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Friday, May 20

Photos and Review: Hang-Out Beach Festival (Pre-Fest)

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We arrived near sunset to the awe-inspiring image of the beauteous festival still taking shape along the beach. One venue they did have finished was inside the subdivision aptly name The Hang-Out. It is a huge club that had three stages sprawled out with plenty of room left to boogie. It was a fitting spot to kick off the festivities with a sold out show billed as Pre-Fest.
Upon entering the grounds I was drawn to the acoustic stage by an angelic voice who turned out to be local talent Kristy Lee. Her set was a breath of fresh air and it's clear to see why her band earned a spot on the main stage tomorrow. On the beach side “Big Sam's Funky Nation” was more than warming up the crowd. The solid horn section mixed with their vibrate stage presences made for a fitting opener for Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk .
Ivan and his band wasted no time bringing their New Orleans' flavored funk to the delight of everybody lucky enough to have tickets. The festival was still a day from officially beginning, but it started right then and there for all parties involved. I was impressed by Ian Neville's guitar growth along with the rest of the band's chops. They sounded the tightest I have heard them keeping the crowd on their feet.
Moon Taxi played the late night set inside where yet another stage was built. They were greeted to an enthusiast packed house. Through the course of four songs they shredded as everybody's temperature climbed twirling and dancing. After showcasing their raw talent at Hangout last year and an extensive tour of the states in between, this young Tennessee jamband should be regulars on the festival circuit . Ellis and I knew we had a big weekend ahead so we forced ourselves out of a room still raining notes, which is tough to do, but we have to be up early to cover Hang-Out yoga on the beach:) This is going to be some weekend!! 

Stay Tuned....


Words: Kevin Long
Photos: Ellis Jones