Hangout Festival 2015: Day Two — Father John Misty, Skrillex, Zac Brown Band

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Hangout Festival 2015: Day Two — Father John Misty, Skrillex,  Zac Brown Band

Day two in Gulf Shores was a windy one, but luckily the rain held off and festival-goers were able to enjoy the day of music without fear of being soaked. It was an eclectic mix of genres, from EDM acts like Skrillex and Major Lazer to the likes of Father John Misty, Sylvan Esso and Future Islands, to country favorites like Drive-By Truckers and the Zac Brown Band. There was something for everyone at Hangout on Saturday, and we tried to hit as much of it as we could. Check out the highlights below, and stay tuned for our Day Three coverage tomorrow.

Sylvan Esso

Frontwoman Amelia Meath made reference to Beyonce a few times during Sylvan Esso’s set—first by singing a snippet of “Flawless” and then by making a comment after the high winds started blowing her hair around. “I feel like Beyonce,” she said, laughing. “If only.” The thing is, there are similarities to Meath and the pop diva; both know how to work a crowd and deliver a high-energy, danceable set. Meath’s confidence as a performer shined on favorites like “Coffee” and “Hey Mami,” and though she may not have woken up in the giant platform sneakers she was sporting, Sylvan Esso’s set was, in fact, flawless.—-Bonnie Stiernberg

JEFF the Brotherhood

We’d just like to go on record as saying that Warner Bros. let a great band go when they parted ways with JEFF the Brotherhood. That was evident at their Palladia stage set on Saturday afternoon, where the band played in front of two giant waving balloon men (like the kind you see outside a car dealership), released giant inflatable aliens into the crowd and even turned in a strong Foo Fighters cover towards the end of their set.—-Bonnie Stiernberg

Beats Antique

As someone who’s into the sounds of ethnically ambiguous but possibly Turkish bazaar music, I was excited to see Beats Antique—although, I wasn’t expecting to see that many dreads and hula hoops. I dashed around tie dyed saris and flower crowns to get to the front, where a belly dancer was on stage balancing elaborate vases on her head as she twirled. After she was done, she bowed and left the stage, replaced by two girls in green wigs and red 80s workout clothes. They wrangled a giant inflatable cyclops dog to the beat of the music, ebbing and flowing with the tunes.—-Sarah Lawrence

Future Islands

I have to admit that when everyone lost their minds over Future Islands after their Letterman performance, I didn’t totally get it. It was a great performance, of course, but it didn’t seem like THE BEST THING EVER the way everyone else seemed to think it was. That was dumb, though, because now having seen them live, I can see what all the hype is about. Frontman Samuel T. Herring is an extremely accomplished performer, alternating between his natural lovelorn voice and a monstrous growl and rolling and contorting his body in some extremely impressive dance moves. When he introduced “Seasons (Waiting on You),” he dedicated it to everyone who was waiting on someone and said “I’ve got my fingers crossed for you,” and strangely, it feels good knowing he’s in our corner.—-Bonnie Stiernberg

Talib Kweli

Kweli took the stage with a full backing band, which was great for the audience—each band member he introduced responded with an awesome solo to the cheers of the fans in the crowd. Kweli performed new hits and old, taking time in the middle of his set to speak about and raise awareness of police brutality in the US, an issue becoming more and more prevalent in the hip hop community.—-Sarah Lawrence

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Preservation Hall Jazz Band have been seemingly everywhere this festival—on Friday, they made an appearance with the Foo Fighters, and in addition to playing a set on Saturday, they’re slated to perform Sunday afternoon. We’re not complaining, though. We caught these guys at Shaky Knees last weekend in Atlanta but still made sure to take in their set at the BMI Stage on Saturday at Hangout. Whether they’re playing standards or funkily covering Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke,” the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is always worth making time for.—-Bonnie Stiernberg

San Fermin

Holding it down at the Salt Life stage was San Fermin, a baroque pop band from Brooklyn, named for a brilliant festival in Spain. There were 6+ members on stage, all playing an instrument and smiling—you could tell they were all super stoked to be there. They finished their set with a cheeky rendition of Weezer’s “Buddy Holly,” the crowd absolutely eating it up and singing along. —-Sarah Lawrence

Father John Misty

Father John Misty is one of the best live acts out there today, so it was already a given that he’d be great at Hangout, but the Palladia stage was the perfect size for him—big enough to handle the crowd he’s capable of drawing, yet intimate enough to allow him to go into the crowd a few times and sing to some guy’s inflatable spaceman. Josh Tillman’s set was a perfect blend of tracks from Fear Fun and from this year’s excellent I Love You, Honeybear, and by chance, it featured two instances of singing to inflatables: when a bunch of swan-shaped rafts were released into the crowd, Tillman snagged one and serenaded it with “Bored in the U.S.A.” before bringing the people who were watching from the side of the stage up with him to serve as a backing choir, fist-pumping on his command.—-Bonnie Stiernberg

Skrillex

Skrillex haters, skip this part—you will find some very surprised praise in this paragraph. For what it’s worth, Skrillex isn’t a dude with a laptop; he’s a personality. So many other DJs we’ve seen so far this weekend basically stand there behind their mixing sets and bob their head (which can get monotonous to watch, regardless of how good they are). Skrillex was on the mic every few minutes, pumping the crowd up. The light show and screen visuals were fast and captivating, and even the live video of the beach and crowd was on beat with the music. It doesn’t hurt that they were shooting short-range fireworks and smoke over the crowd, either. He led them in choral-influenced singalongs and told jokes; it was clear why the crowd stretched back halfway to the other stage. —-Sarah Lawrence

Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band’s latest, Jekyll & Hyde, definitely has a couple of tracks that jump out of the confines of “country” and into pop and rock, but the band that showed up to headline Saturday was more jam band than anything. Kicking off the show with hit single “Homegrown” and peppering the set with a combination of old tracks, new ones and plenty of cover songs, Brown and the band definitely got groovy. Given the ocean-front location, so songs like “Knee Deep” drew big applause (and an “Amen, motherfuckers!” from Brown himself) while a drawn-out, instrumental-heavy cover of John Mayer’s “Neon” gave the noodle-dancers their moment, too. -Dacey Orr

Major Lazer

You can’t accidentally find yourself at a Major Lazer show. They’re all wearing the same t-shirt with the peace sign/globe logo, it’s on the back screen, their name is everywhere you look during the show. Major Lazer did a lot of the same audience participation as Skrillex, but since they were in a smaller tent they could get much wilder with it. They had people take off their shirts and throw them at the same time; they threw out whistles, bandanas, they even had a gun shooting dollar bills (real? maybe?) into the crowd. Their music varied between mixing popular samples and original songs, playing some hits later in the set. —-Sarah Lawrence