Headstash's OUTSIDE LANDS 2012 Review Guide
- By Philip Chinitz
- Published on August 14, 2012
All three days included the infamous San Francisco fog along with patches of sunlight, making the temperature perfect to wear jeans and a T-shirt and still be able to walk around and enjoy bands in a comfortable setting.
Such a diverse set of bands and artists attracts an extremely diverse crowd of fans. Almost any demographic of people could be met at Outside Lands, whether they are young or old, hipster or hippie, foreigner or local. Outside Lands has made it obvious that one of their festival goals is to unite all people despite their different origins, backgrounds and experiences.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse. It can be considered an out-of-body experience to witness a musician as acclaimed as Neil Young rock out with fruitful, yet bitter guitar solos in front of thousands of people. Young left the crowd satisfied by playing hits such as “Born In Ontario” and “Cinnamon Girl,” along with a 15-minute psychedelic arrangement of “Walk Like A Giant.”
Dispatch. With a tremendous fan base located in San Francisco, Dispatch’s set could be heard throughout the festival grounds, with fans singing their catchy songs louder than the band could even play.
|Photo Credit: Philip Chinitz|
Metallica. The legendary metal band did not only impress the crowd with Kirk Hammett’s shredding guitar riffs and Lars Ulrich’s heavy drumming, but the combination of lights, lasers, fire, explosions and fireworks were a scene that brought the performance to entirely different level of excitement.
Emphasis on clean environment. Outside Lands emphasizes keeping the world “green” by setting up compost and recycling bins next to their trash cans, along with installing “refillable water stations” around the festival in order to minimize plastic consumption. The festival has also set up its Panhandle Stage for the fifth year in a row, which works entirely on solar-powered energy.
Outside Lambs. Outside Lands takes pride in their local organic and creative food selection, including Outside Lambs – an entire section of the festival where food vendors serve lamb dishes such as steaks, burritos and gyros.
Buses and trains traveling to the north, east and south bays do not comply with the ending times for the festival which means if you don’t live in the city, you’re forced to get a pretty expensive hotel room. It would be more convenient if public transportation in San Francisco could make a few temporary adjustments for such a large event.
During Norah Jones’ Saturday evening set, Bob Weir made a surprise appearance to play the Grateful Dead’s very own “It Must Have Been The Roses.”
Boots Riley excited the crowd while he rapped an improvisational verse during Tom Morello’s cover of “This Land Is Your Land.”
At 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jack White surprised the festival by playing a shortened set in the woods next to his On-The-Road record-store truck. After White played a few songs from his latest album, “Blunderbuss,” Tom Morello joined the crowd and performed a few songs from his most recent folk project, Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman.
Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman - "This Land Is Your Land" (Woody Guthrie)
Portugal. The Man - "Helter Skelter" (The Beatles)
Beck - "After The Gold Rush" (Neil Young)
"We got a short time to play and a lot of fucking songs . . . but I'm going to be honest - the faster we get done, the quicker I get to see Neil fucking Young." - Dave Grohl during The Foo Fighters' set.
The only word to describe Outside Lands’ objective as well as their appearance to the fans is “diversity.” Between the assorted genres of bands, amount/types of people attending, delicious food, activities and not to mention the festival’s location in the iconic Golden Gate Park, Outside Lands Music Festival has found a way to appeal to virtually any crowd.
Check out our coverage of all your favorite summer festivals in our 2012 Festival Guide.
What did you think of Outside Lands? Highlights, lowlights and surprises. Let us know in the comments below . . .