Golden Gate Park in San Francisco was the site to the inaugural Outside Lands Festival this August 22-24. The headliners were Radiohead, Tom Petty and Jack Johnson along with Beck, Ben Harper and Wilco filling out the bill. Golden Gate Park isn’t accesible by car or BART *(Bay Area Rapid Transit) so the only option was to park from afar or take the MUNI from the closest BART. I had to walk over a mile just to get to will call and the park is over 1,000 acres. Needless to say I was somewhat overwhelmed on how to navigate among the six stages with no additional press access to several of them.
I was looking forward to catching Black Mountain but I heard most of their set while waiting in line to get my credentials. What I did witness was pummeling drums combined with weaving guitars and organ. To me, they sound like Zeppelin and Sabbath meeting up with one of the Beach Boys‘ sisters.
Next up was political South American rocker Manu Chao. Chao and company sing in Spanish, French, Portugese and English while melding rock, folk and punk into their songs about injustice and freedom. He’s been winning fans over in the US since opening for Rage at last year’s Coachella as well as headlining Lollaplooza in 2006. There isn’t a dull moment on stage when this band is playing, they were the most energetic groups of the weekend.
I didn’t get to shoot Beck because there wasn’t any access for press on the stage he was playing. Trying to get through 10,000 people isn’t an easy task so I resorted to getting everything squared away for the next band.
Taking the stage at dusk, Radiohead became the first performers to play at night in Golden Gate Park. Traveling with their “green” light show, they lit up the whole park up with their near flawless set. Aside from a couple minutes where the sound cut out, the band had the crowd of 50,000 in the palm of their hand the whole set.
All I Need
Talk Show Host
Jigsaw Falling Into Place
Exit Music (for a film)
You And Whose Army?
Fake Plastic Trees
Everything In Its Right Place
Stay tuned for Day 2
Filed under: concerts | Tagged: Beach Boys, beck, ben harper, black mountain, black sabbath, jack johnson, led zeppelin, manu chao, outside lands festival, radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, san francisco, Thom Yorke, Tom Petty, wilco |