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Outside Lands

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Worst of Outside Lands 2012

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Beck at Outside Lands - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Beck at Outside Lands

Beck

Beck's "Loser" was an anthem for the disenfranchisement of Generation X. In the early '90s, we expected to have less of everything -- income, opportunity, security, etc. -- than our parents. We were led to believe this was unprecedented in the history of the United States. We were the Nothing Generation, and we would sing it loud and proud.

Flash forward to 2012: College grads are indebted to a financial system that's hijacked the entire planet; good jobs are crazy-hard to find, sustainable careers nearly unthinkable; adult-age children into their mid-20s (at least) still live with their parents. In other words, it's the same as it ever was.

We haven't listened much to Beck since his last appearance at Golden Gate Park in 1996 at the Tibetan Freedom Concert. Back then he was rocking his post-"Loser" white-boy-in-a-white-suit act, making happy-funky time. If his performance at Outside Lands was any indication of what he's up to now, it's not much worth listening to. We hear he's a Scientologist. Maybe that explains the lackadaisical energy. He doesn't care anymore. He's already booked his first-class suite on the mothership to carry him home when the time is right.

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Top 5 Awesomely Silly Dancing GIFs From the Outside Lands Festival

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 8:55 AM

This guy.
  • This guy.

One thing crowds at San Francisco's Outside Lands festival do pretty well is get down.

Despite the relentless wind, heavy fog, and numbing temperatures, we saw plenty of good moves last weekend -- and some ridiculously silly enthusiasm from certain crowd members. (It helped that Big Boi stuck to playing his bass-heavy hits.)

Here, compiled and edited by Ian S. Port and Andrew Nilsen, are the six funniest moves we saw at Outside Lands -- in GIF form, naturally.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Overheard at Outside Lands: A Sampling of Strange Things Said

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 10:26 AM

CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio

Music festivals like this weekend's Outside Lands ask you to listen to everything around you. Here's a sampling of the weird things we overheard during the past three days:

"If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
"

"There's a lot of poontang up there. Girls are just dropping their pants."

"The beer is flowing."

"I've been in love with him for five years."

"Yeah, but our friendship is gonna last a lot longer."

"This is where the wild things are."

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The Best of Outside Lands: Sunday, Aug. 12

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Jack White at Outside Lands - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Jack White at Outside Lands

Jack White

Jack White likes the struggle. He's said so in interviews. He believes in hard work. The guiding force of each performance is the feeling that arises as the musicians collectively navigate the particular challenges of each moment on stage. Every show is guaranteed to be different. There are no set lists. His songbook is deep, stretching back 15 years with White Stripes material and original tunes with the Raconteurs, Dead Weather, and his current solo album, Blunderbuss, which he performs with an all-female band and an all-male band. Both are on the road with him on the tour that came to Outside Lands on Sunday. With the women, he was relaxed, smiling, happily on fire. With the men, he made a bigger noise that was less joyful, more complex.

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Stevie Wonder at Outside Lands: San Francisco Gets Life Lessons From the School of Wonder

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Stevie Wonder at Outside Lands. - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Stevie Wonder at Outside Lands.

Stevie Wonder

Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012

Outside Lands Festival, San Francisco

Better than: Seeing any show.

Stevie Wonder, in theory, is an American artistic treasure. He's more than our Beatles or Rolling Stones; he's our Dickens or Dalí: a figure of impassable recognition, discussion, talent, love, and national pride. In theory.

In practice, however, Stevie Wonder is an experience.

Less than three minutes after Stevie Wonder takes the main stage on the final night of San Francisco's Outside Lands festival, keytar in hand and that beaming, always-loving smile of his worn proudly, he decides that it's time for the first singalong of the night. It was one of many. Where other musicians would wait for the middle of their set to lead the crowd in singing, when the School of Wonder is in session (as he calls it) you're not allowed to simply watch.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

In Praise of Artists Touring With Nothing New to Promote

Posted By on Sun, Aug 12, 2012 at 11:13 AM

The stage during Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Outside Lands set. Five of the 13 songs Young played were brand new, from his upcoming album with Crazy Horse. - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • The stage during Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Outside Lands set. Five of the 13 songs Young played were brand new, from his upcoming album with Crazy Horse.

The idea introduced by the Don't Look Back concert series, an offshoot of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival, has found its way into the broader live music circuit over the last few years: a band, currently operational or not, comes together to play one of its most influential albums all the way through. Public Enemy's done it; so has Slayer; so has Ennio Morricone. They do it at the Pitchfork Music Festival. They do it at Rock The Bells.

Nobody's doing it at San Francisco's Outside Lands festival this year, but the concept has felt resonant all the same: not the concept of performing an entire album, per se, but that of performing songs that have, for all intents and purposes, no novelty value. Most acts at Outside Lands have released an album within the last year or so, and playing a festival set without bumping at least the lead single of the freshest product is, economically speaking, dumb. Still, how nice is it, in principle and in practice, for a band to tour just for the sake of playing its songs?

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The Best of Outside Lands: Saturday, Aug. 11

Posted By on Sun, Aug 12, 2012 at 10:11 AM

CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio

Norah Jones

They may not all admit it, but everyone likes Norah Jones. And more universally than that, everyone gets down to Norah Jones. As we walk through Lindley Meadow on our way closer to the stage, we see couples of all kinds dancing, pecking, staring dreamily, or full-on making-out to the smoky-voiced singer, whose voice is echoing down the meadow. The closer we get to the stage, the more apparent these things are, but then another thought -- when did Norah Jones get this good? Yes, we may have had our romantic moments to 2002's soft and creamy Come Away With Me, but there's something else happening, something that sounds a bit like Neko Case, but with Tarantino orchestration. The bass, those drums... it must be the influence of Danger Mouse (who produced her newest album, Little Broken Hearts). Now Norah's not just a pretty voice, but she can groove, too? For someone who already has the ability to make anyone from any age, gender, race, or culture get in the mood for love, a little grooving can be a dangerous thing. -- Cody Nabours

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Metallica at Outside Lands: The Five Best Parts of the Band's Fiery Hometown Show

Posted By on Sun, Aug 12, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Metallica at San Francisco's Outside Lands festival. - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Metallica at San Francisco's Outside Lands festival.

Metallica

Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012

Outside Lands Festival, San Francisco

Better than: A skeptic could imagine.

Metallica, headlining Saturday night of the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, proved just about as huge and satisfying and powerful as Metallica can be in 2012. With a greatest-hits setlist, a small war's worth of explosives and pyrotechnics, and a huge meadow of fans shouting along, the biggest heavy metal band in the world showed that not only can it win over casual listeners and non-fans, but that it's at its best when trying to do so. Compared to Metallica's four intimate and indulgent 30th Anniversary shows at the Fillmore last year, the more than two hours of outright rampage last night felt like a well-edited tour de force.

It wasn't perfect: Hetfield played sloppily on "Master of Puppets," which may have been due to the cold; the lyrics to new song "Hell and Back" made us wish that Metallica was an instrumental band; "Ride the Lightning" sounded rickety and awkward, especially compared with contemporaneous songs like, "For Whom the Bell Tolls"; more than two hours of any artist is kind of lot; and Lars and James basked in the crowd's adoration maybe a bit too much at the end, and could have just said thank you three times and bowed and called it a night.

But those complaints are miniscule compared with the fiery spectacle Metallica put on in San Francisco last night. Here are our top five favorite parts of the show.

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Outside Lands 2012: An Updated Guide to All Our Coverage

Posted By on Sat, Aug 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM

MERANDA CARTER
  • Meranda Carter

Well, hi. We're going nuts covering the Outside Lands Festival this weekend. To help you find it all, here's an updated list of all our coverage so far. This post will be updated as we put up new stuff. Enjoy and see you out there!

Old Versus New at Outside Lands 2012, With Old the Heavy Favorite

Top 5 Awesomely Silly Dancing GIFs From the Outside Lands Festival

Festival Reviews

Sunday, Aug. 12

Stevie Wonder at Outside Lands: San Francisco Gets Life Lessons From the School of Wonder

Overheard at Outside Lands: A Sampling of Strange Things Said

The Best of Outside Lands: Sunday, Aug. 12

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Outside Lands: The Summer Music Festival Where It's 50 Degrees and Blowing

Posted By on Sat, Aug 11, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Happiness is a warm coat. - MERANDA CARTER
  • Meranda Carter
  • Happiness is a warm coat.

One thing everyone in San Francisco learns very quickly is that, in this city, you always have to be prepared for the cold. Even on a day that begins with total sunshine. Outside Lands -- set in the western half of Golden Gate Park, on the front lines of fog banks rolling in off the Pacific -- is no different. This is the summer festival where it's 50 degrees.

Of everyone caught unaware by the chilly air on the first day of Outside Lands, the most vocal were the performers. Nearly every act we caught -- with the exception of Neil Young, God bless his flannel-wearing Canadian soul -- had a comment to make about how cold they were. Some were simple exclamations: "Nippy, ain't it?" (The Walkmen), "We're freezing our asses off up here!" (Washed Out).

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    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"