Credit: Chelsea Jenkins
There’s no better excuse to road trip up to San Francisco with some of your best friends than for one of the more premier music festivals of the West Coast: Outside Lands. Pretty much everyone and there mom was playing in the spread out stages of beautiful Golden Gate Park (full lineup), but I had my heart mainly set on finally seeing The Strokes. I’d been wanting to see them for all of my music-listening/concert-going career, and I wasn’t about to let this opportunity slip away. I bought my ticket the instant I saw that they were on the bill. There was no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Going to San Francisco, and especially Golden Gate Park, is always an adventure. Nothing but good vibes coming from all angles and people in NorCal. I love it. I wasn’t able to get as many videos as I should have, because I was too pumped to be at the show. I’ll use my words to help you visualize what an amazing weekend it was for music in San Francisco.
Highlights of Outside Lands Through C+A+D‘s Eyes:
So after we walked around what seemed like all of San Francisco to find the entrance of the fest, we were greeted with the hard-hitting beats of one of dubsteps finests, Bassnectar. Unfortunately, I was only able to catch the last few songs of his set, because I couldn’t find my damn way in to the park. This was my third time seeing him, if you want to count it, and I really can’t get enough. He’s one of the few dubstep artists I can see myself getting down to for an extended period of time. Dubstep has always been love it/hate it for me, but he just really knows how to stay consistently amazing. He takes a lot of classic songs that used to be on the radio (before it turned to absolute shit) and puts his spin on it to turn it into a heavy, yet enjoyable, dubstep track. He’s a must see for anyone that’s just getting into dubstep. He’ll for sure push you over the edge.
Tokyo Police Club
I missed Tokyo Police Club at Coachella this year, and I wasn’t about to let that happen again in SF. After the end of Bassnectar, we rushed over to to see them at the tightly packed croud at the Twin Peaks Stag (where the party was at for most of the fest). I’m not familiar with a lot of their songs, but they were really fun to watch and played everything I did know. They ended their set with “Your English Is Good,” and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
There’s not very much I can say about Wolfmother, other than I need to see them again. I didn’t get to see their whole set, because we were running around and for what I did see, we were at the very side so I had a shitty ass view. They sounded AMAZING, and the singer was fucking awesome so I want to go see them again for real. Their best song was obviously “Woman,” and it was really cool to see them play it live. This MSTRKRFT remix is one of the better remixes that I’ve heard. Dance!
So, we got to the Twin Peaks stage for The Strokes a little later than I wanted to, but I was hoping Furthur would take most of the SF crowd to the mainstage. We got a pretty decent spot, but I wasn’t planning to stay there once the music started. I’d waited years to see these guys on stage, and they performed better than I could ever imagine. The light show set up was nuts, as they had a big screen in the back that showed tetris/pong/pacman and other visuals (see here). They played all their songs flawlessly. The solos were perfect. Julian’s voice was perfect. He was hammered as fuck by the way, which was to be expected and made it all the more entertaining. They were very much worth the wait, and I’m so happy to have knocked them off my list. From what I remember, the songs they played were: Is this it?, Someday, Reptilia, New York City Cops, Barely Legal, Soma, You Only Live Once, Juicebox, 12:51, Hard to Explain…pretty much everything I wanted/needed to hear. Let’s get that new album going, eh? Edit: Found the whole setlist here thanks to my buddy Taylor Rae.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
This marks my third time seeing these guys, and I don’t think it’ll ever quite match up to the first, which was at Coachella. That was definitely more of a place for them than at Outside Lands, if you ask me. Anyway, I’m always down to see these guys. They always get really into it and sound amazing at the same time. Sometimes the singers try and talk to each other for the show, and it gets a little awkward when they mess up or don’t really improvise well. All in all, great band. Great sound. I recommend seeing them if they come around and you’re down with happy folk music.
I love Chromeo. These guys are so damn entertaining. The two play off each other and make for a really funny show. They’re comedians and musicians. That definitely puts them ahead of a lot of people. They came out with some really hard disco/dance renditions of their classic songs: Mama’s Boys, Bonafied Lovin’, etc. Definitely going to try and see these guys again if I have the chance. People who were walking outside of the event mobbed the fence to get down for Chromeo, because the entrance is about a 15 minute walk from there. I should have done the same, because I missed a lot of Edward Sharpe’s set because of it. Check out this interview my friends at West Coast Leak got at their show in Oregon right before they came down to SF.
Nas & Damian Marley
These guys were amazing. I saw a video of their performance on Jimmy Kimmel’s show which didn’t make them look that promising. On the contrary, they rocked the fucking show like none other. I was getting down with that reggae/hip hop combo. They transitioned off each other from genre to genre perfectly. From fence to fence, people were showing them the love they deserved, and I’m so happy I was fortunate enough to see them. I just picked up their album and am going to give it a shot. Maybe I’ll get a song or two on the next YOLO List.
Empire of the Sun
Ok. Where do I begin with this? Empire of the Sun could quite possibly take the cake for weirdest shit I have ever seen in my life. This performance was so much more than for the music. Straight up Cirque de Soleil shit. They had a bunch of dancers in scary/weird costumes doing scary/weird things for a straight hour. Sometimes, I feel like they would make the beat really hard to follow just to trip people out on purpose. This show was made to be seen on acid. Not condoning, just saying. Everybody around me was doing a lot more standing and staring than listening and dancing. Definitely YouTube videos of it if you haven’t already. Seeing them play “Walking on a Dream” was unreal. I’ve listened to that song so many times and have heard numerous remixes, but seeing them play it was definitely fulfilling. Through their whole set, they had a lot of glam rock/disco/classic rock jambalaya thing going on that was really interesting to watch. Was not expecting to be blown away to that level, but they definitely succeeded.
All in all, it was a damn good weekend. I had so much fun running around Golden Gate Park and just being in San Francisco. I love that place AND I love concerts. Win/Win. Couldn’t have asked to be with better friends to share the experience with. Definitely going to try and make it out there in the upcoming years, assuming the lineup is anywhere as good.
I couldn’t wait til the next post for these delightful treats. I’ve heard the song on numerous occasions in Soulwax and 2 Many Dj’s sets, but wasn’t ever to get my hands on it til I picked up the Calvin Harris essential mix. Lucky for you, I got both, and you need both. I’m pretty sure the essential mix is the reason I nailed my midterm today. I’ll be seein’ him at Haunted Mansion!