Outside Lands – San Francisco, CA  8/28 – 8/30 Outside Lands – San Francisco, CA 8/28 – 8/30

Outside Lands - San Francisco, CA 8/28-8/30

Outside Lands - San Francisco, CA 8/28-8/30

If you’ve been to one of these festivals before, you know, that although you’d love to see every great band there, its impossible. Don’t even try; it’s just dumb. The reality is, you’re going to have to make some tough decisions and compromises; a band you’re kinda into vs. a band you’ve heard good things about. Getting a veggie burger vs. getting a good spot for the headliner. Seeing a band just so you can talk to a girl a little longer vs. grabbing a beer with your buddies. Serious decision making. But variety, eh? Kinda cool.

Outside Lands 2009
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco, CA
Day 1
(Note: started the day off with a Top 10 all-time hangover – probably got too drunk the night before)

Silversun Pickups:
I was not really into them going in, and hadn’t really planned on seeing them but they just happened to be playing the main stage as I walked in. I decided to lend them my ear as I got my bearings and got my shit settled, and wow, color me impressed, Im a fan. The band rocked hard despite the singer’s girlish-sounding voice and drew a rather large crowd for the time of day.

The National:
The brunch of rock bands. A lot of blanket-sitting, wine-drinking, hand-holding and longing looks among the well-dressed 20-30 crowd. This is definitely a “Russ Band”; British, slightly effeminate, with hints of 80’s coming of age movie.

Q-Tip or Incubus? That’s a no-brainer. I feel sorry for everyone who missed Phife Dawg joining Q-Tip halfway through his set for an unannounced Tribe reunion. You blew it. I heard some dude call him “The Black Elvis” only to have his buddy correct him and say “Isn’t that James Brown”? They both agreed and they settled on calling Q-Tip “Our generations James Brown.” Q-Tip is a great energy guy and really one of the biggest crowd pleasers at the festival.

Tom Jones:
Is women throwing their panties at Tom Jones a “thing”?

Pearl Jam:
I’m not a big Pearl Jam fan, but was giving them the “in 20 years ill probably want to be able to say I’ve seen them” treatment. When Eddie Vedder walked out and greeted the crowd with a simply stated “Lets get it on”…it was indeed time to do just that. Pearl Jam was everything you’d expect; hard rocking, sing-alongs, guitar solos. Good stuff.

Day 2
(Note: No hangover to start the day off – good! Heavy pre-festival drinking – better!)

Portugal. The Man:
Sounded, ok, but it was hard to ignore the fact that the singer had his back to the crowd the whole time. Kinda weird.

If Outside Lands was a reality show, Mastadon would be sent home. No crowd connection, very generic sounding and seem to take themselves way too serious. Maybe they sound better on their albums, but they just sounded like a shitty local metal band.

OS Mutantes:
I don’t remember anything about OS Mutantes.

Black Eyed Peas:
I’m sorry TV on the Radio, but when a pretty girl takes you by the arm and says “lets go to the front”; you go.

The Mars Volta:
I don’t know what I was expecting here, but it was either The Mars Volta or Dave Matthews Band. I think I chose wisely…I think.

Day 3
(Note: feeling very unhealthy, a little banged up and sober as the pope.)

Cage the Elephant:
In my opinion, bands with one of the very first sets of the day can go one of two ways; you can play the mellow hits to appease the crowd nursing their collective 2-day hangover as they file in, or you can go at it like you’re headlining the end of the world. As far as I’m concerned, you could not rock the 12:45pm – 1:30pm timeslot any harder. The band was into it, the crowd very into it…this was what festivals are all about.

Never really got the hand-waving festival stuff going on, but gave a little kid a boombox and brought Brother Ali on stage. That was cool. Atmosphere did a song that I’d never heard and can’t figure out for the life of me what it’s called. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since, and it’s been killing me for weeks.

The Dead Weather:
Rock and Roll. Jack White. Chick Singer. Check it out live.

Modest Mouse:
Modest Mouse has always been a “I heard they suck live” band. Fuck people – I thought they were pretty damn good.

Everyone I talked to throughout the weekend was looking forward to seeing M.I.A. What I think they really meant was, “Im looking forward to hearing that one cool gunshot song.” I was disappointed, and it seemed like a good majority of the people there to see M.I.A. were a little let down as well. I’ve never seen so many people try to reverse the M.I.A. over Ween decision so quickly. Sorry M.I.A., it looked like you were having fun.

Band of Horses:
Tried my best to listen on my way out. Sorry dudes, I’m exhausted by the end of Day 3.

3 Responses about “Outside Lands – San Francisco, CA 8/28 – 8/30”

  • Russell says:

    “Definitely a Russ Band” HAHA thanks for the shoutout bro. Very enjoyable read, its a lil’ late but better than never. I like the modest mouse review.

  • Heather says:

    Great summary! You got it all right..except for the part about Black Eyed Peas. By following that girl you missed the greatest show of the whole festival. TV on the Radio rocked that stage and they should have been given the final two hour set on Saturday night.

    Ditto on Modest Mouse. I’ve always heard they suck live but they sounded great.

    Oh, and I’ll admit that Incubus ended up being quite the guily pleasure!

  • Charles says:

    God, Mastodon sucks. SO bad. SOOOOOOOOO BAAAAAAAD! FUCK! Seriously. If I wanted to listen to Rush, I’d fucking listen to Rush. And I NEVER want to listen to Rush.