It’s been three plus days since Outside Lands came to an end and i’ve needed every minute of it to fully recover. This was my first legitimate music festival and it was a lot to take in. With that said, I would do it all over again this weekend if I could. I had so much fun last weekend, not even the total lack of sleep, the nightly struggles of finding my way home, the $9 beers, or the bird that shat in my eye Friday night will keep me from attending next year. And THANK GOD for San Francisco’s signature fog and below normal temps, I don’t think I could’ve survived three days of this with the burning sun and scorching heat. So without further ado, a few of my fondest memories from Outside Lands 2012.
Sigur Rós was the sole reason I purchased tickets this year. Every other band on the bill was an added bonus. I’ve wanted to see Jonsi and company live since my first listen and they did not disappoint one bit. High points: “Hoppípolla”, segued into “Með blóðnasir” and the lovely gals to my left that gave my freezing wife their blanket. Low points: the hour set was not merely enough…but at least I have another reason to see them headline their own tour. Listen to Sigur Rós’ entire set on spotify here.
And though an hour wasn’t enough for Sigur Rós, it was plenty of time to convince me that Jack White is rock incarnate, not to say I wouldn’t have enjoyed a longer set. High points: Kickin’ the set off with Little Willie John’s “I’m Shakin”, wrapping things up with “Catch Hell Blues”, segued into some song called “Seven Nation Army”, and some spot on stage banter — “you’ve all been wonderful and i’ve been Jack White”. Low points: again, the hour set felt too short and I was really hoping for a mini Dead Weather reunion with Alison Mosshart…and I wish I would have been lucky enough to catch his pop-up set in the woodsy food-truck forest [good thing someone put it on youtube]. Listen to Jack’s entire set on spotify here.
Speaking of Alison Mosshart, how f-ing rad are The Kills? Alison, along with Jamie Hince, completely owned the main stage with their minimalist rock and swagger. High points: “Baby Says” and the huge leopard print backdrop. Low points: i had to skip out early to catch Passion Pit, which forced me to miss “The Last Goodbye”, which is probably my personal favorite. Listen to The Kills’ entire set on spotify here.
Passion Pit’s set was one of the most fun. By this time, my little caravan was 10 people deep and everyone was in fantastic mood…which may have been due to the fact that Wine Lands and Beer Camp were on the way to the Twin Peaks stage. High points: I’m pretty sure Gossamer was made to be played live, especially “Take a Walk”. I definitely got my dance on here. Low points: volume was way too low. Listen to Passion Pit’s entire set on spotify here.
While enjoying a delicious, and festival exclusive, “Outside Lands Saison” at Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp, I was able to catch most of Father John Misty’s set. Though it was one of the smaller crowds, it was definitely the most chill and one I enjoyed immensely. High points: “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” is even better live. Low points: my friends got lost in Wine Lands and missed out. Listen to Father John Misty’s entire set on spotify here.
I’ve been a fan of Alabama Shakes ever since I first heard “You Ain’t Alone” and their name was still the Shakes. I knew they were in for a big 2012 and would be a popular show, but I never expected the crazy huge crowd their set attracted. High point: this band deserved to be on the main stage and they proved it. Low point: this band deserved to be on the main stage and they weren’t. Listen to most of Alabama Shakes’ setlist on spotify here.
Regina Spektor was definitely an unexpected treat. Her voice is even more stunning live and was definitely the cutest thing in Golden Gate Park all weekend (other than my lovely wife of course). High points: “On The Radio”, “Fidelity”, the mouth noises for “All the Rowboats”, and taking full advantage of my blanket for the entire hour (thank you Ethel for the blanket recommendation). Low points: honestly, can’t really thing of any, other than missing out on Electric Guest and Amadou & Mariam, the latter of which I heard was one of the best sets throughout the entire festival.
I got to watch Stevie Wonder play music for 2 full hours. My parents haven’t even seen Stevie Wonder live. He was amazing. High points: every single minute of his set. Low points: n/a.
A few more tid bits…
I should’ve eaten way more food. I didn’t even try one of the many delicious offerings until late Sunday night.
This is the second time i’ve seen Zola Jesus live and her voice was just as amazing. Unfortunately, I only caught the second half of her set and completely missed out on Yellow Ostrich. My lucky wife was able to catch a special backstage performance of “Marathon Runner” in one of the VIP areas.
Would’ve loved to see more of Bloc Party’s set, but it was a small price to pay to catch all of Stevie’s 2-hour sing-a-long.
Bummed I skipped out on Washed Out to catch a few minutes of Neil Young. I know, I know, Mr. Young is a rock legend and I’m happy to say I’ve seen him live, but the 2 minutes of Washed Out I did hear were soooo good.
It never crossed my mind to leave Stevie Wonder early for Skrillex, but the mixture of fog and lights over at the Twin Peaks stage were quite enticing. It looked like aliens were invading Tron.
Foo Fighters played “Everlong” and Brendan allowed me to sing-a-long with him.
Turn the volume up at the Twin Peaks stage. Passion Pit and Justice were not nearly loud enough.
And speaking of Justice, their closing set Friday night saved me. I don’t think I would’ve made it home that night without the energy I got from their set.
And last, but certainly not least, BIG THANKS to everybody that had anything to do with making Outside Lands a reality. I’ll see you next year.