A week ago today, I was at the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco. I’m only writing about it now because, well, it took me a day, or seven, to properly process everything I felt, saw, tasted, smelled, and heard. So here it is: Outside Lands 2016 (Abridged Version).
To preface my super crazy fun festival weekend, I should mention that I went to Outside Lands alone this year. Well, ok, not alone, I met up with a bunch of different people everyday and made lots of new friends, but I didn’t have a safety blanket friend to show up to the park with. Actually, it’s funny, I found a meet-up group on Facebook and thought, why not? It wasn’t a conscious decision per se. I had plans to go with a friend, but she ditched last minute and it was so much work asking around to see who else was going, that I just decided it would be easier and more fun to make friends there. That being said, because I was alone over the weekend, I got to do everything that I wanted to do, without having to make decisions as a group or spend time trying to find my friends in the crowd. It was arguably (read: definitely) better than going with “friends.”
Friday: Wet, St. Lucia, Miike Snow, Duran Duran, LCD Soundsystem
On Friday, I saw Wet, St. Lucia, Miike Snow, Duran Duran, and LCD Soundsystem. Wet sounded exactly the same as their recordings and Kelly Zutrau was wearing all white. A bold choice, given the gross, muddy wasteland that Golden Gate Park becomes over the weekend. I had no idea what St. Lucia looked like (the band, not the place) until I saw them live. Miike Snow did not look how I imagined them to look. I assumed they would all look like Avicii, but they were all men if that makes sense. Duran Duran were INCREDIBLE. John Taylor is HOT. LCD Soundsystem was hilarious. I was in the very front which meant that I got pushed and shoved through their whole set, which was maybe my favorite part of Outside Lands? A guy who was on drugs who claimed that he worked at Apple said he would “text me if he remembered my number tomorrow.” I told him I didn’t give him my number, and he said “what? You want me to make sure?” And he pulled out his phone so I gave him a fake number. Aren’t music festivals fun? I hope he doesn’t actually work at Apple.
— The Sympathizer (@thesympathizr) August 6, 2016
Saturday: The Wombats, Lord Huron, Big Grams, Radiohead
On Saturday, I saw The Wombats, Lord Huron, Big Grams, Air, and Radiohead. The Wombats were really fun and they brought a dog onto the stage, so obviously they make it really high up there on the list of best acts. Lord Huron was incredible as always. I ate a buffalo chicken sandwich while watching their set so that was really good too. Big Grams was ok. Big Boi was dressed in camo from head to toe and the whole time I was wondering if he ever spent time in the armed forces. Air was a dream. Radiohead, well, they were incredible, from what I could tell. 10 minutes into their set, the tallest man in all of San Francisco with a top knot stacked high on his head, decided to stand right in front of me and sway along to the music. I could say that I saw Radiohead, but more accurately I saw the back of a head.
Sunday: Oh Wonder, Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem (AKA The Muppets), Third Eye Blind, Chance the Rapper, Major Lazer AND LIONEL RICHIE
On Sunday, I saw Oh Wonder, Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem (AKA The Muppets), Third Eye Blind, Chance the Rapper, Major Lazer, and Lionel Richie. Oh Wonder were cute as hell. Josephine looks like an American girl doll that came to life. The Muppets actually covered a lot of good songs, and were hilarious. They were also all wearing Birkenstocks which was really appropriate. Third Eye Blind were really great, except I’m pretty sure almost everyone in the crowd was there waiting for Chance the Rapper and Major Lazer to go on. Not to judge a book by its cover, but the boy with the “Sun’s Out, Guns Out” tank and the plethora of HUF socks I saw seemed indicative of a white-people-who-like-rap kind of audience. Third Eye Blind were all wearing black on the one day it was gorgeous out, and Stephan Jenkins was wearing something that can only be described as a garbage bag.
wow chance was incredible :') pic.twitter.com/tho8A2dzRb
— The Sympathizer (@thesympathizr) August 8, 2016
Chance the Rapper went on late and ended his set early, which was funny considering that his fans were probably lined up at the stage waiting for him the longest. His music is incredible, but his fans were pretty awful. There were a lot of white people there who seemed to think that Chance’s music was telling their story and speaking their truth, which was cringeworthy to say the least. Major Lazer was hilarious. They literally would press play and then be out on the stage throwing whistles and towels into the crowd. Diplo got in a big blow up ball and crowd surfed like a white hamster, and a bunch of girls had their numbers written on slips of paper to hand to anyone that seemed like they could get it to Diplo. (Sidenote on Diplo: is it just me or is he the most average looking white guy ever? I don’t get it.) But Major Lazer was really really fun. Like really. But not as fun as LIONEL RICHIE. God, that man can sing. He was incredible. And his guitarist was really cute. He sang “We Are The World” and the crowd lost it. Even my parents were at home watching the live stream, texting me about it.
omfg Lionel just chugged a glass of wine while everyone cheered 😂
he def was in a classy frat
— The Sympathizer (@thesympathizr) August 8, 2016
Overall, the weekend was, like I said, really fun and the only disappointment, if any, was that I didn’t catch any Pokémon in the park.
See you at Outside Lands 2017!