A Personal Look at Outside Lands
By: Chelsea Schwartz
This past weekend 60,000 music lovers crowded into Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to attend the inaugural Outside Lands Festival. Brought to us by the co-founders of Bonnaroo alongside one of the most successful promoters in San Francisco – Outside Lands provided concert-goers with an all around experience of what San Francisco is about.
Music kicked off on Friday late afternoon with Steel Pulse hitting one of the six festival stages to an audience of anxious Radiohead fans who were already holding spots for the bands end of the night set. Over the course of the weekend we’d see Tom Petty, Rogue Wave, Matt Nathanson, Regina Spektor, The Black Keys, ALO, and many more.
One of my favorite sets of the weekend was Beck’s 17 song set performance which included an array of selections from all his albums minus Mutations. ‘Hell Yes’ was performed entirely by 808s (video clip below) and ‘Loser’ was introduced by a very cool bluesy slide guitar jam. And I have to say, in all my experience, ‘Where Its At’ was the best I have ever seen it.
Also stellar, as usual, was Radiohead’s killer light and video setup. Just YouTube anything from Radiohead at Outside Lands and you’ll see what I mean. Their set list was also impressive as they played more “hits” than any other time I’ve seen them, including my old personal favorites ‘Just’ and ‘Fake Plastic Trees.’
New favorite Radiohead song (thanks to its live performance): ‘Reckoner’ off of the new album, In Rainbows.
If you needed a break from the music, the Dell Dome provided tons of options from creating your own digital mix tape to rockin’ out your hair! And the food and wine provided by San Francisco’s own local favorites was quite a treat. Not to mention the festival proximity to the Haight Street area provided excellent post show opportunities.
While one is never quite prepared for the extensive walking of a music festival (no matter how many you’ve been to previously), Outside Lands was overall a fantastic vibe and a very well done festival, even with all the Beck fans tearing down the chainlink fence to race over to Radiohead’s upcoming set faster.