Outside Lands 2011 – Day 1 Photos Outside Lands 2011 – Day 1 Photos

Outside Lands 2011 Coverage
OSL Day 1 Pictures and Review
OSL Day 2 Pictures and Review
OSL Day 3 Pictures and Review

Words By Ryan Rowe / Photos By Ben Irwin

Day 1 of any music festival is going to be a little of some stuff and hopefully a lot of others. A little disorienting, a little overwhelming, a little exploratory; and a lot of anticipation, nervous excitement and remembering why you love this shit – or not. You’ll also get lost from your friends. But the hope is you get to see the bands and artists you came to see, remember why you fell in love with them in the first place; and hopefully fall in love with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah without even expecting it. And once you’ve survived Day 1 – Day 2 awaits your festival savvy, confidence and new-found badassery. Time to rock.



Maybe the first thing you need to accept in the festival experience is that you will miss at least one band you really wanted to see. So despite narrowly missing Joy Formidable, Phantogram was our first band of the day, and really, upon reflection, maybe the most impressive. The band from up-state New York opened with something slightly moody but wasted no time kicking hard beats for Sutro Stage crowd. I couldn’t help thinking the singer looked like Michelle Pfeiffer from Scarface, which, depending how you interpret it, may or may not be an overwhelming compliment, but I assure you, I mean it in the best way possible. Also, couldn’t help but think which artist in the hip hop world I’d like to see lay some rhymes over Phantogram’s popping beats. Q-Tip? Gift of Gab? Kid Cudi? I’d love to see a collaboration in the future.

Phantogram Pictures – Outside Lands Day 1

Foster The People

Is Foster The People the summer “it” band? When I hear things from crushing press girls like “Oh my god, all the girls in my office love you guys”; I think the answer is overwhelmingly, Yes. So good on you, you have the album of the summer, girls bro’ing down over how much they love you and now the summer festival circuit. Your job, Foster The People, is to live up to the hype. And you know what, don’t listen to the haters. Foster The People really rocked their crowd and I genuinely had a good time. This may have been the time of the day where most of my scumbag tendencies emerged from that backpack I brought, but that drummer hits hard and I know these songs and I don’t care who you are, if you cover Say It Ain’t So by Weezer, I’m gonna sing my brains out.

Foster The People – Pictures – Outside Lands Day 1


I couldn’t figure out what it was about MGMT that made it seem like such a dead crowd. Whatever it is, I think most festival crowds aren’t here to listen to the deep cuts and b-sides – unless you’re Phish I guess. But really, MGMT didn’t bring any wrinkles or nuances you don’t hear on any one of their albums. I hate to say it, but maybe MGMT isn’t a festival band?

MGMT – Pictures – Outside Lands Day 1

Big Boi

The biggest non-story, story, non-story of the day; Big Boi killed it. And not in the good way. After waiting for over an hour with little acknowledgment from anyone in camp Big Boi, we decided to stay and hopefully make the photos worth the wait, but what we got instead was technical difficulties and a lot of nothing. Oh yeah, and Dave Chappelle. In town to play the Shoreline the following day, Chappelle, who had been spotted throwing a few back with the not incarcerated or detained Big Boi backstage, came out to the give the patiently waiting San Francisco crowd a few thank you’s before grandly stating “Ladies and Gentleman, Dave Chappelle’s first beach ball party.” Thanks Dave, but your boy just totally killed my Outside Lands boner. Way to NOT rock the house.

Big Boi – Pictures – Outside Lands Day 1

Best Coast

Whats one less than shocked? Well, I was that for Best Coast. I loved how well they sounded, I loved the crowd, I loved their energy. The lighting maybe wasn’t great for a dusk-time, tree-lined Golden Gate Park evening, but I couldn’t help but feeling like we had stumbled on the best kept secret at that very moment.

Best Coast – Pictures – Outside Lands Day 1

The Shins

Say what you will about The Shins style of vagina-core, garden-state-y dream rock; they definitely packed the house. The shit was packed and semi-uncomfortable for a band I kinda didn’t care about. I’m guessing this was one of those times where two bands with very little cross-over interest, playing at the same time, creates a very one-or-the-other divide that’ll flood an area that should have a bit more fluidity. Nevertheless, The Shins sounded exactly how The Shins sound, which is fine, I guess, if you’re there to hold hands, but really just not very captivating. They did have some glimpses though. Which, I suppose is a major challenge if you’re in the band called The Shins – finding the balance between playing that one song from that one (insert: movie, comercial, show) for the folks there for just that, or create unique, genuine experiences for all the other live-music fans.

The Shins – Pictures – Outside Lands Day 1

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