that the members of Gov’t Mule gave engraved iPods to the members of her band the Nocturnals after their joint tour wrapped up. Haynes and Potter both also sat in with Preservation Hall Jazz Band on “St. James Infirmary Blues,” while Blind Boys of Alabama guitarist Joey Williams joined the New Orleans outfit for “I’ll Fly Away.” Preservation Hall Jazz Band closed the Hangout’s Playstation stage yesterday after Jakob Dylan canceled at the last minute.
Throughout the afternoon, the Playstation staged hosted some of the festival’s most buzzed about groups. Indie singer/songwriter A.A. Bondy opened the stage with a set of grungy modern folk. The Alabama-raised singer reminisced about visiting Gulf Shores when he was younger, spoke out against the oil and gas company BP and—going against his hipster image—on two occasions reminded fans to stay for event headliner Trey Anastasio. He also jokingly titled a new composition “Stay for Trey.” Later in the day, African-inspired southern jam group Toubab Krewe and Athens-based garage rock group The Whigs played back-to-back sets and took in each others’ performances. John Legend was also spotted watching The Roots’ packed performance on the Verizon Stage. Legend and The Roots will release the collaborative album Wake Up this summer
A few late night shows also took place in the area. Keller Williams played a set of electronica in the indoor Hangout restaurant with special guest Matisyahu. Meanwhile, Col. Bruce Hampton performed outside the festival grounds at The Keg with DJ Logic, George Porter, Jr., Duane Trucks and Papa Mali, among others.
The Hangout will continue today. Trey Anastasio, Ben Harper, Guster, ALO, Michael Franti, Matisyahu and Keller Williams are among the acts scheduled to appear.