As long as you're prepared, the cold was great. It did not rain, so all you needed to do was wear layers. On Friday, I did not bring a warm enough sweater, so I was freezing by the time Neil Young was on, but I learned my lesson and brought a warmer sweater the next two days. And a big scarf. And gloves.
4th time back to Outside Lands and I'll be back for more next year. Didn't have quite the amazing time as I did last year but it's still a fantastic fest right in my backyard. I have to echo the "best sets are the ones you're close for" and was annoyed by the damn talkers and wasted college assholes. That's not enough to ruin my experience though.
Friday was okay, nearly everyone I saw felt a little flat with the exception of Die Antwoord. Never in a million years would I thought I'd say that but it's true, I loved that damn performance. It's so bizarre and unlike anything else I enjoy but it was truly entertaining and a great time. I was excited for Justice after being mesmerized by this years' Coachella week 2 show but I didn't end up getting that close and suffered from not so great sound and being surrounded by awful audience members. People were making out literally on top of me.
Started Saturday off with Tame Impala. Wasn't quite their Coachella performance, but it was good. They seemed like a pro band that has been doing it for a long time, and it felt at home in San Francisco. Next up Portugal the Man, and again, good not great. I've seen them a ton of times now and I guess it just works better in the dark with lasers and a heavier tone. I'm sure it was still impressive for people getting to see them for the first time though. Wandered over to the Sutro and saw the giant Alabama Shakes crowd before getting up real close for Grandaddy who were pretty awesome, sounded about as good as possible. Later that night I saw Sigur Ros and was in a good spot where the sound was excellent. The first song, I Gaer, was probably my favorite moment of the fest. Right when Jonsi sings the first line in that song... it was so incredible being in that foggy forest.
Got a real late start to Sunday, we ended up walking over to the park as Regina Spektor was playing. I've always been pretty fond of Regina and it was a really nice setting for her and people seemed to be digging it. Got situated for Jack White and he was pretty great. First time seeing him and his stage presence is undeniable. Loved nearly all of the songs, would've liked to hear some more White Stripes' stuff but the fact that it was mostly new didn't bring the set down. Wish I would've seen that impromptu performance with the girl band. Saw Stevie play for 20 minutes then went with some buddies to see Skrillex who I thought put on a really good show. See you next year OSL!
Listening to a 1978 Neil boot from SF... loving it. Anyone know where I can find his OSL set? Or any sets for that matter... I haven't really checked around, but I figured I'd ask.
Neil Young was undoubtedly the best set of the weekend. Tame Impala was great whenever dude wasn't singing. And according to Jennie, they're the least attractive band she's ever seen. Astute observation. They can really rock, though. Wish I had seen Grandaddy, Big Boi was so disappointing due to incredibly bad & quiet sound. Metallica was so fucking awesome. Watched the first bit, then ran to Sigur Ros to have my face melted off, then ran back to Metallica just in time to see "Battery" and "Seek & Destroy." So much headbanging. Stevie Wonder was fun as hell. Lots of covers, but that's what soul/r&b revue is. I thought he was great, if a little loose and unstructured. Honestly, I think he was drunk. And covering "You Got Me Running" was a nice touch.
Alabama Shakes were really good, but FUCK was the crowd terrible. Zola Jesus was quite good, I never gave her record a chance but was quite impressed with her show. Beck was ok, not funky enough for me. Best thing about Jack White was Fats Kaplan on fiddle and pedal steel. Love seeing him play. Fun to hear the White Stripes songs, though. Trampled By Turtles were really, really fun and the crowd was really into it and dancing their asses off.
So much good food and awesome weather. Love every year of this fest, though the bathroom lines were a bit longer than usual. Blame it on the sell-out, I guess. It was good chilling with Bryan for much of the weekend, good times. Cara, you missed the Sunday morning train to Smoothie Town. Next time.
Beer Lands was awesome! Great beers and fun atmosphere for tasting. Outside Lambs was awesome too! My friends and I are big foodies so we took advantage of as much of their gourmet vendors. Didn't eat a single thing that wasn't delicious.
"It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge"
Haven't seen much mention of it so I'd like to add that Thee Oh Sees were a ton of fun. Them and Amadou & Mariam were the best sized crowds I experienced all weekend.
Also, in terms of crowd noise during Sigur Ros, the worst offense was a group that entered the crowd late carrying some sort of beacon with a bicycle bell attached that they were ringing. I blew up a little and yelled "STOP THAT!" at them and they did and apologized but I can't believe that's something that needs to be explained.
Last edited by rag and bone; 08-14-2012 at 02:45 PM.
This was my 4th straight OSL, and it was probably my favorite overall. Me and about 10 other friends all flew/drove in from LA, SD, Seattle and rented a flat together on 15th and Fulton. Our location was the best personal improvement because it took us only 20 minutes to walk back and forth to the festival each day. The last few years we'd get a hotel five miles from the park and have to struggle with transportation at the end of the night.
I never got too cold. In fact, I thought the weather was perfect all weekend.
It definitely felt more crowded this year, especially on Saturday. Trying to head towards the main stage after Big Boi on Twin Peaks was the most crowded I've ever felt at this festival. And yes, the bathroom/food lines were long. I peed in the woods on multiple occasions.
Sigur Ros: Jonsi's voice sounded incredible. I held on to every sound of that set. The whole setting was magical. Life-changing.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Fifteen minute long jams? Fuck Yes. "Hey Hey, My My" was probably the highlight, but I loved every second of it. It was nice hanging out with some boardies there too.
Beck: Beck might be my favorite musician of all time, and I hadn't seen him in 15 years. The setlist and the overall vibes definitely worked for me. I sang along to every song.
Stevie Wonder: Our entire group was together dancing and having a blast for Stevie. I agree with a lot of people on here who've said the setlist seemed a little off, and I think I was expecting just a little more, but he's a legend and it was definitely fun. The 15 minute version of Happy Birthday was a little weird, but also hilarious. The Signed, Sealed, Delivered sing-a-long was probably my favorite.
Big Boi: Fucking dance party. Too bad he ended four minutes early though, wtf.
Honorable mention to Jack White and Caveman. Fun. was a nice surprise.
FRIDAY: PAPA>Tanlines>Fitz>Beck>Antibalas>Foo Fighters for the last couple of songs>Neil Young
SATURDAY: Tame Impala>Portugal, The Man>Alabama Shakes for a minute>Big Boi>Passion Pit>Sigur Ros
SUNDAY: Fun.>Caveman>Amadou & Mariam>Electric Guest>Santigold for 5 songs>Jack White>Stevie Wonder>some bluegrass band in ChocoLands
I was at the Panhandle stage quite a bit this year, and it was great cause you can be close. I went to the Sutro stage only one time the whole weekend and it was for just a couple of minutes. Unless I get there super early and it's a must-see artist, I don't care to ever attempt to visit that stage. It's completely useless to me.
Choco Lands / McLaren Pass was definitely my route between the stages. It was always fun in there, especially at night with all of the cool lights.
I love Outside Lands and cannot wait until next year!
icedKeg does the worst Neil Young impression I've ever heard.
12/17: Pere Ubu @ Slims
12/18: Holograms @ Bottom of the Hill
12/28: Mathew Johnson, HRDVSION, Ewan Pearson, Kate Simko @ PW
1/18: Toy @ The Chapel
1/23: Wooden Shjips @ The Chapel
1/25: !!! @ The Chapel
1/25: Robag Whrume @ Public Works
2/4: Frankie Rose, The Mantles @ Rickshaw Stop
2/22: Xiu Xiu @ Bottom of the Hill
2/24: Courtney Barnett @ Rickshaw Stop
3/7: Anthony Naples, Four Tet @ Echoplex
3/23: Kraftwerk @ Fox Theater Oakland
from Sharon Van Etten to Stevie...the whole weekend was amazing.
Even worse is anything that's free. i just don't got o free concerts anymore.
I feel that Outside Lands 2012 was the best one yet despite the fact that it felt considerably more crowded than last year. I did not anticipate that an extra 5,000 per day would make the festival feel that much different but it was definitely more claustrophobic and on average the lines for everything (entry, bathrooms, food, etc) were longer. Luckily I never had to wait more than 5 minutes to use the restroom (on one occasion) or 10 minutes for food (also on one occasion for a pork belly burger). From my perspective though, it felt like there was an extra 10,000 per day.
Friday highlights included Of Monsters and Men, took a shitload of molly and went to dj dome from 6:30-8:20 - danced my ass off to whom I thought was Justin Martin only to find out later he missed his flight, then Neil and Crazy Horse. I have seen Neil in concert before but never with the legendary Crazy Horse, Holy Shit that band plays with such a ferocious intensity that I have only ever experienced at Tool shows. Completely blown away. Friday lowlight was definitely Beck, such a subdued performance by the man - he had no energy and even seemed depressed. I remember his shows used to be huge motherfucking funk parties, I don't know what the hell that was on Friday.
Saturday we camped out at Twin Peaks stage literally all day on the hill near the beer tent on the left of the stage. First show we saw there was Geographer who I was pleasantly surprised by, MiMOSA when he wasn't womp womping was pretty tight, Big Boi was my favorite set of the weekend - I waited a year for this performance and it was so phenomenal that I can def. say it was worth the wait. Although I did notice almost immediately that he was having sound issues (his set seemed 1/2 as loud as MiMOSA). Passion Pit was definitely the feel good set of the day (Big Boi/Passion Pit by far had the best crowds I was a part of all weekend) at this point I was sufficiently hammered and decided to eat a handful of shrooms for Sigur Ros. That was a fantastic idea on my part, the sound of Sigur Ros is what I expect I would hear in my mind while nodding off on heroin or in utero. I don't think I've ever heard anything more beautiful in my life.
Saturday Highlight/Lowlight: I was tripping pretty good and Sigur Ros had just started so I decided to take a pee behind the tower next to the port-o-potties. I ran into a twink clean cut latino gay guy behind the tower, and no joke the whole time I was pissing (it was a long piss, I had been drinking all day) he stood right next to me and stared at my dick telling me I was "hung like a horse" (I was so flattered) while stroking his own shlong. It was pretty awkward. I told him thanks and that he had a pretty impressive hog himself and zipped up and ran back to my group as fast as I could.
Sunday highlights included Tom Morello, Franz, Regina, Mark Farina/Roy Davis Jr., and Stevie of course. 'As' has always been my favorite Stevie song, and I honestly thought he wasn't going to play it tonight. Isn't She Lovely was just about to end and I leaned over to my gf and sadly told her that I didn't think he was gonna play it for us tonight. Lo and behold it was the very next song! Me and Stevie have a telepathic connection I decided. After 'As' we decided it probably wasn't going to get any better so we hightailed it back to the South Bay to pick up 'Opu our pug baby from his grandma's house.
In the end, OSL 2012 was just a great time all around. It was definitely the best weekend of the summer for me and my group of friends and I was so glad I was able to enjoy it with them. Because, although the music was top notch, it is the people you are with and the experiences you share with them that really matter.
Last edited by chbludevil; 08-14-2012 at 05:29 PM.
The lineup was amazing and I was impressed by most of the performances I saw. Beer lands and the food vendors were great and I enjoyed being able to bring my drink with me to watch a set, however I have a few complaints in common with everyone:
1. The sound was atrocious everywhere except the Lands End (main stage). Really hard to understand why it was so unprofessional.
2. The people SUCKED. Every time I tried to get into a set I was really anticipating (Justice, Passion Pit, Bloc Party in particular) there were constantly people climbing over me, to the point that I had to focus 50% on blocking any gaps so I wouldn't get jostled and that STILL did not prevent assholes from basically climbing on top of me to rush forward when there was 0 space in front of me anyway. If you stood in the back at Sutro, the talkers were so loud and the music so quiet that all you could hear was people chatting.
3. The weather sucked. Sorry, but there's a difference between 60ish and dry and 55 and windy/foggy. I hated the heat at coachella this year, but it's almost more fun than wearing several layers and shivering in fog.
Like others, I'll have some great memories from certain sets and parts of the experience, but I don't plan on coming back. If I'm going to spend that kind of money on a festival, I need to be able to at least experience the music which was difficult at OSL due to sound issues and people who were drunk and uninterested in music.
I think people just SUCK in general. No matter where I go. I probably hate 97% of all people I meet. I am also a huge complainer, almost everything that comes out of my mouth is a complaint about something. However, when I go to these big festivals, I never really have many complaints. I think its because when I am around that many people it is just a sensory overload for me. These people that are all around me at the festival don't even seem real to me, it is just a faceless horde that is pretty easy for me to ignore. The same thing happens to me at Coachella, there are SO MANY hot girls walking around with nothing on, but there are so many that it gets to the point where I don't even notice them - it doesn't even register that I am surrounded by a sea of half naked girls so I don't even have to creep out even with my gf right next to me. It's kinda nice.
Also, I heard that a lot of the sound issues from a couple of the stages this year was because of the weather due to the wind whipping around like a bastard. I don't know if APE is just using that as an excuse or if that is really the case. I do know that last year, when the weather was beautiful on sat/sun I didn't notice any glaring sound issues.
On a separate note I had two separate people at diff sets whine that my smoke was blowing in their face at OSL and were rude in commenting on it instead of asking politely for me to move/change positions. One person even bitched at me when I refused her attempt to bum a cig from me. Had no such issues at Hard Summer or Coachella. I went in with an open mind but a lot of people at OSL seemed to feel entitled to be rude - could've been the alcohol but I don't know.
I feel you man, they should have capped it out at 60,000. As I mentioned earlier, the extra 5,000 per day was really noticeable to me, way more so than I thought it would be. I never heard one person complain to me about me smoking cigs, I was probably oblivious.
3/20 The Temper Trap @The El Rey
4/13 Coachella week 1
4/17 Madeon @The Roxy
4/19 Nero, Dillon Francis, Sub Focus @Club Nokia
5/11 Le Castle Vania, Beta Traxx, Burn Unit @Avalon
6/8 EDC Las Vegas
6/15 The Temper Trap @the palladium
8/3 Hard Summer night 1
8/9 Outsidelands Music Festival
9/1 FYF Fest, LA Historic Park
9/9 Hot Chip, Passion Pit @the Hollywood Bowl
10/25 Two Door Cinema Club @the Palladium
10/27 The Presets @Club Nokia
This festival was quite amazing. Great food (Malaysian nachos!), nice beer, and such damn fine weather. Oh, and there was music.
It was quite rad going crazy for "Master of Puppets" and then heading over to Sigur Ros* for one of the most beautiful things I've ever witnessed. My hopes were kinda high for Jack White, so it kinda felt like a let-down; even still, "Cannon" and "Same Boy You've Always Known" choked me up a bit. Andrew Bird was sexy, as usual. And Portugal doing "Helter Skelter" was delightful.
I also went to the first Hot Tub show w/ Kristen Schaal. Shame Tig wasn't there, but the comedy definitely got the festival started on a high.
Only bummer (sometimes) was the crowd. Bay Area kids are hellof obnoxious.
*Ok, someone please point me in the right direction with the material they performed. It's never clicked for me with their music until Outside Lands.
Mazxy star was nice and dreamy robightm crowd wouldn't follow no photo request. First time in the green room. Mmm free beer and wine.glad I got to see them Cruz I missed Coachella 3012
While there are more talkers at a city fest vs. destination fest, at least the people don't smell as bad.
It was definitely more crowded but I think there were a lot of people getting in for free by jumping fences or other more sneaky ways.
Oh and Reggie Watts was fucking hilarious/great.
I'm pretty 50/50 on my experience of the festival this year. I've attended every year so far and every day besides sat and sun of 2008. My only real complaint was how crowded it was. That is the one thing I will miss about the previous years of osl. I was happy with the sound of the main stage and sigur ros. Everything else kinda depended on where I was located. Sound has always been hit or miss with this fest. I live 3 blocks from osl so I'm pretty used to the weather, in fact, I actually got a little sun burnt and I already get a decent amount of sun and wore sun screen.
Things I loved about the fest this year was being able to see some of my favorite artist. Not just musicians but also graphic artists. Loved all the Sam flores pieces they had around the polo fields. Every day it got better and better.
Top acts for me were
Neil Young and Crazy Horse. I've seen Neil in many forms, but this by far was my favorite. Really reminded me why we have some of the great music I've been able to see and listen to growing up. Damn they were badass.
Sigur Ros. The best sound at twin peaks all weekend. Loved the crowd and had a great spot on the right behind the sound booth. Lucy and I had a great time seeing a band I've always wanted to see. So emotional and mind blowing. Definitely a must when they return to the area.
Jack white x 2. I was waiting for some friends by the lockers during the begining of franz and got a call about his show in the woods by chocolands and booked it. Got their right as his van pulled up and had a great spot in front of the third man records truck. Loved the fact that I got a chance to see both his bands that day. Got to hear hotel yorba twice but played differently. Also agree with the catch hell blues into seven nation army was spectacular!
Stevie wonder. I mean, when am I gonna get a chance to see Stevie and hear all those great tracks. So many classics and really enjoyed the covers. The man has a great voice and even better soul. One off the bucket list for sure.
Big Boi. GENERAL PATTON.
Honorable mentions go to Regina Spector, Portugal the man, Reggie Watts and Beck's cover of after the gold rush.
6/24 deltron 3030 slim's
6/29 baths great american music hall
07/21 david byrne & st vincent fox theater
07/26 the postal service greek theater
07/31 run the jewels the independent
08/09-11 outside lands music festival
09/19-23 $ymbiosis gathering
10/19-20 treasure island music festival