Words: Justin Ward / Photos: Justin Yee
Yesterday was a foggy closer to the annual Outside Lands Music Festival in Golden Gate Park and I had quite the time out there hanging with my crew.
Too much fun, probably, but thankfully I had a friend close to drive me home and plenty of time off today to recuperate. My day started with the amazingly brash Fishbone set on the mainstage, which started with the bandleader self referencing the fact that not that many poeple in the audience were old enough to know who they were. So they were going to “take the crowd to school” and bring their old-school ska stylings to them to start the day. I was having fun but ended up leaving much earlier to meet up with friends so we can have a great location for the Kurt Vile set.
Anticipation was huge for me going into this set; Wakin On A Pretty Daze has been getting steady rotation on my iPhone for a few months now and I couldn’t wait to see how it translated live. It was good, but with the only major conflict on my schedule being that Foals was going to start soon, I opted to see the rest of the Kurt Vile set another day and moved onto the Foals set at the mainstage. They absolutely commanded the main stage and I was beyond impressed with how mature they sounded. I still think of them as a new band, but they didn’t act like it up there and that’s just my ignorance talking. Total pros. Must-see stuff.
After Foals I ended up seeing some amazing stuff out of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, including their cover of “Brain Stew” by Green Day. More and more this band gets better at commanding attention on stage.
Everyone was pretty amped up for Hall and Oates. I knew what to expect thanks to our resident H & O expert, PeteLikesMusic so I opted to catch A-Trak, but Justin Yee was there to get some snaps.
I opted for the untz many times this weekend but finally got to see it all a little closer. My buddy was working backstage at A-Trak and got me up on the stage for the show, which was definitely mind-blowing. The low-end was punishingly good.
On the other side of the park after A-Trak, I got to see my first Vampire Weekend set and I definitely came away thinking “this isn’t enough, I’ll need to see them again…”
…and I couldn’t stay for the whole thing because I also wanted to see my first Willie Nelson show. Hearing “On the Road Again” in that classic voice that I know so well was awesome. Very relaxing end to the fest. But I’m told the Vampire Weekend was a highlight for many.
I caught what I could of Red Hot Chili Peppers and it was definitely hard for me to really get into it without John Frusciante in the mix. The band was headliner-worthy as always, but at the same time I had a hard time really letting loose and feeling the flow from their set. Frusciante was always my favorite part of the Chili Peppers sound so it’s hard not seeing him up there for it.
Another year and another amazing Outside Lands in the books! Check out the full gallery below…