Outside Lands: The Best Of Saturday
While Friday’s line-up brings oldies and fuses some goodies right along with it, Saturday power pumps indie experimental psych-rock with a sprinkling of hip-hop, all with one thing in common. They are all notorious for their amazing live shows. Lucky you. Here are our picks for the best of Saturday, in hierarchical order.
1. The Mars Volta, Twin Peaks Stage, 7:30-9:00pm: Hands down this will be the best performance on Saturday. The decidedly named “Best Prog-Rock Band” in 2008 by Rolling Stone is currently on tour for their fifth studio album, Octahedron. They’re most reputable for their highly improvisational stage shows and they continue to evolve with each concept-themed studio album. We applaud them as one of the best live bands we’ve ever seen. Notorious for their lack of stage banter, we hope they chat it up with you a-la-Bonnaroo. It really is special when they do.
2. TV On The Radio, Twin Peaks Stage, 5:40-6:40pm: With all the big things lead singer, Tunde Adebimpe has going on, we have no idea where he finds the time to make cutting-edge experimental indie music. Nonetheless, Dear Science, released in 2008, launched them into superstardom. We really can’t say they don’t deserve it. We promise this will be a high-energy, action-packed live show filled with new material and plenty of old favorites. Not to be missed.
3. Zion I, Lands End, 12:30-1:20pm: Our two favorite locals amp up the volume (pun intended) on their latest album, The Take Over, but it doesn’t even come close to their live performance. Zion I is as close to hyphy as this festival is going to get and if you’re not pouring sweat by the end of this set, then you weren’t paying attention.
4. Portugal. The Man, Panhandle Solar Stage, 3:10-3:50pm: The fourth and newest album (The Satanic Satanist) from these loveable Alaskans isn’t exactly our favorite of theirs, but trust us when we say they will blow you away live. Portugal. The Man has and always will be a stellar live band that doesn’t entirely translate to record, but man oh man can they bring it to a stage. You would never even know that the adorable lead singer, John Gourley, has a bit of a stage fright issue. Portugal. The Man recently called itself “the best band you’re not listening to,” but Portugal, we really couldn’t disagree more.
5. Street Sweeper Social Club, Twin Peaks Stage, 2:20-3:10pm: Nothing speaks volumes like an ex-Rage Against The Machine-r and a passionate MC with stories to tell. Watch on as Tom Morello wields a guitar as if it’s his own appendage and Boots Riley drops more knowledge on you in his rhymes than the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Don’t forget they’re playing a night show at The Independent the night before (8/28) with AmpLive from Zion I and Trackademicks.
6. Bat For Lashes, Panhandle Solar Stage, 4:55-5:35pm: British indie princess, Natasha Khan, best known for her stage name as Bat For Lashes, dropped Two Suns in April to great reviews. She’s extremely popular with credible artists and has been complimented from the likes of M.I.A., Thom Yorke and even Ringo Starr.
7. Mastodon, Twin Peaks Stage, 3:55-4:55pm: Some might call them the thinking man’s metal band. While Mastodon isn’t quite for everybody, if you’re thinking about exploring the genre, this is a good place to start. They’re heavily respected and their fan-base appears to increase with every new album. Check out their latest album, Crack the Skye.
8. Dengue Fever, Sutro Stage, 3:10-4:00pm: LA Cambodian pop group, Dengue Fever, have been on our radar for a while. Most recently, performing the live score to The Lost World at our very own Castro Theatre. Their shows are kind of unpredictable, but we like it that way. Get to this show for a more classical feel, and perhaps the only one of its kind, well, at least at this festival.
9. Deerhunter, Panhandle Solar Stage, 6:40-7:25pm: If you haven’t heard about the Atlanta-based ambient noise rock group, Deerhunter yet, then you probably don’t have enough musician friends. Their peculiar sound doesn’t quite fit into any specific genre box, but it’s often called “artist’s music.” By no means does that rule out the finance guys from enjoying Deerhunter, but a little artistic contemplation is in order at this show. You really should stop by just to see what the hype is about and then decide for yourself.