Dirty Projectors Swing Lo at Hangout Music Fest

The Dirty Projectors

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There's a reason why the Dirty Projectors' Dave Longstreth is a critically acclaimed art-rocker and not a comedian, as the Hangout Music Fest afternoon crowd quickly found out. After the band performed their second song, "Offspring Are Blank," Longstreth tried to banter with the crowd about the wicked sun that blanketed the beach. "You have to get a fierce SPF going on," he commented. Silence. "The sand is going to be a lobster by the end of the day." If there was such a thing as a sand cricket, you'd certainly hear them chirping. But the band hardly bombed from a musical stand point.

— Zedric Bordelon (@zedbo334) May 18, 2013

The band mostly featured selections from 2012's adored Swing Lo Magellan. Longstreth's songs are certainly challenging to hear on record and in a live setting, the sudden tempo changes make it hard to find a consistent groove. But it was his not-so-secret weapon guitarist/vocalist Amber Coffman who stole this beach-side set. She displayed some sick guitar thrashing on "Offspring Are Blank," and beautiful lead vocals on "The Socialites" and "Just From Chevron."

— katie pollard (@therealkpeezy) May 18, 2013

That's not to say that Longstreth wasn't on his A-game (as you can see from the tweet above). He often fluctuated between short bursts of energetic vocal squawks and more constrained, beautiful moments including the opener "Swing Lo Magellan" and the claptastic ballad "Dance With You." As the set came to a close, he ditched his lobster jokes in favor of some shout outs -- he looked out into the ocean and acknowledged the boats floating by, listening to their set.