Stephanie Drake Photography Blog
Hangout Fest Sunday (Day 3), Gulf Shores AL

 

Link to full gallery of 150+ images here.

Finally.

I know, I know. These images have been sitting on my computer partially edited for over a month and I just couldn’t bring myself to finish them. Part laziness, part busyness, and part just not wanting to admit that Hangout Fest 2014 is actually over, I’ve neglecting this final day of photos for long enough I suppose. Time to move on now, so here it is: Day 3.

HangoutSun002_Details

HangoutSun003_Details

HangoutSun005_Details

On the third and final day of Hangout Fest, an abundance of sunburned and hungover bodies tapped into their last energy reserves and marched their weary legs down to the beach to soak in every last ounce of festival frivolity before the weekend came to a close. Fans were eased into the day with two young, talented singer-songwriters. First up was Nashville’s Josh Farrow kicking off the main stage with an unexpectedly rich, bluesy tone and soulful voice from a man of rather small stature. Britain’s Tom Odell surprised us as well with a solo set after inexplicably “loosing” his band (I’m still not quite sure what happened to them), but he didn’t seem to suffer the loss greatly as he and his piano alone on stage proved sometimes the simplest things are the most beautiful.

Josh Farrow:

HangoutSun006_JoshFarrow

HangoutSun007_JoshFarrow

HangoutSun009_JoshFarrow

HangoutSun010_JoshFarrow

HangoutSun012_JoshFarrow

HangoutSun016_JoshFarrow

 

Tom Odell:

HangoutSun017_TomOdell

HangoutSun018_TomOdell

HangoutSun020_TomOdell

HangoutSun023_TomOdell

English rock band Bastille amped up the energy on the East beach stage despite playing their set staring directly into the harsh afternoon sun, prompting lead singer Dan Smith to declare Gulf Shores “the hottest place on the planet.” Temperatures were certainly the hottest they’d been all weekend by midday Sunday but the crowd’s enthusiasm never wavered as the sea of dancing and swaying bodies extended from the East stage to the West stage where Capital Cities’ covers of the Bee Gees “Staying Alive” and Madonna’s “Holiday (Celebrate)” kept the dance party going strong.

Bastille (introduced by Sway):

HangoutSun026_Sway

HangoutSun029_Bastille

HangoutSun030_Bastille

HangoutSun032_Bastille

HangoutSun034_Bastille

HangoutSun037_Bastille

HangoutSun039_Bastille

 

Capital Cities:

HangoutSun044_CapitalCities

HangoutSun046_CapitalCities

HangoutSun049_CapitalCities

HangoutSun050_CapitalCities

HangoutSun054_CapitalCities

HangoutSun059_CapitalCities

HangoutSun062_CapitalCities

HangoutSun064_CapitalCities

HangoutSun066_CapitalCities

I ventured off of the beach and onto the pavement towards the smaller stages to catch what would end up being two of my favorite acts of the weekend. First were The Tontons, whose stunning lead singer Asli Omar left the audience mesmerized with her sultry dance moves and alluring voice. Omar works the stage like a pro, slithering and sliding barefoot across the rug and coaxing the microphone cord like a snake charmer. She was a real pleasure to photograph.

The Tontons:

HangoutSun069_TheTontons

HangoutSun074_TheTontons

HangoutSun075_TheTontons

HangoutSun077_TheTontons

HangoutSun079_TheTontons

HangoutSun084_TheTontons

HangoutSun087_TheTontons

HangoutSun088_TheTontons

HangoutSun089_TheTontons

Second was the absolute best hidden gem of the festival, St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Now let me tell you a couple of things at this point. Being a Birmingham native myself (as the St Paul gents are), I’d heard plenty of talk among friends of how this band was about to blow up big time. The trouble was they were slotted to play at the same time as The Avett Brothers on the main stage, who have already blown up and who I adore and knew I may never get another chance to see. But I also knew the photo pit would be crowded at the main stage, as usual, and if rumors of St Paul’s greatness weren’t overstated I could have a rare opportunity to photograph some incredible talent early in their career with relative free range. I decided to go for the underdog so to speak and as much as I love the Avett Brothers, I’m fairly certain I got the better show.

Real talk: I was not ready for that experience. It’s like Otis Redding’s hypothetical albino offspring took drama lessons from Little Richard and became a preacher only to discover he can’t shake his musical roots so instead he starts up a band, finds a couple of young horn players to round out his sound and hits the road. With a (partially invented) history like that, it’s no wonder lead singer Paul Janeway’s performances on stage are often compared to a powerful religious experience (the preacher bit is true, by the way). St. Paul and the Broken Bones is the kind of band you just don’t expect to see making waves in 2014 and yet when you do you wonder how popular music could have ever strayed from such soul, such overwhelming emotion and such classic, flawless style. It draws you in, grips you tight and refuses to let go. I’ve honestly never seen a crowd react to a performance the way I saw that Hangout crowd react to Janeway. Complete and utter shock and awe. Eyes bugged. Jaws dropped. Screams. Even a few tears. I think even Janeway was a bit taken aback after a couple of songs when the crowd erupted wildly once they realized what a special thing they were witnessing and a slightly sheepish grin spread across his face, breaking into a laugh when he had to pause for the crowd’s reaction before he could continue the set. Even the security guards, who had be ever vigilant all weekend about kicking the photographers out of the pit after our allotted three songs, didn’t have the heart to ask us to leave. After the third song I looked over to the side and saw security smiling and clapping along with everyone else, clearly in no rush to cut this experience short for anyone, and thank goodness because it was during the fourth song when I snapped possibly my favorite image of the weekend. These are just a few of the photos I took during this set but make sure to click the link at the top of this post to go to the full gallery for the rest.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones:

HangoutSun090_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun091_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun095_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun099_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun100_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun101_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun102_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun105_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun113_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun119_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun120_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun121_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun122_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun123_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun124_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun127_StPaulandBB

HangoutSun131_StPaulandBB

I wasn’t sure how I was going to top that performance, but then I remembered the night’s headliner: Outkast. I’m assuming I’m not the first person to tell you this, so let me reiterate what you’ve likely already heard: Outkast is back. The legends live up to the hype, reuniting earlier this year after a long hiatus in celebration of their 20th anniversary as a group. Andre 3000 and Big Boi won over old fans and new by throwing the biggest party the beach has ever seen. The Atlanta natives took over every inch of the stage and sent the crowd into a general state of losing-their-freaking-minds as they opened the show with the fast-paced “B.O.B”. Over the course of the next two hours the duo covered the full range of their history with tracks from their debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, all the way to their biggest commercial success, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. After the first three songs, I maneuvered my way through the crowd and met up with my husband who joined me in line for the ferris wheel along with hundreds of others hoping to get a birds-eye view of the tens of thousands gathered for the show. I won’t soon forget the entire line of people, including the ticket takers and security guards, breaking into simultaneous song and dance as Big Boi ended his mid-set solo performance with “The Way You Move.”  Andre 3000 took his turn alone on stage next, bringing down the house in equally uproarious fashion with his solo hit “Hey Ya!”  As the duo reunited on stage to finish out the set, the feeling in the air was one of sheer jubilation as 40,000 people came together to cap off this momentous weekend of celebration appropriately enough by singing “The Whole World” in unison.

Outkast:

HangoutSun133_Outkast

HangoutSun136_Outkast

HangoutSun138_Outkast

HangoutSun140_Outkast

HangoutSun142_Outkast

HangoutSun145_Outkast

HangoutSun147_Outkast

HangoutSun148_Outkast

HangoutSun152_Outkast

HangoutSun158_Outkast

HangoutSun159_Outkast

 

2 Responses to Hangout Fest Sunday (Day 3), Gulf Shores AL

  1. Dave Jones says:

    Great job Stephanie! There are some amazing images here :) Keep it up!
    -dave

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Categories
Archives