It's officially time to get excited: Outside Lands just announced how each of the music festival's three days will be broken down, which means you can begin picturing how you'll spend the weekend of Aug. 10-12. Scheduling a music festival like Outside Lands' five-year anniversary edition is always an exercise in tough decisions, but this year the organizers have done a pretty good job. Here are six things we like about the Outside Lands daily lineups, which you can check out in full on the website.
1. Metallica vs. Sigur Ros on Saturday Night
First things first: We implore you to go see Metallica. Seriously. If you haven't seen these Bay Area metal titans live, you can't imagine how goddamn much fun they can be. That said, some will not be heading to Outside Lands in order to head-bang. If you're more in a swaying and wistful yearning mood, Sigur Ros will doing just about the complete opposite from Metallica on the far side of the festival grounds. Here's hoping you can hear them over the din.
2. Thee Oh Sees are playing midway through Saturday afternoon
Our hope for Saturday of this year's Outside Lands is that the concert-going world at large will finally have the pleasure of taking the Thee Oh Sees' manic, transcendent live show. And the S.F. band's slot midway through the second afternoon -- when lots of people will have arrived and will be looking for something good to check out -- seems likely to make that happen.
3. Stevie Wonder on Sunday night
Ending a festival weekend with a funky set from one of the great living masters of soul sounds just about perfect. Choosing between watching all of Stevie or catching some Jack White will be hugely painful, but such is the situation with multistage festivals like this. If the reward is ending the 2012 Outside Lands with a mega jam of "Superstition," it'll all be worth it.
4. Beer Lands, aka Heaven
One of our frustrations with Outside Lands has always been the attention it gives to the world of local wine while offering only Heineken (and maybe Newcastle?) to those of us who like our festival beverages cold and foamy. That complaint officially got ended this year with the introduction of Beer Lands, a 16-brewery paradise with 30 local craft beers from prime brewers like Anchor, Bear Republic, Magnolia, Lost Coast, and Speakeasy. Can we just watch the whole festival from there?
5. A really, really good reason to go see Skrillex on Sunday
Dispatch just made that decision a snap. No worries about missing something possibly great in order to finally get your chest pounded in by the Shaven One's assault of wub-wubage.
6. Neil Young and Crazy Horse on Friday. Just because.
Okay, so we weren't crazy about Americana, but here's hoping that live set on Friday night reaches far back into the NY&CH catalog -- back, say, to "Come On Baby, Let's Go Downtown" or "Revolution Blues" or (dear please God) "Cortez the Killer." Would "Like an Inca" be too much to ask, Neil? (Trans is half-decent, for real.) Whatever happens, we will be there, crossing our fingers for a setlist worth of the opening night of Outside Lands' five-year anniversary.
Check out the full Outside Lands 2012 daily schedule.