Sunday brought us our first day at Outside Lands Music Festival with actual sun, rounding out another incredible festival of music, food, art and people-watching. There was a little something for everyone Sunday with The Killers and Tiësto closing out the festival to massive crowds. The only gloom over the day was the unexpected cancellation of CHVRCHES, who had trouble at the Vancouver airport. (Blame Canada?) Paolo Nutini played an excellent cover of their “Recover,” which helped ease the pain a bit.
The first show we saw Sunday was a raucous set by The Brothers Comatose. If you like the kind of all-out-punk-bluegrass vibe you get with acts like The Devil Makes Three, you should definitely check them out. A great moment came when the lads were joined on stage by another one of SF’s local talents Nikki Bluhm for their popular duet, “Morning Time.”
We were treated to some fantastic electronic acts on the east side of the park including, Australian based, Flume, who is slowly taking over the world with his solo act, as well as his collaboration project, What So Not. Fellow Aussies, Cut Copy, had about a square mile of people jumping and dancing for their set. No matter how many times I see them live, I just can’t get enough.
Our staff photographer, Fabian, opted to see Sweden’s Lykke Li, who is touring on her amazing new album I Never Learn. AS explain by him, her crooning came at the most perfect time in the day, the sun was out, the people were happy, and her voice added the magic that brought everyone together around the Twin Peaks stage.
The last act on the Twin Peaks stage this year was Tiësto. Can we just make a point of his amazing staying power in the DJ world, where tastes change overnight. Tiësto might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he is an amazing entertainer, so I walked over to catch some of his set. It was pure magic, especially when he played a remix of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” Tens of thousands of people were singing along.
Meanwhile, back on the west side of the festival, we were treated to some of the biggest names in folk, indie and alternative rock. Spoon put on an amazing show, taking me back to my high school days, but also showing off the strength of their new album. A highlight for me was Jenny Lewis’ performance on the Sutro stage. Her voice is amazing and she has surrounded herself with very talented musicians, allowing her songwriting and stage presence to really shine.
The Killers were the closing headliner on the Lands End stage and I had mixed feelings about the show. This was my second time ever seeing The Killers, the first being almost 10 years ago to the day at a lovable hole-in-the-wall with capacity for about 150 called The Boardwalk in Orangevale, CA. They had just released Hot Fuss and they really blew my 21 year old mind with their sound.
The Killers show I saw Sunday was a very different experience. I loved hearing all my favorite older songs along with hits from their catalogue, don’t get me wrong, but I was turned off a bit by lead vocalist Brandon Flowers’ sometimes cheesy and inauthentic banter with the crowd. They played a version of “Dock of the Bay” in which he sung the line “Left my home in Vegas, heading for the Outside Lands,” which seemed like a bit of a stretch. They also played “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, a shoutout to our local musical legends which they have been playing on the festival circuit. While it was a perfectly enjoyable facsimile of CCR, they didn’t try to bring any of The Killers into the song.
The magical thing about The Killers, though, is that they have so many songs that capture your full attention and let you get lost in the music and moment. For me, that song during this show was “When You Were Young.” It was the perfect way to say goodbye to OSL 2014 and has me counting the next 360+ days until next year’s event.
Please check out all Fabian’s photos from day 3 below.