For those who missed the mind-blowing mud and music of Woodstock and others who would never willingly pitch a tent atop the hot, dusty playa at Burning Man, there is the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival.
Sure parking or MUNI to Golden Gate Park did get tricky. But once there, festival-goers (which ran the gamut from bankers to bohos) stepped into a wonderland of musical delights.
In spite of the NIMBY-ists and nay-sayers who proclaim that park belongs only to them, we say, a big and enthusiastic two-thumbs up for last weekend’s Outside Lands!
Festivals. What are they if not high priced hassles with no parking, ten dollar beers and port-o-potties you always convince yourself you are never going to use again but always end up caving when it’s time to break that seal? God, I hate festivals. But Outside Lands, you sure are the lesser of these money-sucking evils. And your Sunday lineup was the perfect cap to a three-day musical binge.
So, we'll level with you, Bat for Lashes is pretty freaking cool. And it's not because she's British, rocked a head piece that put the tween hipsters to shame, and had crows and sparkles (oh, and a Jesus?) all over her Outside Lands set (which, naturally, screams cool...like, ethereal cool). It's because she's got an amazing voice. Like, operatically amazing. She mesmerized the Panhandle stage with songs like "Daniel" and "Pearl's Dream." Check out "Glass" below.
Competing with TV on the Radio, who were playing at the same time across the park, The Black Eyed Peas brought the party to the main stage today, revving things up with "Let's Get It Started." Oh, Fergie, you make us want to run to the nearest pilates class.
These guys are a favorite of the cool kids we share an office with at Spin Earth and now we know why. Portugal.The Man lived up to all their hype today and totally rocked out the Panhandle stage. Lead singer John Baldwin Gourley's haunting vocals and drummer Jason Sechrist's (who, we've gotta say it, looks way too much like Napoleon Dynamite) drum-cirlce-esque sessions were definitely enough to convince us to buy tickets to their more intimate show a few weeks from now (Sept 23) at The Independent. Check them out below.
Joining Q-Tip (who brought out Phife for "Award Tour" on Friday) as one of the only hip hop acts on the ticket, Zion I/AmpLive brought the noise to the main stage today to represent Bay Area hip hop and kick off a very hot day 2 of Outside Lands. Zion I, who hails from Oakland, is always a welcome, local favorite, and a staple on our 7x7 radar. Check out the beginning of their set below.
The National knows how seasoned indie rock is done – scruffy, tender, anguished, at times screaming, and preferably in an old-British-looking coat. Lead singer Matt Berninger belted out (if you can call that deep of a voice belting) “Abel”, “Slow Show,” “Fake Empire” and other favorites to an adoring crowd at the Sutro Stage. Check out "Mistaken for Strangers” below.
L.A’s Silversun Pickups brought the crowds streaming down the Polo Fields today, treating Golden Gate Park to favorites such as "Lazy Eye" and "Panic Switch." Check out their opener, "Well Thought Out Twinkies," below.
Playing to a festive (and sweaty) crowd (bikinis, cut-off shorts and straw hats were heavily represented, as was Native American headwear for some reason), the Dodos lived up to their reputation as San Francisco's indie darlings and helped to open up the first day of this year’s Outside Lands Festival at the intimate Sutro Stage in Golden Gate Park. Check out the opening of their set below.