After a Caltrain to Millbrae, a BART to Civic Center and a bus to the outskirts of Golden Gate Park, I finally made it to Outside Lands. Just getting there was an adventure. All of this public transportation was made easy by Catherine’s (Managing Editor of News) Clipper Card, a rechargeable card that works on all Bay Area transportation. It was very useful … until I lost it.
Anyway, the first thing I did when I got to the park was eat something. The lines only get longer as the day goes on and you can’t appreciate any sort of music on an empty stomach. (You’ll see some of my food photography on this blog later today.)
Then I went straight away to witness Speedy Ortiz, a little rock band from Massachusetts. They sound the same live as they do on Spotify.
After Speedy Ortiz, I had to make it over to Leon Bridges to check out some classic soul sounds. He didn’t move much, his set was mellow. The tenor saxophonist Jeff Dazey, however, played some killer solos and stole the show. As soon as all of the photographers were kicked out of the photo pit (due to the three-song rule, Google it). Bridges continued the mellow tone and started to play “Pull Away” from his only recorded album “Coming Home.”
Between Speedy Ortiz and Leon Bridges, I got to hear Lake Street Drive on the main stage. From what I could tell, they rocked, and I missed them. One of the things about music festivals is that sets overlap so you find yourself making tough decisions about which ones you see. Maybe my idea to focus on the less popular bands playing on the secondary stages was flawed. Maybe they’re not on the main stage for a reason—they’re just not very good. But then I saw The Revivalists.
The Revivalists are a seven-man rock group from New Orleans. They brought more energy to the stage than all of the other acts I saw combined. And the people of Outside Lands could tell as well. What started off as a handful of listeners grew and grew as their set went on and on. This is the one band I stayed to listen to after the 3 songs were up. I don’t think their recorded work does them justice, it doesn’t convey their tremendous energy and enthusiasm. Check out “Stand Up” on “Men Amongst Mountains.”
Now to Lindsey Stirling. She jumps around a lot, shows off her flexibility, and plays a mean rocking electric violin. It would have been a great spectacle to capture on camera, except the stage was three times higher than a stage should be.
Last up was the four-piece rock group hailing from North London, Wolf Alice. I have a soft spot for British rock bands. Their lights were also really cool, and unlike most bands, they let me shoot more than their first three songs which is always a plus.
Stay tuned for more Outside Lands! I promise I’ll stay until the music ends this time.