The Appeal’s April Siese and Hunter Mulich returned to Outside Lands, 2012 for Saturday’s set of shows (you can see their coverage from Friday here), and share their observations below. You can also follow their live coverage at @SFAppealOL.
Day two was a mellow one, until Metallica blew up the sky, that is. With legs and energy worn down after the initial kickoff, and more sets devoted to blooming instrumentals rather than banging electronic, the park was a bit sleepy during the day.
Portugal. The Man and Dr. Dog belted out bluesy tones, while Alabama Shakes drove the genre home in front of a massively packed Sutro stage. Big Boi took us on a ride to Stankonia while busting out a must-hear list of Outkast songs like “B.O.B.” And Explosions in the Sky and Sigur Ros oozed dreamy vibes into the foggy sky.
However, none of these moments were as exhilarating or life completing as yelling “Metallica!” with fist raised to the air. Massive fireballs were bursting in perfect sync while “Blackened” echoed into the trees and Lars Ulrich’s sleazy smile was displayed stories high. Their list of hits seemed never ending as “Nothing Else Matters,” “Sad But True,” and more and more shot through the speakers.
Everything was massive about the performance, and they weren’t there to mess around. Their two-hour set was the first time the local legends have played Golden Gate Park and they seemed to really enjoy it. A U-shaped catwalk was built out into the center of the crowd, and James Hetfield could be seen grinning while absorbing the sight.
It was a nice shot of energy to end the explosion filled night, especially for the dozens of people who were seen trying to scale fences while being chased by security. It was needed here as well, there’s still one big day out there.
1. The random twitter feud between Father John Misty, who played the Panhandle stage and music critic Jim Harrington is hilarious.
2. The sun only shined on the Twin Peaks stage.
3. Riesling at Wine Lands is still bomb.
4. Today marked the first day of imbibers who shouldn’t imbibe.
5. Alabama Shakes brought the largest audience to the Sutro stage ever.
Creativity: Saturday was a great day for creativity, be it in costumes or behavior. I saw a man with a plush octopus hanging around his hips like a hula skirt, the most intricate facepaint around, and wardrobe malfunction-defying outfits throughout the day. Fans also got creative in the ways in which they viewed the bands. A group of folks tore down a section of fence and stormed an area of five park benches and a gnarled, dead tree to catch Alabama Shakes. That tree was perfect for catching a glimpse of the stage and all was wonderful until their set ended and the fence was fixed.
Shitshows: Since festival hump day marks the time where the common festivalgoer is not only off the next day but able to attend a full day of Outside Lands, it’s no surprise that I saw a myriad of folks eat, drink, and subsequently be absolute wrecks. A particular highlight was during Geographer’s set at the Twin Peaks stage, where a man walked a straight line in front of me but sharply turned to the right and two-stepped off his feet and onto the ground. Whatever he’d done had clearly kicked in and soon he was fast asleep in what looked like an insanely uncomfortable position. Who knows if he’s still there now?
Big Boi: Despite last year’s nonexistent performance of Big Boi, during which Dave Chappelle instead went onstage to briefly entertain the masses, the rapper was invited back to Outside Lands, albeit at a much earlier time slot. The technical difficulties that prevented Big Boi’s set from going on last year was preceded by an arrest, which boded terribly. This year, however, Big Boi’s had a spotless run of not being detained and put on a solid show that highlighted some classic Outkast and much, much more. So much for my conspiracy theory that this year it’d just be Dave Chappelle rapping in a fat suit.
All photos: Hunter Mulich, for the Appeal