May 21, 201701:05 PM
The sounds that move the Crescent City
Hangout Fest Day 1
The first day of Hangout Fest is always a bit of a blur. There is something about the combination of excitement over the long awaited arrival of the festival and the idyllic nature of the surrounding beaches that amplifies the passage of time. This year, pop ruled the Friday lineup. And over the past few years Hangout has brought in a bit of British pop to spice things up. Charlie XCX held that spot this year with an excellent high-powered set on the Hangout Stage. The singer looked a bit unaccustomed to the southern heat, but prevailed nonetheless. Over the years we have found that pop music works particularly well in this setting. The upbeat tunes just match the beach atmosphere. We continued our pop odyssey by bouncing over to Fitz’s Stage for another great popster, Bishop Briggs. Despite her relative youth and relatively short career thus far, Briggs was able to hold the crowd at Fitz’s. What may have begun as a bunch of folks waiting to hear “that one song” became a thoroughly engrossing set, which was punctuated by the cathartic beats of “River.” For our little group, Weezer’s set on the Surf Stage was to be the highlight of the day. Weezer is one of those bands that lives something of a double life. Their records are all over the map (both in terms of critical reception and genre), but when they take the stage there is an intensity that inspires fervid excitement. Rivers Cuomo stands as the bulwark upon which this fanaticism breaks. Everything is in orbit around this eccentric man with the stunning voice. There is a solid professionalism to their performances that can only come from 25 years on the circuit. It’s clear they have seen it all but that experience has not led them to weariness. The fact that the majority of the Hangout crowd in attendance were born well after the blue album was released, yet knew all of the words to sing along says something remarkable about they staying power of this band. One day down only time will reveal what remains ahead.