Bright Light Social Hour
Bright Light Social Hour played The Letting Go Stage to an early afternoon crowd. The sun was shining bright, but the constant sea breeze kept things comfortably cool. I learned in an interview earlier in the day with Bright Light Social Hour that the band has been building their own studio and plan to have a new album ready by early next year. Fans attending their Hangout performance got a sample of plenty of new songs guaranteed to be on said album, including “Sea of the Edge”, a slow groovy song with hints of electronic undertones- something the band claims to have been experimenting with lately.
They also played from their self-titled 2010 album, being careful not to rush soulful ballads like “Detroit”, while letting it all out on their strongest songs such as “Shanty”. After having spent substantial time touring in Canada over the last few years, Bright Light Social Hour seemed to have a special fondness for the long “u” sound our northern neighbor’s accent is characterized by.
“If you were Canadian, we’d be at The Hang Ooot!” bassist and vocalist Jack O’Brien shouted.
Later this week, look for footage of my interview with Bright Light Social hour to learn more about two years of constant touring and the music they were brought up with that helped shape their sound today.
The Roots played at 3:45 on the Chevrolet Stage at the opposite end of the beach from the headlining Hangout Stage. The late afternoon set on the sun soaked sand made it one of the warmest performances of the day. The Roots brought it hard, also making it one of the most active of the day.
They opened with “Table Of Contents (Part 1 & 2)” which led seamlessly into “Proceed II”. Not 20 minutes in, a cover of “Jungle Boogie” made sure anyone who wasn’t getting down finally rose to dance. Later, another schizophrenic medley of covers brought a special Roots rendition of the Donna Summer classic “Love To Love You Baby” which led into “Sweet Child Of Mine” followed by “Bad To The Bone”.
The Roots were highly adaptable and appealing to most any age and musical taste. From the sexy slow jams inspired by their earliest years of development to the modern sounds of intelligent hip hop and banging beats- the band made it clear that they’re more than just “the house band for Jimmy Fallon” when given the opportunity to shine in the spotlight.
As they neared the end of their long and physically-demanding set, The Roots never wavered in persistence and grit. Even as they exited the stage soaked in sweat, they danced and moved with much gusto and easily took the rights to the best show of the day.
Bassnectar vs. Slightly Stoopid
An hour and a half later, Bassnectar strategically started his set on the same stage with an unhurried attention to detail. After engaging in bass foreplay for the better part of the first half of his set, Bassnectar finally went into assault mode and handed over the mind-blowing drops that the ragers had come for.
Meanwhile, others sought refuge from the heavy bass on the Letting Go Stage with Slightly Stoopid’s chilled out, vibey set. One friend of mine noted a surprisingly small amount of reggae performers on the Hang Out’s bill, given the fact that it’s a beach festival. It seemed unfair to slot Slightly Stoopid opposite Bassnectar and immediately before Tom Petty- arguably two of the biggest draws of The Hangout. Slightly Stoopid took it in stride, however, and seemed to enjoy their time on stage and the opportunity to open for such a legend.
The beach was comfortably packed for Tom Petty with festival goers sprawled out across the sand- some standing, but many relaxing on blankets and tapestries for the duration.
The set was packed full of classics such as “I Won’t Back Down”, “Free Fallin’”, and “Don’t Come Around Here No More” but also featured songs from the 2010 Mojo album, as well as a Traveling Willburys track.
While the show was not bad, it was not particularly memorable, either. Petty’s set never reached the full two hours it was scheduled for (he concluded almost 20 minutes before he was to end) and lacked in energy and excitement.
When Petty concluded, a fireworks show filled the sky above The Hangout Stage as festival goers began to file off of the beach and back to their respective beach houses and condos to rest for the final day of The Hangout.