I haven’t been to a music festival since Warped Tour 2006. I must say, this festival definitely felt better. I don’t miss being slammed among massive amounts of sweaty bodies in 98% humidity in the middle of July in Pittsburgh, PA. However, gone are the days of my ability to spend hours wandering around aimlessly jamming to sweet tunes and semi-moshing with the best of them.
Semi-moshing is when you’re slammed so close together in a crowd at a concert, that any sort of movement that is more than standing still could cause injury to any others around you.
Maybe those days aren’t gone either – they are just in hibernation. I think I could do another 1-2 days of Outside Lands fun before really needed to sleep for days. The second evening was rough, but I feel like I’ve rallied and caught my second wind. Maybe that is just the Blue Bottle coffee talking.
That being said, this weekend at Outside Lands, I was far from disappointed. I purchased my ticket in April/May when they first went on sale and when I actually had money and a job. (Speaking of me not having a job, you should hire me.) I was convinced that I would actually listen to the bands I didn’t know before going so that I would have a better understanding of my schedule.
And then it was the day before the festival and I hadn’t listened to a single new artist or had an idea of what the day to day schedule even looked like.
I crammed a lot of music into 3 days. Some old. Some new. All awesome.
Because I know you all really care about how my festival weekend went, here is the low down on what I witnessed with my aural senses:
We waltzed in just in time to hear the last 30 minutes of Surfer Blood and parked ourselves at the Lands End Stage for Band of Horses. I hadn’t realized how many of their songs I knew. They definitely rocked it.
Paul Fucking McCartney though. I had heard mixed things before going causing me to consider whether or not I wanted to watch his whole set or check out the other stage’s line up. I am definitely glad that I stayed and watched all of Paul McCartney. That man rocked out for a solid 3 hours – no breaks – and it was phenomenal. I think the highlight was when he busted out Live and Let Die (Who isn’t a Bond fan anyway?) complete with massive amounts of fireworks and then followed it up with the masses singing Hey Jude.
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This was my day. The day of all of the bands that I basically bought my ticket for.
Young the Giant was amazing. They played a few new ones that I thoroughly enjoyed and I am excited that they will be releasing an album soon. They also were very close to missing their show as their flight from Vancouver was delayed. Of course they ended with My Body. I was hoisted onto the shoulders of a 6′ something dude and got to watch the amazement that was thousands of people rocking out.
We then bolted over to a different stage to get prepared for my camp out session for the next two and a half hours. We got there just in time for the second half of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. I had never heard of them before, but they definitely are one of my new favorite bands. Her voice and energy were great and the music was definitely up my ally.
And then? TALLEST MAN ON EARTH! He actually is a pretty small man. He has one big stage presence though. He gets so into his music and has such a unique voice. It was stellar. Unfortunately for me, I lost my amazing standing room so close to the stage when I realized I had to bolt to the bathrooms or everyone around me would witness me letting loose in my pants. I could still hear though and it was fantastic.
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Finally the highlight of my day – The Head and the Heart. They were in San Francisco a little over a year and a half ago I think. I found out about their show 2 days before and they were sold out. And then they booked a second night in San Francisco and THAT sold out. Needless to say, I did not make it to either of those shows and I was bitter. We made our way pretty close to the stage and I made a bunch of new friends. They were even more amazing live than they are recorded. I could have listened to another hour of them playing. They have a new album coming out soon, too. I’m very excited about this and am going to tell you right now to go out there and buy it as soon as it comes out.
Then I saw Phoenix. I don’t know them, but their lights were really pretty. They sounded good too. There were many many people watching them. That is all.
Day 2 ended with all of us sitting around my coffee table icing our feet and falling asleep sitting up. That’s what kind of day it was.
This day was full of disappointments. Well really just 2 and my worst porta-potty experience of the festival.
We got there just in time to hear Foals start their set. Not a band I had heart before, but one who I quickly listened to a few key songs. One of my friends that also came to the festival is a fan of their, so he made the essential Foals playlist for me. I am quite a fan now and will definitely add them to my repertoire.
After their little number, we found a nice lawn spot to chill to the magical sounds of Hall & Oates. Everyone needs a bit of that in their life every once in a while.
From here, we headed over to check out one of my new bands discovered before this festival thanks to one of my friends who told me he started listening to them and that I should give them a shot. MS MR has definitely made their way into my heart and onto my ‘New Loves’ playlist. This playlist doesn’t exist yet, but it will. It will be on Spotify. Look for it.
And now we’ve come to disappointment #1 and my porta-potty experience. It actually wasn’t that bad. It was just the first time of the festival where I was TP less and someone had apparently urinated all over the seat. It could definitely have been worse.
Now onto the disappointment. I was pumped to see Matt & Kim. They were my act one day 3. They were the two I woke up for this morning. Somehow either my friend and I managed to find the one pocket where the speakers weren’t giving us what we needed or Matt’s mic was not doing it’s job. I couldn’t hear him. It was the weirdest thing. Some words were loud and clear, but a majority of his singing was just lost in the bass. I stayed for a few songs thinking it would clear up, but no dice. It was still a fun experience and I still love those two, but hopefully next time I can hear Matt sing!
The finale of the weekend was the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I’m not their biggest fan. I know the songs that are their most popular that everyone knows and plays, but beyond that, I don’t know anything. I don’t go out of my way to give them a listen. Not that I don’t appreciate their talent – they just aren’t my favorite. But between them and Kaskade, I knew their stuff and felt that I would enjoy it a bit more. It was very enjoyable. I danced most of the last 2 hours of my time at Outside Lands. The highlight for me? When they busted out Higher Ground.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. One of my favorite movies is Center Stage. I know its not the best movie, but I love it. In one scene the main character goes to a dance class that isn’t Ballet at another studio and the final dance of the class is to Higher Ground and it is awesome. I used to know the whole dance, but now I just know the chorus movements and you better believe I busted them out in front of my friend and all the strangers.
Now for disappointment number 3. The Chili Peppers finished 10 minutes before they were supposed to! Nonsense I tell ya.
The three things I did right this weekend:
Hand Sanitizer. Bringing a roll of TP. Making friendship bracelets to pass out to friends both new and old.
My feet hate me.