The warmth radiating from the stage at Post Malone’s Hangout Music Fest was surprising. It is not a figure of speech. The people in the front row probably could have roasted marshmallows in the radiant energy of his pyrotechnics.
“Holy shit, that’s hot,” Malone said, taking a closer look at one of the flamethrowers after finishing the song “Motley Crew.” “Can you tell me on camera if I have any eyebrows left? »
It was a typically kind moment from Malone, the festival’s opening day headliner. He joked about his panda-like post-pandemic body, flossing and dabbing a bit. He put on a show while drinking a beer. He thanked his audience for listening to his freshly released single, “Cooped Up.”
“Thank you so much… This is the first time I’ve played this song in my life,” said Malone, whose music ranges from hard rap to pop ballads such as the mega hit “Circles.” “And I appreciate everyone who may never have heard it, I appreciate you just standing there and listening, man.”
If the response was a little hesitant, it wasn’t Posty’s fault: the festival suffered a rare audio glitch during the melody. Speaker arrays in front of the stage began to cut out, while towers carrying sound to fans in the back half of the crowd had no problem. So the sound was good for those in the back, random for those in the front. It wasn’t until after that Malone saw fans reporting that something was up.
“Oh, can’t they hear me?” he asked, taking it lightly. “What happened? Can you hear me now? Oh okay. What happened?” he turned to the side scene for clarification. “Oh, like a fuse, or the capacitor. Yes, the capacitor blew. Yes, I understand. S— coming.
As much as any festival performer, Malone had a lot to do on his show. He was one of pop’s biggest stars before the pandemic hit, but he went a long time without releasing new music. This is changing: the release of his new album, “Twelve Carat Toothache”, is imminent. If Friday’s show was any indication, he’s ready to pick up where he left off, just like his fans. Most of the 40,000 people in attendance at the sold-out festival seemed to be in attendance for her performance, and an audio glitch that just marred her performance of the new single didn’t seem to dampen her enthusiasm or theirs.
“I’ll tell you what,” he said. “I have a new album coming out June 3. And I know it’s been a long, long, fucking time, and I just want to say thank you so much for your patience and support. It means the world to me. , ladies and gentlemen. The two years that we had really gave me time to take a second for myself, and I think this is my favorite album I’ve ever made. But it’s just my review, I can’t wait for you to hear it.
The flagship performance capped an opening day that was slightly marred by the weather. Fans who arrived early had to evacuate the site at noon, just as the music was about to start: a storm cell passing to the east was generating lightning, and another arriving behind was about to cross the site of the festival. It dropped heavy rain as it did.
The evacuation itself seemed to present minimal difficulty, as the crowds had been light. That was not the case when the doors reopened after just over two hours late: with the weather forecast now clear, thousands of fans lined up to enter.
By late afternoon, the festival seemed to have hit its stride, with attendance on par with pre-pandemic years and crowds gathering for a wide range of music. On the surf stage at the east end of the beach, Oliver Tree delivered a performance that was part Kid Rock, part Flaming Lips (well, maybe just part of a part, but he and his band members wore astronaut suits), one part Twenty One Pilots (there’s a bit of history there, good luck figuring it out), and two parts Rodney Dangerfield.
He started about 15 minutes late, performed a song (“Forget It”) and then said, “I’m sorry we started late. Do you want to hear another song? I think we have time for one more song. That “time for one more” riff became a running joke over the next half hour, as did Tree’s claim that he hired his band on Craigslist, that the show was a shambles, and that the audience gave him no love, and that the band’s computers were so messed up he didn’t know what song was coming next. He blamed Post Malone for the supposed computer glitch and led the crowd in a chant of “F— Post Malone!”
And yet, despite the clown, Tree performed in front of a crowd that sang many songs verbatim – especially “Alien Boy,” with its appropriately insane chorus: “I fell to Earth/A hundred miles from a distance/and somehow I still make it work/But it’s overrated and kind of played.
A little later, outside the Hangout Stage at the western end of the festival’s stretch of beach, an at least as large crowd gathered for a much simpler country set by Maren Morris, part of a large contingent of notable female artists at the 2022 festival. Morris thanked fans for being receptive to some of her new material and rewarded them with more familiar selections: she started with her first No. 1 hit, “I Could Use a Love Song,” then ramped up the rock energy for “Nervous,” a single released earlier this year and “Girl,” another past No. 1.
After missing two years due to COVID-19, the festival seemed to be going full throttle – from the Boom stage, where T-Pain listeners spilled off the field and across the street, rivaling a crowd from the main stage, to the much more intimate BMI Mermaid Stage, where Jamaican singer Koffee and a fierce live band created a particularly joyful experience.
The festival continues throughout the weekend, with top performers like Halsey on Saturday and Tame Impala on Sunday. The forecast remains uncertain, with a significant chance of scattered thunderstorms on Saturday and a higher chance of rain on Sunday.
For continued coverage, visit www.AL.com/hangout.