They’ll be (cell reception willing) tweeting from sfappealOL, and well have a feed of tweets from the event on our homepage, so you can follow along at home.
Here’s what our team thought about Saturday at the fest:
In the wake of Friday’s rather overwhelming introduction to Outside Lands and in view of what is sure to be a very full Sunday (absolutely can’t miss tUnE-YarDs at 1:15, nor could I ever bring myself to duck out of Arcade Fire’s set early), I decided to make Saturday a truncated one. Took the morning to recoup, and rolled in for the latter half of OK GO, followed by Arctic Monkeys, The Roots and finally Girl Talk (there was also an unforgettable dose of Andalu mac ‘n cheese wedged somewhere in there – a brilliant choice on the vendor’s part, by the way. Hot and calorie packed is exactly what I look for at a festival as chilly as this one, where the next opportunity to refuel is never clear).
While all three days of the festival are equally sold-out, the crowds Saturday somehow felt still more gargantuan than the ones I battled through the day prior. This turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. While the incredible mass on the polo field prevented me from getting as near to the Arctic Monkeys as I might have liked (staying in the cushy and well-positioned press tent was out of the question, for I intended to go properly mental, as the Brits would say), no urgency was lost for me in the band’s rendition of “This House is a Circus.” Their recent stoner rock material, like “Crying Lightning” and “Brick by Brick”, did well live, though I don’t find these tracks nearly as engaging as the relentlessly noisy stuff that the band produced as teenagers.
In order for a Girl Talk performance to work – from the perspective of an audience member, I mean – one must strike a delicate balance in ones positioning: too close, and the mass of damp, eager-to-crowd surf bodies will overwhelm you and, most regrettably, prevent you from moving in any way that resembles dancing; too far, and the impact is lost. Having had attended three Girl Talk performances to date (the man tours like a maniac; it’s hard to attend a festival these days without at least catching a glimpse of this gaunt, sweaty, headbanded fellow arching over a laptop), I was well aware of this. So, I showed up sufficiently early – during The Roots set – to secure an ideal spot. Ironically, this hip-hop/soul outfit, previously known to me only as Jimmy Fallon’s house band, made significantly more of an impression than the headliner, whose schtick has, for me at least, gotten rather stale over the years.
Day Two Observations:
1. Press tent ran out of cups for beer.
2. The crowds were insane (as in lots of ’em) compared to the first day!
3. A few bands ended their sets early; not cool, bands.
4. The random musicians/buskers near Choco Lands and Food Truck Forest are heavily under-appreciated.
5. Not enough people dance or seriously lose their shit.
Ed Lee Declares “Outside Lands” Day:
I know it’s hard not to catch the excitement of being in Golden Gate park on a surprisingly warm day surrounded by your fellow SFians and listening to fantastic music as you drink fine wines with fine foods, but Ed Lee gave even the most excited, thizzed-out fester a run for their money when he ran out to announce that it was Outside Lands Day, the crazy attendance (60,000 a day, I repeat.) and just generally do his thing. Lee came on during a press conference in the media tent, which was partially halted for his Howard Dean-esque screeching. Lee, you’ve got a microphone; it’s okay.
They were as amazing as ever, rocking out as hard as possible and missing no beats, save for the fact that they didn’t play “Fake Tales of San Francisco”. This is beyond me. Before the Monkeys’ set, Ok Go delivered a great performance, complete with SF-centric banter. They made fun of our Portland/LA rivalry and it was all good, because we won; not with Arctic Monkeys. Do you know where you’re at, lads?
Tater Tots at Q:
I have an addiction, straight-up. Of the three amazing sauces I’ve tried, none is more disturbingly delicious than the blue cheese and bacon one. Q takes the normal frozen tater tots you can bake in your oven and seasons them something amazing, then gives you the choice of a nice hot BBQ sauce, smilin’ Andy’s mojo mix and chili-lime aioli (a nice second and also pretty infectious to the taste buds), and the aforementioned gift from the gods of the kitchen. So good!
Hunter Mulich (who also took all our photos)
The sun decided to show up for day two of Outside Lands, bringing a little heat with its cloudless skies. And with a lineup featuring Muse, The Roots, Girl Talk and more, I can’t blame it.
For the most part the day centered around the almighty guitar. From The Black Keys and local band The Stone Foxes old school axe wielding, to the up-tempo riffs of the Arctic Monkeys, to the truly epic sounds of Muse; strings were everywhere.
That was a nice change of pace in my book. A lot of major festivals now are focusing more on electronic based groups, as the industry is, and actual bands seem to be getting pushed to side at the moment. Yesterday, this was not true.
The sun was in the sky, dust was in the air, and skins and strings filled the atmosphere. Not to mention enough leather and denim to film a Poison video. Beautiful.
However, The Roots and Girl Talk provided oasis from the grinding of vintage chords and instruments. The Roots, who are far too talented for television, have a special blend of hip-hop, reggae, funk, whatever. And hell, they even covered “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” which fit right in.
Girl Talk is a Rolex in a flea market. Cheap mash-ups may be all around, but you know quality when you see it. Ying Yang Twins paired with Metallica? Playing some Journey before heading into Waka Flocka? Greg Gillis has a knack for getting everyone involved, from the dude with a moustache and face paint, helping an inflatable dolphin crowd surf, to the dad who can no longer control urge and starts moving and rapping to a Ludacris song.
There was a full moon out last night, but the greater spectacle was right in front of my eyes: Tens of thousands of people, of all statures and backgrounds, partying their limbs off in Golden Gate Park. Smiles all around.