This past weekend, I attended the tenth anniversary of the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco. Two years ago, I bought a one-day pass and it was so much fun! After they released the lineup for this year, I pounced on my ticket as soon as I could: Lorde, Solange, The Avett Brothers, Young The Giant, Fleet Foxes? Sign me up! I put together a quick recap and a playlist of songs, old and new, that I heard over the weekend. Scroll to the bottom to listen or click here to hear my favorite Outside Lands tunes.
Grace Mitchell / Electric Guest / Sleigh Bells / Belle and Sebastian / Fleet Foxes / Gorillaz / alt-J
Grace Mitchell was my first act; I only knew one of her songs (barely) but her performance was so fun! As for Electric Guest, I happen to love a few of their songs, and listened to them beforehand. They were not at all what I was expecting them to look like. However, it was fun to hear some of my favorite songs performed live. I only attended Sleigh Bell‘s set to hear ‘Infinity Guitars’, but they are really fun to watch regardless. Everyone around me was banging their head to the heavy beats. I caught the end of Belle and Sebastian‘s set; their second to last song ended up with almost half of the crowd dancing on the stage!
The band I was most excited to see, by far, was Fleet Foxes. They are one of my favorite bands and I have wanted to see them live for years. I practically almost cried throughout the entire set, and when they ended with “Helplessness Blues” I felt my heart grow three sizes. Also, Robin Pecknold looked fine up close.
The two closers for the night were Gorillaz (the headliner) and alt-J. After struggling internally for a long time to figure out which to see, I decided to go back and forth between the two and it worked out splendidly. I heard every Gorillaz song I wanted to hear (save for one, but I guess they never played it anyways), and I heard the bridge of “Breezeblocks” (my favorite!).
Joseph / Dawes / Vance Joy / Cage the Elephant / The Avett Brothers / Metallica
My mom bought a one-day pass for Saturday and we had so much fun together! We missed the first few songs in Joseph‘s setlist, but I had seen them before so I wasn’t too upset. Hearing them sing my favorite songs brought tears to my eyes. After their set, we had about 4 hours to kill before our next ‘must-see’ act. We walked around and stumbled on Joseph performing a more intimate set on a smaller stage.
There were two bands set to perform before our next ‘must-see’, the first being Dawes. Personally, I had never heard of them, but their music was nice to listen to. I really liked their second to last song, “When My Time Comes”. My mom and I spotted a little boy sitting on his dad’s shoulders singing along and our hearts melted. The second act was Vance Joy, who I didn’t care too much about seeing, but my mom enjoyed his set. I left my mom and headed to see Cage The Elephant perform a few songs. Surprisingly, their performance (even though I only saw a half hour) was my favorite. Every song was electrifying; I could have stayed for the whole thing.
I hurried back to my mom just before The Avett Brothers started their set. They are my mom’s favorite band; she has seen them seven times and I have seen them twice now. I could see them over and over again and they would still surprise me. Everyone loved them so much that our cheers for an encore coaxed them back on the stage for one more song! After their set, we watched Metallica for a couple of songs before heading home for the day.
Lee Fields & The Expressions / Jacob Banks / Maggie Rogers / Bleachers / Young The Giant / Lorde / The Who / Solange
Obviously, I loved getting to experience the festival with my mom, but music-wise, Sunday had the most for me. I arrived when the gates opened, but I had three hours until my first ‘must-see’. I met up with a coworker while watching Lee Fields & The Expressions. We headed to a new stage and watched Jacob Banks, a soul singer from London. He performed a cover of “Put Your Records On” so I have to give him props.
Luckily, my first set was on the same stage so I stuck around until Maggie Rogers came on stage. I have always been a huge fan of hers; I remember when she only had one song released and I had it on repeat for all of last summer. After her set, I hurried over to hear the end of Bleacher‘s performance. It worked out perfectly because he performed the song I wanted to hear at the very end. Once his set ended, I pushed and fought my way further to the front to see Young the Giant perform. Like Fleet Foxes, I have wanted to see them for years now and they did not disappoint.
Lorde (my queen) performed right afterwards. This was my third time seeing her live, but my first time hearing her perform songs from Melodrama. I was shocked to see her incorporate dancers into her performance, but she can do anything so it fit her. She performed Hard Feelings for the first time live, which was such an amazing experience. Jack Antonoff from Bleachers came out for a Paul Simon cover, and I danced with strangers all the way through her set.
I took a breather during The Who‘s performance, and listened to a few of their famous hits. After “My Generation”, I met up with a couple of friends for a bit before walking to Solange‘s stage. I had only seen photos of her performances but seeing her live was surreal. She hit the highest note effortlessly at the end of “Cranes in the Sky” and her dancing got the entire crowd moving. Her set was the perfect way to end my Outside Lands experience.
If you want to hear all my favorite songs from my Outside Lands weekend, listen below or click here.