Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival 08/13/11
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito
With plenty of bands I wanted to catch spread across Golden Gate Park for the Saturday section of the 2011 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, you could compare my experience to that of a pinball. I bounced from stage to stage (and porta-potty to porta-potty) all day catching bits of performances from as many artists as I could.
The Greyboy All Stars
The All-Stars were rocking the main stage as we arrived at the festival. I managed to catch the final two songs. Not bad, but jam bands with horns have never been my thing. At least I can cross them off the list.
Some of our pals from the Pacific Northwest recently caught Starfucker (STRFKR) and shared that it was a good show. Taking their word my pals and I headed over to the Twin Peaks stage to check them out. Knowing that there would be no light show, I had hoped that the band would not disappoint my pals, but that was not to be the case. It’s not that STRFKR sucked as much as I assumed it would be something radically different. The dance/electronica elements were there, but my impression was the band had more bite. I am not a huge fan of the Weezer/Jimmy Eat World pop-emo sound which is a very large part of STRFKR’s sound. The band (who all looked as if they are not old enough to legally purchase alcohol in the United States) does what they do well, sounded tight and pleased a large number of fans as the fog burned off above the park. However, STRFKR simply isn’t my cup of tea.
The 2010 World Series Trophy
Not feeling STRFKR, my pals and I decided to check out the Sports Tent in search of when the Minnesota Vikings would be making their first pre-season appearance. It was around that time that the mighty Jerko texted me with the news that the World Series Trophy was on display. As a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan that has spent the last decade in Los Angeles this was a big f’n deal. Unable to drive to San Luis Obispo or Scottsdale, AZ for the trophy tour this was my once in a lifetime chance to get my photo with the World Series gold. When it comes to Outside Lands 2011, the trophy was the second coolest thing I saw all weekend (Phish of course being the coolest). Thank you Outside Lands for bringing the trophy to the park.
Any women who requests the seed of men from the crowd with the promise to send the child in the post 9 months later is A—OK in my book. While I doubt I will run to my local Best Buy and pick up her latest compact disc, the three songs I caught were good. She has a pretty voice, colorful appearance and a great sense of humor.
Technically didn’t see them, but could hear a solid chunk of the set as I ate a delicious Shrimp Po’ Boy. What I heard only pumped me up for the chance to see them next month at the Hollywood Bowl. It appears the rumors are true, much like Phish these cats are all about the live show versus studio albums.
I have been on an Old 97’s kick the past 18 months. I was shocked to see just how empty the Sutro Stage was for their late afternoon appearance. After watching four songs, I think I know why. The band was boring and seemed as if they didn’t really want to be there. At least I got to see “Lonely Holiday” live in between songs from their recent album The Grand Theatre, Volume 2.
The Black Keys
Hitting the main stage and seeing 55,000 people waiting for The Black Keys answered the question as to where everyone was for the Old 97’s. I was stoked to see the sons of Akron, Ohio, but it was clear that would not be the case. At SIXfootONE I usually have no issue seeing at shows. Yet the closest I could get was about ¼ of a mile away from the stage. With a bright sun setting behind the stage and many objects in the way I had to jump to catch just a glimpse of the duo. While the sound where I was left a lot to be desired, I did manage to catch the group kick out tasty jams including “Thickfreakness” and “Next Girl” before heading over to catch The Roots.
My main partner in crime this weekend is a huge fan of The Roots. They were his can’t miss act of the weekend. Since he hung with me for both sets of Phish, I could at least return the favor and check out The Roots with him. I am glad I did as they put on a phenomenal show. The energy over at the Twin Peaks stage was intense as ?uestlove and friends bashed out jams (often without stopping) from their entire catalogue. The only original I knew the title of was “The Seed” but that didn’t stop me from dancing my ass off, especially when the group busted out covers by Guns ‘n’ Roses and Led Zeppelin.
Warren Haynes Band
No disrespect to Matt Abts, but I have always felt that Gov’t Mule was Warren Haynes Band. I was curious what would make this different. As it turns out, horns. As we just learned, I am not really into horn driven jam bands. Walking up towards the end of the set, Haynes and company were mid jam on the song “Invisible.” Sadly with Muse having just hit the main stage a few hundred yards away the sound from the Sutro stage suffered. The group closed their set with the Haynes classic “Soulshine.” I had a feeling this would end the show and I was glad that I was right as it’s a great song.
Had I not seen Muse two weeks earlier (and last fall for that matter) I would have secured a sweet spot for their set after The Black Keys had finished. But with Girl Talk playing across the park I decided to skip Muse this time. I did walk past as they played “Hysteria” to a packed Polo Field. All of my pals who saw Muse loved them, but felt the Oakland show last fall was a superior performance.
I know some folks love Girl Talk and I know some folks hate Girl Talk. As someone who is clueless about DJ dance trance electro world, my knowledge of Girl Talk is that he gets up there and basically mashes up other people’s hits while a bunch of barely legal girls high on ecstasy dance around on stage. As someone with severe ADHD, it sounded like a sweet concept and I am glad to report that I was correct. I managed to catch about 45 minutes of Gregg Michael Gillis’ set and it was the most fun I had all day (well, except for the World Series trophy). I mean who knew that Nirvana and Belinda Carlisle sounded so good together? While I don’t know if I would pay to see a headline performance, with constant stimulation via an ever changing soundscape (and not to mention killer light show) Girl Talk was not only the right choice for me, but a fun way to wrap day two at Outside Lands.