Day 2 at Outside Lands is in the books and I feel like absolute shit right now. Consumption was a big part of my day on Saturday, and although I am quite proud of myself for actually eating something; the only thing I put in my body on Saturday that wouldn’t make my grandma blush was a plate of nachos and some sloppy saucy pulled pork goodness. Maybe you get away with that sort of behavior when you’re younger, but at a certain point, we all pay motherfuckers.
With my heart’s fondest intent, I blame the fluidity of my concert-going schedule on Saturday. I had several great bands that I wanted to see, but I also had really good backup options in case I wanted to, you know, take a shot of Fernet and dance weird in front of strangers, instead of trekking it across the park. I chose dancing and booze most of the time.
The sun peaked on occasion, but for the most part it was an oddly humid but appropriately overcast day in the park. That part is barely news; Coachella has their heat, Lolla has the rain, Outside Lands has the fog and the mist. What is exciting, however, is the sunshine and blue skies above San Francisco as I write this, teasing us with hopes of an amazing Day 3 at Outside Lands.
I was really excited about seeing Fantastic Negrito and dancing around with all the people I came with. Although our timing was perfect, Fantastic Negrito was unable to perform for some unknown reason at the time, but what we later found out was that he was arrested and detained for some Craigslist ticket scam that his intern was a part of. Here’s the story from SF Gate. I don’t have it in my right now to make any sort of social commentary, just seems kinda fucked. Perhaps there’s more to come.
Cold War Kids
Most of the people I was with wanted to see Cold War Kids, I could have gone either way, but hey, fluidity, right? I was a little further back because of the group and all, but it was the first time I noticed how much better the sound is on the Lands End Stage, even when you’re a little further back. I also tried feeding an edible to a coworker (unsuccessfully) who I haven’t ever really partied with, so that was pretty cool by me.
Brings it, but doesn’t quite have enough to really own that big stage. He played the hits, danced with myself and even his new stuff is surprisingly (maybe?) not terrible. Just can’t help thinking he would have been better suited at a smaller stage.
Kind of a victim of awful timing, these guys didn’t really have a chance. Plucked right between Billy Idol and Tame Impala, most fans seemed to choose one or the other; so I went with Milky Chance. Ben and I have argued over this, and despite his comparison to the Beatles(!), Tame Impala just doesn’t make it move for me. So I opted for Milky Chance and although I had a great time imbibing and doin my little two-step, the sound quality coming from stage left made me feel like a bit of a wallflower at the welcome back dance rather part of the experience.
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
Keeping with the theme of festival flexibility on Day 2, not only did I stay to check out Ben Harper, but the group I was with was down to get up close and be a part of the music. Ben Harper is crazy talented and writes beautiful amazing songs, it’s just a shame that chill-bro frat boys adopted his music as their unofficial playlist for mid-day shirts-off beer pong and barbeques. Well, whatever, you can’t choose your fans unless you’re Dave Chappelle and want to move to Africa for a while. Anyway, Ben Harper was actually much better than I expected and seeing him live in a park is probably exactly how he is meant to be heard.
One of the best performers of Day 2, K-Dot has really ascended into that upper echelon of rappers circling the throne, waiting to pounce. Although it should be mentioned that he went on a good 10-15 minutes after his scheduled set time, which didn’t seem to bother too many people, but at these festivals I think he needs to remember that not everyone there is a diehard and some of the people there are just trying to see what all the hype is about. Shaving time off your set doesn’t do much to win those fans over. On to what matters most; Kendrick Lamar spits hot fire. So if you had never heard a single song of his, the lyrical aptitude is impressive enough to make anyone notice. Except Kendrick also has a catalog with two rap album of the year-caliber releases and the charisma and confidence to have a festival crowd hanging on his every word. Even an emphatic mention of the new Dr. Dre album had everyone looking around like, “Dre, DRE! Is this forreal.” Alas, no Dre, but Kendrick has that kind of power to have you believing every word he says.