It’s not every day that you’ve got multiple Rock and Roll Hall of Famers on the same bill, but that was the case at Day Two of Hangout Fest, with Public Enemy kicking things off with an early afternoon set and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers closing things out with a headlining appearance.
Strangely (depending on how you feel about EDM, of course) Bassnectar drew the largest crowd of the day, drawing a sea of bobbing heads to the Chevy Stage. Rave on, we guess.
Maybe it was a little weird to see Public Enemy taking the stage at 1:30 p.m., but that didn’t stop the masses from still catching their early show. Chuck D, Flava Flav and co. brought the noise early on, rattling away the crowd’s hangover with a crowd-pleasing set of PE classics, all kicked off by Flav’s leaping entrance. The guys also trickled in a few covers, rapping over “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Back in Black,” but nothing got the crowd going more than their mid-set execution of “Bring the Noise.”
Dirty Projectors’ psychedelic harmonies paired perfectly with the mid-afternoon sun, and although they played to a criminally small (but enthusiastic) crowd, the group delivered plenty of tracks off of their stellar Swing Lo Magellan with aplomb.
They’re the hardest working band in show business, and we’re so thankful The Roots were able to get away from their day job as Jimmy Fallon’s house band for a bit to spend the weekend in Gulf Shores and deliver a mind-blowingly great set. Whether it was with a jazz groove, covers of “Jungle Boogie” “Sweet Child O’ Mine” or some truly impressive choreography (you try dancing while lugging around a sousaphone), the legendary crew demonstrated that they know how to put on a show. We were busy losing our minds, but Questlove made it seem like it was no big deal: the compulsive tweeter checked his phone in between drum hits on multiple occasions.
The Black Crowes
It’s been a while since the masses have had a chance to catch The Black Crowes live, and to the delight of many, they’re still out there doing what they do best. Whether you’re a fan of their music, The Crowes are rock-solid live, taking notes from the two Robinson’s brotherly connection. For a beach festival like Hangout, they’re everything you could want: Loud guitars and soulful vocals rolling through a well-traveled catalog.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
I’ve seen Tom Petty before, and it was excellent. But that wasn’t the case last night, where Petty’s super-casual stroll through his songbook left a lot to be desired. Sure, he hit on the classics—Smoke clouds expectedly billowed from the crowd during “Last Dance With Mary Jane” and everyone freaked for “Freefallin’”—and the band wasn’t bad, but with thousands of excited onlookers getting their first chance to see Petty in years, the energy just wasn’t there. Maybe as his summer tour gets rolling, that will change.
Check out photographer Mark C. Austin’s images from the day in the gallery below.
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Shovels & Rope
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Shovels & Rope