So I had my first real music festival experience a few weeks ago. Let me tell you, excellent. 9/10 would recommend to a friend. I’ll tell you what the -1 was for in a bit but I’ve learned that “sandwiching” bad news is a good technique to “soften the blow” is that for HR purposes? yes. Am I going to apply it here anyway? also yes. So without further ado, I will tell you about my experience. I have loved music for as long as I can remember and I will dedicate a post just to that because I could go on forever but need to stay on topic for once. Music is an art and seeing it live in an environment where everyone is there for the music and the vibes can be an experience like nothing else in the world. Especially when the lineup is a bunch of bands that focus on making you feel all the things that make you feel alive with their music. — You know, just real quick I want to reiterate that the things I write are not brand new information, nothing you haven’t heard before in one way or another, they are just my interpretation and examination of them with a different spin. I know that you’ve heard that people should strive to live their lives and not just exist. To me, this means feeling all those emotions and feelings, the bad and the good. Music brings so so much out in us, it has tremendous power.
I attended the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, AL in May with my sister and a friend from school. The bands I was originally most excited to see were The Chainsmokers, The Killers, Halsey, Odesza, and of course other bands that weren’t as big as the headliners as well.
The booze, the outfits, the music, the fucking beach?! Could you get much better? Nah, you can’t. The world was our oyster.
The negative that I need to address however is a big one. This one is for the people who ruin music festivals and think that it is okay to grope and touch people because you are in a mosh pit. You are the reason these festivals get a bad rep, you are the reason the stigma is what it is, you are the absolute thing that is wrong with society. It is not fucking okay to take advantage of (typically) a clearly (or not!) intoxicated female and touch her inappropriately. Not only did we experience this first hand, but we watched it happen several times by the scum bags that should not be allowed at these venues. Go home, you are ruining it for everyone and you do not deserve to be there. If you feel like violating another person is ever ok then you need to take a long hard look in the mirror, asshole. Now that that’s behind me, back to the good stuff.
The Killers were fucking incredible and B. Flowers is sexy as hell. The kind of head banging, scream the lyrics from your belly kind of concert. Listened to them growing up with my sister and family, so this was a heavily anticipated show.
Someone who definitely deserves a shoutout is Kasbo, if you haven’t heard of him look him up, and you’re welcome. His show was phenomenal. We stood pretty close to the stage and were surrounded with people who were feeling the vibes. I have never been on such a journey in my life. Laugh all you want, but I swear to got it was on out of body experience. Was I intoxicated? Maybe, does that change anything? Maybe, but unlikely! The combination of the chosen screensavers, the way the music hit my ears, the movement of the crowd around me, and the overall atmospheric vibe all influenced this experience, and molded it into what it was. The first few songs were paired with screensavers of things like fur moving with the wind, or flowers, or in a peaceful way that went with the music, in my opinion, this was a way for him to help you find your place with the music, for you to mentally go that place of euphoria that is specific to you. The next couple I believe he was taking you to HIS place of euphoria, he was showing you his own vision. Where are then he preformed a song without a screensaver, to allow the audience to come back into the moment and be with one another. He ended with one of a montage of different scenes, maybe some of his favorite places that we go to when we listen. There were some beach scenes, some road trip scenes, mountain scenes etc. this was life changing to me, and it was only just the beginning. Kasbo, you are amazing, keep doing what you’re doing.
Then came of course Halsey and The Chainsmokers, and I couldn’t have asked for a better presentation. I have had Halsey’s CD’s and albums in my car since the beginning. Her music was different and it was inspiring to me. She gave no fucks, had an amazing voice to match her amazing personality, and her music showed it all. I had a similar experience with The Chainsmokers, I have liked them for quite a while but only started loving them in the last few years, and I had been DYING to see them live. Neither act disappointed. Halsey is just as amazing in person and her sound is magnified live, not to mention her spunk and coolness factor are also multiplied. Her humor and sexiness just adds to the show.
Now to the Chainsmokers. Ah where do I begin? Should I lead with my giant crush on Drew Taggart? Probably not, but I will anyway. First of all, look at him, second of all listen to him, and third of all he’s a human just like the rest of us and he is humble and honest and candid with us and I admire that tremendously. Alex and Drew together put on a nasty show and create some of the best music I have ever heard. Musically, there is something about their music that puts me in an absolute trance. I feel the feels down to my core with the majority of their songs.
Growing up my favorite band has always been the Beatles, and it still it, and before you call me out or judge me for this comparison, I want to throw out there that you don’t have to agree with me, I’m just sharing my experience. So while I am WELL AWARE that the music between the Beatles and the Chainsmokers is VERY different, they strangely both have the same effect over me. I feel the songs like they are a physical feeling. I get chills, I cry and I am moved in an unexplainable way. My body is taken by the beats and the sounds and the voices. This is why I love music so much, this is why it can be so powerful if used correctly. The messages can save lives and heal the damaged.
The Chainsmokers have given me such inspiration over their last few releases and albums, they just keep getting better, and they keep getting to me. So seeing them live just solidified my love for the group. They hype up the crowd, they, like Kasbo allow you to be in your place when listening to them, and take you back to the moment. Like Halsey, they are explicitly themselves, and are candid about sometimes losing that in songs like Somebody, and Everybody hates me. My next goal is to see them in Red Rocks, what an experience that would be. Thank you Chainsmokers.
Of course the rest of the weekend was also incredible with acts like Kendrick and Odesza. I could not have asked for a better music festival experience.