Another Outside Lands music fest has officially come and gone from the foggy summer city that is San Francisco. Every year, the three-day music/food/art shit show is held amongst the trees in Golden Gate Park – which also happens to be a mere 15 minute bus ride from home – hello convenience! Nothing’s better than the ability sleep in your own bed after spending an entire exhausting day dancing with and/or being a drunkard in the dirt.
The Outside Lands line up was interesting in that it ranged from Skrillex, to Big Boi, Santigold to Stevie Wonder, Metallica, fun., Jack White, Beck, Passion Pit, Justice and other random bands. While the line up had some serious competition in the form of ‘big name bands,’ There were a slew of bands who performed way beyond expectation, and down right rocked the fuck out. Sure, Metallica had flames bursting from hell on stage, and Skrillex threw down beats from a high-rise space ship for Christ’s sake, but as far as no-thrills go, the Outside Lands underdogs certainly prevailed.
Now I know you’re like, suddenly expecting me to list Washed Out, Tanlines, Explosions in the Sky, Geographer, Tennis and every other indie band that performed (as every other blog will) – They’re great bands and had sweet sets, but to put it simply: they sounded just as they always do. Thee Oh Sees, Sharon Van Etten & Reggie Watts, however, were the undeniable highlight of Outside Lands purely due to their ridiculous raw talent and exceedingly amazing stage presence. hear for yourself:
1. Thee Oh Sees: Wow! Does this band know how to fuckin’ rock it or WHAT? What amazingly energetic, upbeat and pumped-up performers. The San Franciscans’ set was full of garage rock, sweat, spit, body surfing, (look ma!) no-hands beer chugging, guitar slinging, whiplash inducing fun. I also had the pleasure of seeing them for a second time donning black masks after David Cross did a stand up set about colon cleanses. Thee Oh Sees are an absolute must-see if you’re into having a good time and moving your body at a show – hey, some people aren’t.
Thee Oh Sees – Tidal Wave
2. Sharon Van Etten: Not only was Sharon Van Etten‘s voice even more beautifully stunning live, her sarcasm, wit and banter with the audience, and ability to belt out such heart-felt and somber lyrics with a laugh and an occasional “That’s fuckin’ right!” was downright impressive. The Brooklyn indie folk singer gave background stories to each song; some she even mocked (Give Out): “This is a song about moving to NYC for love… You can go ahead and throw up now.” Listen and weep:
Sharon Van Etten – Give Out (found on her 2012 album, Tramp)
Reggie Watts: Standing on stage donning suspenders and his iconic ‘fro, Reggie Watts worked the crowd with his hilarious, yet catchy-as-hell beatbox hip hop set. I swear he had to’ve made everything up on the spot, but it certainly worked in his favor. Reggie Watts combines the best of both comedian and musician worlds by enticing fans with satirical and laugh-inducing lyrics, yet still knows how to throw down some seriously funky beats.
Reggie Watts – Fuck Shit Stack