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Moon Taxi Pull Double Duty on Day Two of Hangout Festival

by Rob Slater on May 18, 2014

With the unfortunate news of Chance the Rapper's cancellation due to health reasons, it was up to Nashville rockers and Hangout favorites Moon Taxi to step up and fill his time slot. This would seem like an easy task if they weren't already playing a set as People of the Sun, the newest Rage Against the Machine cover band.

Playing the Hangout for the third time, Moon Taxi kicked off their proceedings with their People of the Sun set, playing an hour-worth of RATM tunes. A difficult band to cover, Moon Taxi pulled it off with grace, incorporating classic Rage tunes such as "Down Rodeo," "Bombtrack" and "Bulls on Parade" along with the hits "Wake Up" and "Killing in the Name." The limited capacity crowd at the Red Bull Sound Select Stage brought the Rage Against the Machine spirit to life, moshing and jumping around throughout the show. Fittingly, the band came out of their People of the Sun personality with "All the Rage" and the closer, "Gimme a Light."

After about a 90-minute break, the band returned to another packed house as many hung out at The Hangout restaurant or jumped over to the nearby Palladia Stage to check out Fitz and the Tantrums. When Moon Taxi returned, though, the crowd was willing and able to dance into the night with a set of the group's originals.

The energy from the People of the Sun set carried over into their original set as they mixed in high-level cuts "Hypnus" and "Suspicious" before delivering "Whiskey Sunsets" that included a snippet of Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded By the Light." "Southern Trance" seemed to fit the crowd well, as most hailed from Alabama and surrounding states.

The end of the set included sing-alongs on the more delicate "Gunflower" as well as a spirited rendition of newer tunes "Morroco" and "Change." If the crowd wasn't covered-out yet, Moon Taxi would deliver one more before saying goodnight, as they dug into Nine Inch Nails' haunting, sex-fueled anthem "Closer" on what happened to be Trent Reznor's birthday. Frontman Trevor Terndrup handled the Reznor vocals and the band added (much like they did on every tune) an extended jam that built the main theme to a soaring peak.

A pair of singles from the band's last album Mountains Beaches Cities, "Running Wild" and "The New Black," kicked off the ending run before "Beaches" and the popular "Mercury" sent the overwhelmingly excitable crowd into the night.

Elsewhere on the beach, a variety of young acts performed early on including The Black Cadillacs, Shakey Graves, Diarrhea Planet and Desert Noises, all of whom took various stages early in the day. South Carolina's own Needtobreathe took to the Hangout Stage with a throng of faithful in front of them in the sand, delivering cuts such as "Drive All Night" and "The Outsiders," among others.

The Chevrolet Stage boasted some of the rowdiest performances all day, as Tegan and Sara kicked it off with their infectious brand of pop rock before Matt and Kim electrified the beach with pulsating beats. The Flaming Lips brought their spectacle to the Hangout for the fourth time, another festival mainstay for the Alabama crowd.

Back over on the Hangout Stage, Amos Lee was delivering a cover of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" before Modest Mouse drew one of the largest crowds of the day as they tore through hits "Float On," "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" and more. Those waiting at the Red Bull Sound Stage for Moon Taxi, located a good distance away from the Hangout Stage, could even be heard singing along to "Float On" as the sound carried throughout the festival grounds.

In the end, The Killers were tasked with headlining the Hangout Stage to close down the Saturday night festivities. The Vegas rockers didn't disappoint, offering high energy takes on their hits like "Somebody Told Me" early on in the set. After frontman Brandon Flowers asked the crowd if they liked "CCR," the band launched into "Badmoon Rising" much to the delight of the massive audience.

The singalongs continued as The Killers delivered a cover of "Forever Young" at the end of "A Dustland Fairytale" and then capped the night off with "All These Things That I've Done" which featured a lengthy singalong during the "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier" refrain. A four-song encore was all that was necessary for the band and crowd, who saved just enough energy for the headlining set, as The Killers dipped into their biggest hits, closing out with "When You Were Young" and "Mr. Brightside."

Today, as the Hangout Festival says goodbye to 2014, OutKast will headline the festivities this evening. Additional performances include The Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson, Portugal. The Man, Capital Cities, Andrew W.K. and more.

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