Tens of thousands of music fans will converge on Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Calif. this weekend to enjoy a bunch of great artists as well as great wine and food. For the past five years, the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival (Image of Golden Gate Park during a prior festival at right courtesy of Outside Lands) has been a local treat that has attracted people from far and wide. Sure, it turns the city and the areas surrounding Golden Gate Park into a total zoo, but it sure seems worth it when you can see some great music in such a historic setting.
This year's lineup is typically eclectic, with artists such as Jack White and Neil Young and Crazy Horse sharing the same stage as Stevie Wonder, and several DJs, including Skrillex, sure to attract large crowds. Secondary stages are filled with up-and-coming acts such as San Francisco favorite Sean Hayes and White Denim from Austin, Tex.
This weekend event (Outside Lands lasts from Fri. to Sun.) has turned into a celebration of San Francisco and CORKZILLA will be there. Check this link throughout for ongoing live blogging on the music, the setting, and, of course, Wine Lands (pictured below, from 2011 festival). In addition, we'll also be tweeting here and there. And, as we can, we'll post a few photos, so be sure to check back in from time to time. It should be a great weekend out there. Be safe and have fun everyone!
Friday, Aug. 10
2:30 PM...Getting to Golden Gate Park will be an adventure. The bridges are clogged, sirens and helicopters can already be heard around Golden Gate Park, and events abound in the City this weekend. Best of luck getting here everyone! Be patient...
Editor's note: At this point in the live blogging, technical issues fouled up CORKZILLA's efforts to consistently post updates. As a result, the following updates will appear after the fact and further coverage of the weekend events in Golden Gate Park will likely be posted following the event, not as they are happening. Stay tuned. We'll see if we can find some better wi-fi. Tweeting seems to still be possible.
4:15...For those of you on foot or bikes, remember your flashlights/headlamps. Forgot mine.
4:20...Finally made it to the press tent. Interesting timing.
4:30...Abe Schoener, winemaker at the Scholium Project based in Suisun, Calif., recounts advice from a sommelier in Miami on what to pair with his wines: heavy metal, Fishbone, and Public Enemy. Who knew?
5:07...Beck on the Land's End stage doing a terrific nugget called "The Golden Age" from his "Sea Change" album: "You gotta drive all night, just to feel like you're okay." Great change up in the set.
5:10...Beck follows that up with another "Sea Change" gem called "Lost Cause" that he dedicates to Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys, who brought Beck to Golden Gate Park for the first time in 1996 as part of Yauch's Tibetan Freedom Concert effort, a seminal live event in the history of the park.
6:25...Due to the ever-creeping fog bank and associated drop in temperatures, the line for coffee at the vendor stalls is the longest of all.
6:35...Feeling the pressue of a condensed one-hour and fifteen-minute time slot, the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl exclaims, "I've got to be honest with you, I don't have a lot of time to talk" from the stage.
8:10...Neil Young and Crazy Horse, on their first tour together since 2004, hit the stage promptly and rip into a 20-minute version of "Love and Only Love," complete with mind-bending jams and general guitar chaos. Thank goodness for Neil Young.
9:03...Young asks the crowd, "How many of you were conceived in a Ramada Inn? This song's for you," before launching into the song of the same name.
A few decidedly amateur (no pass for artist stage shots) photos of Day 1 at the festival can be found here. Young's complete setlist from the show can be found here. Coverage of this year's Outside Lands will continue on the 'Zilla throughout the weekend.
Saturday, Aug. 11
It took a while to shake off the cobwebs from a rousing opening day at Outside Lands, but, with backpack refreshed, it was time to set off once again on the beach cruiser into Golden Gate Park for Day 2 of the festival. What follows are but a few random moments...
2:50...Due to crowds at local San Francisco street food events, I had yet to taste Senor Sisig, a highly-regarded food truck with a loyal following. Due to a momentary lapse in the line at the truck, today is the day. Worth the wait - the California burrito was an excellent mid-afternoon snack.
3:10...Portugal. The Man takes the Land's End stage promptly and delves into some heavy territory, heavier than I assumed they'd sound like. Interesting stuff.
3:30...Portugal the Man undertakes a cover of the Beatles' "Helter Skelter."
4:15...At a press conference to get more insights on the wine and food at the festival, Peter Eastlake, the curator of Wine Lands, said the tent now has 49 wineries. "It's fun to get some new wineries involved and show what California is all about," he said. On that note, it's off to Wine Lands for further investigation.
7...Musician/producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse is seen at the side of the Sutro stage during Norah Jones' set. Danger Mouse collaborated and produced Jones' latest album, a departure from her more familiar sound, but a worthwhile and interesting addition to her repertoire. The new tracks come off well during her set, particularly amid the slightly spooky confines of the foggy Lindley Meadow portion of the festival grounds.
7:35...Grateful Dead guitarist and vocalist Bob Weir (now part of Furthur with fellow Dead alumnus Phil Lesh) appears on stage with Norah Jones for "It Must Have Been the Roses." A great moment that was appreciated by those in the band. A subsequent article in Rolling Stone magazine sheds further light on this on-stage collaboration.
8...Earth shakes as Metallica takes the stage and an assortment of pyrotechnics are launched - Quite a scene on the Polo Fields (see video from the set below).
8:30...Having to combat Metallica's aural onslaught from the main stage, Dr. Dog closed a rousing set on the Panhandle stage at Hellman Hollow to an appreciative audience.
We'll return to the running Outside Lands diary tomorrow. Until then, here's our photo gallery, which is updated with a few more fresh shots.
Sunday, Aug. 12
The third day of a music festival can be difficult. The body is a bit sore from transporting yourself around the festival grounds all day, you've had just about enough of the festival food options even if they're extremely good (as they are at Outside Lands), and your head is spinning from so much music. There are worse positions to be in, let's be clear, but it does take some fortitude to keep on truckin'. With that said, the final day of this year's Outside Lands was a great way to close what can only be described as a watershed year for the festival.
3:15...I was not present for this, but Jack White - as he's been known to do - started into a pop-up set amid the trees on the festival grounds, far away from some of the larger crowds, with his Third Man Records truck in tow. He ripped through a few tunes with his all-female band. Later, on the Land's End stage, his all-male band would perform. That's been the case with his solo live performances all along - a neat way to do it, in our view. Some video of this pop-up set is below...
4:45...As described above, the third day of a festival can be tough, so in order to conserve energy, our arrival was a bit late in order to focus on two giants enlisted to close out the festival - Jack White and Stevie Wonder, back-to-back on the Land's End stage.
5:25...The energy is palpable for Jack White's set.
6:18...White pulls out a White Stripes gem, "We're Going to be Friends," from the classic "White Blood cells" album. It fits into what will become a strong community vibe on this day - capped by Wonder's performance.
6:33...The familiar bass and drum of "Seven Nation Army" whips the crowd into a frenzy. It should be noted that White's performance was especially well-attended - clearly a much-anticipated slot at the festival.
6:45...As a side note, I learn from an employee that Napa Valley, Calif.'s Cliff Lede vineyards anmes its vineyard blocks after Beatles songs. Great stuff.
7:35...After a bit of a delay, Stevie Wonder finally takes the stage with a band that can only be described as fully operational - lots of chops behind the legend, including a double percussion attack in addition to a drummer.
7:43...As part of a continued speech from the stage Wonder tells the crowd: "We can't just talk about it and not be about it," referring to his general message peace, love and equality. Terrific Sunday fodder - The Church of Wonder is in session.
7:53...As if to remind the audience just how funky he can be, Wonder launches into the classic "Higher Ground." It's the third song in the set - A gutsy call, but a good one.
8:31...With the crowd fully engaged at this point, Wonder orchestrates a singalong during a momentous "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."
8:50...Before ending his set with a couple of thrown together covers with minimal band accompaniment, Wonder cranks out a delicious "Superstition." The man still has it. A snippet from "Master Blaster" follows...
That's it from the festival. Further coverage of activities at Wine Lands will follow this week. All in all, it was a great year for Outside Lands with sold out crowds clearly voting with their attendance. We look forward to seeing what music next year's festival with bring.