Photo by Kyle Hannon
Trey Anastasio & TAB headlined the final night of Gulf Shores, AL’s first annual Hangout Beach, Music & Arts festival. Fans were asked to briefly leave the festival site early in the afternoon as storms moved over the beach-side event. After a short delay, the Hangout’s gates reopened around 4 PM and concertgoers returned for performances by Michael Franti & Spearhead, OK GO, Guster, Ben Harper & Relentless7, NEEDTOBREATHE, Ray LaMontagne and Trey Anastasio & TAB. After the rain delay, the Hangout’s promoters announced that the festival’s final night would be free and open to the general public. Approximately 15,000 people returned to the site.
For his only appearance this spring with his newly re-branded TAB, Anastasio offered a unique setlist that featured rarely played covers of Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” (last played 6/13/04) and The Band’s “It Makes No Difference” (last played 5/15/05). Anastasio shied away from any of his songs written between Phish’s break-up in 2004 and his return to the stage after rehab in 2008—his set featured familiar songs such as “Gotta Jibboo,” “Push On Til the Day,” “Money Love and Change,” “Alaska,” “Sand,” “Cayman Review,” ‘Plasma,” “Drifting” and Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog.” The guitarist also debuted a new introspective, blues-based number he wrote last week, “Burn That Bridge,” and a recent collaboration with Tom Marshall written for the Hangout, “Sailboat Man.” “It’s for the Hangout Festival on the beach,” Anastasio said from the stage. “It is also for us because we are hanging out too.” The set ended with a fireworks display during “First Tube.”
Sunday boasted numerous other highlights. ALO covered Prince’s “Purple Rain” on the Playstation Stage just as the sky opened up. The band, who had never played Alabama before, declared that the Hangout was the best name it’s heard for a festival. Michael Franti & Spearhead invited all the young children in the audience onstage at the end of its set, while Ben Harper led a “fuck [oil company] BP” chant from the stage. Onetime tour companions Guster and Ray LaMontagne played back-to-back sets on the Verizon stage, while DJ Logic played a surprise set for artists and guests after Anastasio’s performance. After his set was canceled due to rain, Matisyahu played a free late night show in the Hangout’s indoor performance space with his current backing band the Dub Trio. Toubab Krewe kora master Justin Perkins, who first met Matisyahu at Bonnaroo, also sat in during the performance.