Outside Lands: More Than A Music Festival
Featuring local vendors, psychedelic installations, and a beautiful Californian climate, Outside Lands has asserted itself as Northern California’s premiere cultural event, capturing San Francisco’s rich musical and culinary history. As major music festivals have started to blend into similarity, Outside Lands stands out by building a unified community in the cavernous Golden Gate Park. From the eco-tent to the farmers market, everyone seemed to be enjoying the good vibes.
Friday began with a playful spirit, thanks to old-school funk favorites The Original Meters and newer acts such as Toro y Moi and Lotus. Good sets all around.
As the night went on, the crowd divided as Phish pulled in a heady, jam-band crowd. Their three-hour set was the closest they could give to a ‘greatest hits’ collection. Digging into the rock ‘n’ roll culture of the Bay Area, they covered the greats, such as Bowie, Velvet Underground, and Zappa. This is Phish playing at their most energetic and fun. The sheer musicality expressed in their set is undeniable. They conquered Outside Lands.
Under the Saturday sun, The Black Keys proved that they have what it takes to headline festivals. Engaging the crowd, the two-man group ripped thru their whole catalogue, refusing to cater to their newfound popularity. They win for general badassery. Headliners Muse used a technically impressive (expensive) set to boost up their epic tunes. Apparently a lot of people really like Muse.
On Sunday, everything seemed to be leading up to one moment. Arcade Fire’s grand finale set was a cathartic experience, with singer Win Butler expressing his love for the festival. Visibly overwhelmed, he stated that, “there’s just such a good vibe out there.” This artist-fan relationship was palatable throughout the event, and their anthemic songwriting captured the spirit of Outside Lands. As their performance pressed on, Funeral tunes such as “Rebellion (Lies)” and “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” had the fairgrounds on another level.
Outside Lands is a music festival done right. A microcosm of the San Franciscan culture, OSL was fully endorsed by the entire community, with mayor Edwin M. Lee exclaiming that the festival was “here to stay.” This was Outside Lands’ big year and it was glorious.
- Gorgeous weather. Thank you San Francisco.
- tUnE-YarDs’ incredible show. One of the best sets at the festival.
- The peaches at the farmers market
- Greyboy Allstars- starting Saturday out with some funky flute and sax solos. Groovy.
- Free food as the vendors closed down
- Warren Haynes Band- The former Allman Bros. member still knows how to get people dancing.
- Dave Chappelle!?
- MGMT- aimless and limp.
- Arctic Monkeys- nothing extraordinary.
- STS9’s PA set- fun, but they can do better.
- Big Boi not being able to play, due to the drama after his recent arrest.
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