It all began on Friday when we arrived to San Francisco, CA to cover Outside Lands Music Festival for the first time. In the past 12 months we have covered Lollapalooza Chicago, Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza Brazil, and Fifrely…but this time, Outside Lands’ lineup was way too attractive to let it go by.
After a long flight we finally arrived to the city and headed towards W San Francisco. We left our stuff in the wonderful room we were given and went for brunch to Trace SF. More than satisfied with the food and drinks we ordered, we began planning our day.
Day 1 officially began as we arrived to the Golden Gate Park and I was really impressed by the magnitude and beauty of it. Central Park is now officially my second favorite park in the US.
The first two acts we saw were Holy Ghost! and Chromeo, who definitely know how to get a party started.
We catched the last few minutes of Grouplove’s set and enjoyed them as they performed “Colours” to end their show. After a short break we head off to the media tent, which had an awesome view of the main stage. It was decided, we were going to watch the first half of Kanye’s show from their before heading to the Twin Peaks stage to see Arctic Monkeys. But before that, we got close to the main stage to enjoy one of the most successful electronic bands in the world, Disclosure. People were dancing non-stop, especially when the Lawrence brothers played “F For You” and “Latch“.
The day was almost over and after watching Kanye for a while (not a big fan of his music) we prefered to hear Alex Turner perform on the other side of the park. It was a long walk but I’m glad we got their on time to see them play their greatest song “Fluorescent Adolescent“. As usual, the band ended their set with “R U Mine?“.
We were tired, but going to sleep was defiintely not an option. The lobby bar at W San Francisco was the place to be at that moment. Great music and excellent drinks were the perfect closure for Outside Lands‘ first day.
After having breakfast at Trace San Francisco, we came back to the Golden Gate Park for day 2. We were ready to see The Kooks but unfortunately their was a huge line at one of the entrances. Moving to another entrance was not an option. It was so far away that it would take us the same time than if we stayed on that line.
So we finally got inside to watch half of The Kooks’ show. You can feel how the crowd was really excited to see them. I think they should have played at a different hour. It was too early for them and many fans couldn’t make it because of the long line.
We then went to catch Christopher Owens and a bit of Local Natives. We have seen Local Natives before and they were as great as usual. Christopher Owens included covers, songs from his previous band Girls, and his new solo material, which made his set great too.
Around 5PM, Capital Cities began their set with “Kangaroo Court” at the Twin Peaks stage. I have to admit that I was disappointed with their performance. I know they only have one album, but they urgently need to release more songs before the world gets tired of their “Safe and Sound” (too late?). Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy that song, but at the end of their show they do this remix where they play the song over and over again. It is just too much. Besides that, they completely destroyed a Bee Gees and a Weezer song when they covered “Staying Alive” and “The Sweater Song“. I insist, they urgently need to sit down and write some new music.
Death cab for cutie’s guitarist Chris Walla just announced his decision to leave the band, so we were lucky to be at one of the last few shows the band will give together before replacing him. Favorite moment: the band playing “Soul Meets Body“.
Headliners that day included Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Of course we would never miss a performance from Tom Petty, but we also wanted to hear Macklemore for a while, so we went half and half. Hearing live songs like “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and “Free Fallin’” was just memorable. You can’t leave from a Tom Petty show without being more than satisfied. After all, you just watched the performance of a music legend.
Tired? For sure. But it’s imposible to pass by the Lobby bar at W San Francisco and not want to stay there to have a drink or two (or three). If you go there make sure you order their spicy nuts that go great with beer.
Before heading to the Golden Gate Park for the last day of Outside Lands, we went to the other side of the Golden Gate and catch an amazing view of the bridge. We were lucky enough to see the bridge without any fog and took some great pics for the memory.
This last day we saw one of the best bands that have came out of Austin: Spoon. They just released their new album ‘They Want My Soul‘ but their set also included songs we love like “I Summon You” and “I Turn My Camera On“. They ended up by introducing “one of the greatest bands in America” and after a while The Flaming Lips took the stage.
With a colorful production that included giant mushrooms, aliens, and a big rainbow, Wayne Coyne’s show was as bizarre as we were expecting it to be. His 9-song set included a cover from The Chemical Brothers and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” from The Beatles.
The festival was almost over. There’s always that unpleasant feeling when you know it’s the last day and the sun begins to hide. Fortunately, The Killers were in charge of closing Outside Lands, so that sentiment went off as soon as they began their set with “Mr. Brightside“. Sometimes I wonder if people are still into their music, because it’s no secret that their last albums were not as successful as the first ones. But as they continued their set with “Spaceman“, I was convinced that fans still love them. Except for a few recent songs from ‘Battle Born‘, everyone seemed to know the lyrics of their songs. The crowd was especially excited when they covered “Bad Moon Rising” from Creedence Clearwater Revival.
If they wanted, they could give fans even a more memorable show by including songs like “Sam’s Town“, “Bones“, “Battle Born” (or even other ‘Hot Fuss‘ tracks) instead of “A Dustland Fairytale“, “Bling“, or “From Here On Out” that no matter how hard they try, people just don’t sing along. Overall, it was one of my favorite shows from the band so far and a wonderful way of closing the festival.
Outside Lands is not only a music festival, it’s also about the food, the arts, the beer, the wine, and the people. We are glad we decided to cover the festival this year and we will surely be back in 2015 for more.
– The Food
Outside Lands has definitely one of the biggest food variety in the festival world. They even have an area exclusively for chocolate desserts and coffee. We found a food truck inside the woods that sold bacon covered with cheese.
– The number of attendees
More than 200,000 music fans attended during the weekend to Outside Lands, but that was certainly not a problem for the enormous Golden Gate Park.
– The crowd
Happy to know that fans really go for the music and not just because everyone does. People sang along on every show we attended. Crowd was especially great with The Kooks, The Killers, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Flaming Lips, Grouplove, and Capital Cities. Definitely one of the best festival crowds in the US.
– Wine Lands
The weather was perfect for you to drink some wine during the day and Wine Lands offered you plenty of choices. Dozens of different wines were available and the ones we tried were delicious. You could buy a glass for $2 and by tickets that could be exchanged for any wine you want.
– The House by Heineken
There was always a party inside this tent that included DJ sets from Green Velvet, Gorgon City, Paul Johnson, and more. The perfect place to be if you are an electronic music lover.
– The Night shows
The Killers, Death cab for cutie, Phosphorescent, and more offered night shows at several local venues. Can you imagine watching The Killers in a venue with only 500 fans? Even Mark Zuckerberg was there…