PHOTOS / RECAP: Outside Lands 2013 Day One (Paul McCartney, Pretty Lights, Zedd, Chic and more)

Photo © Justin Ward
Photo © Justin Ward
Photo © Justin Ward

Words: Justin Ward / Photos: Justin Yee

Outside Lands Music Festival started five years back and I just happened to be lucky enough to be well on my way to moving to San Francisco via Chicago, so I’ve gotten to catch each and every version of Outside Lands that the team at Superfly has put together. Every year, remarkably, this festival just gets better. Tighter logistics. Great scheduling. Amazing food. Awesome extracurriculars like the Heineken Dome and Barbary Tent. Even a killer lot scene.

Yesterday was the first day for the 2013 festival, and the music I casually consumed while walking through Golden Gate Park and meeting with my friends lead to yesterday being one of my favorite days at the festival ever. My day started with the Surfer Blood set on the mainstage while I met up with friends, and I strolled over by the Heineken Dome to hear Motion Potion slaying the indoor tent before I got a good spot for Band of Horses.

Rhye @ Sutro Stage © Wesley Hodges
Rhye @ Sutro Stage © Wesley Hodges

Rhye was definitely a beautiful afternoon set to take in and my first exposure to that band while the Twenty One Pilots guys were doing everything in their power to blow people away on the Twin Peaks stage, including climbing to the top of it.


I skipped The National (even though I had heard the Bob Weir sit-in was imminent) because I wanted to catch the newest EDM superstar prodigy Zedd.


This set was definitely raging; out of nowhere the entire field was covered in rage sticks and each 90 seconds of build-up, drop or bounce just kept the crowd moving hard. I enjoyed this set a lot, even if the “Zelda” remix kinda made me laugh out loud for a moment.

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After Zedd, I checked out the Nile Rodgers lead Chic and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a jukebox set of hits like “I’m Coming Out”, “Let’s Dance” and more tracks that Rodgers has had a hand in throughout the years.

Seeing Paul McCartney on the main stage was unbelievable. I caught the first half of the set and missed the fireworks during “Live and Let Die”…

…but I called “Lovely Rita” just from hearing a note or two and had more than a few moments where I was completely at chills.


I closed the festival with Pretty Lights on the Twin Peaks stage and he was pulling out some deep bass on this set. It’s the strongest I’ve ever seen him and it was blowing the crowd’s mind collectively.

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Tons of lasers painting the park and a fitting untz way to close out my first day.

Check out photos below from Justin Yee; he saw some of Smith Westerns, Wild Belle, Jessie Ware, Zedd, Chic, Chromatics and Pretty Lights…