I’m too lazy think of something to write about right now so I figured I would just make a list of all the bands I’ve seen at Outside Lands. In case you don’t know, Outside Lands is a three-day music and arts festival held annually in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. I live two blocks away from Golden Gate Park. I’m pretty much required to go and so I do. It’s a three-day festival in my backyard. How can I not go?
The first Outside Lands was in 2008. That was a long time ago so I can’t remember all the bands that I saw, but I remember seeing Beck, Dredg, Matt Nathanson, Steve Winwood, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Wilco, and all three main headliners: Radiohead, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and Jack Johnson.
In 2009 I saw Incubus, Tom Jones, Silversun Pickups, the National, Black Eyed Peas, The Mars Volta, M.I.A., Modest Mouse, Matt & Kim, Atmosphere, Ween, and the three main headliners again: Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, and Tenacious D. The Beastie Boys were supposed to be Sunday’s headliner but MCA got cancer and they were replaced by Tenacious D. Jack Black and K.G. put on a hell of a show, but that was my only chance to ever see the Beastie Boys.
Ok, so I might have lied earlier when I said that I’ve been to every Outside Lands because I didn’t buy tickets the third year because of various reasons. I was supposed to work that entire weekend but somehow got Sunday off. I celebrated by going to Golden Gate Park with some friends that night and listened to Kings of Leon’s set. We were on the wrong side of the fence, but I kinda sorta consider that as going to Outside Lands. Anyway, I learned from my mistake and vowed to never do that again.
In 2011 I saw Phantogram, Foster the People, MGMT, Phish, OK Go, Arctic Monkeys, the Black Keys, and Muse. I didn’t like Sunday’s lineup so I sold the ticket to a friend. I kind of regret it.
I kept my 2012 guide so I know exactly who I saw and when I saw them. 8/10/2012 was a Friday and I started the day by watching Tanlines, then Fitz and the Tantrums, Beck (again), Foo Fighters, and ended the night with Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Saturday began with Geographer, followed by Alabama Shakes, Big Boi, Passion Pit, and finished with Metallica. Sunday’s first set was Allen Stone, then fun., Franz Ferdinand, Regina Spektor, Santigold, Bloc Party, and it concluded with Stevie Wonder.
2013’s OSL rolled around and I saw Band of Horses, the National, Zedd, and Paul McCartney on Friday. I saw Social Studies, Atlas Genius, Young the Giant, Jurassic 5, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a little bit of Nine Inch Nails, and then Phoenix on Saturday. On Sunday I saw Foals, Daryl Hall & John Oates (and yes, they did play “Maneater”), A-Trak, Matt & Kim (again), and closed the weekend with Red Hot Chili Peppers.
I misplaced my 2014 guide, but I know that I saw Aer, Bleachers, Holy Ghost! Chromeo, Disclosure, The Kooks, Local Natives, Haim, Death Cab for Cutie, Imelda May, Flume, Spoon, and Kanye West, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (again), and The Killers.
Don’t worry though, I have my 2015 guide so I can tell you that on Friday, 8/7/2015 I saw the Family Crest, Lake Street Dive, Lindsey Sterling, Glass Animals, RL Grime, Chet Faker, Porter Robinson, and Mumford & Sons. On Saturday I saw Misterwives, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Cold War Kids, Toro y Moi, Tame Impala, Classixx, and Kendrick Lamar. On Sunday I saw Shakey Graves, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, DJ Mustard, Odesza, Sam Smith, Caribou, and Elton John.
Outside Lands is a big part of my life. I look forward to it every year. I will blindly buy a ticket before they announce the lineup. It doesn’t matter who is playing. I love discovering bands that I haven’t heard before. I love finding out how popular bands sound live. I love seeing living legends like Paul McCartney and Elton John take the stage. I love forming temporary friendships with the random festival-goers around me, passing joints and sharing booze while killing time before the next set starts. I’m all about living life and Outside Lands is one of those places where I feel truly alive.
Critically Rated at 16/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young