LIVE REVIEW: Reflecting on Outside Lands 2010 â€“ Day 1
Drum roll for Outside Lands! After a morning of getting lit and cushioning our stomachs with Noah’s Bagels, we set off into the roughly 50,000 patron crowd. We traversed the dirt paths taking note of the “trash talkers,” and a group of pre-adolescents adorned in curious furry hoodies. While they resembled creatures that might dig through one’s trash, these critters were there to edify the masses, to teach the merits of multiple rubbish bins: compost, recycling, and trash.
Given this was a music fest with people hopped up on all kinds of natural (and not-so-natural) goodness, there were seesaws, hula hoops, soccer balls, trampolines, life-sized balloon people, and a plastic bottle “wave” for your picture-taking pleasure. Of all the tangible delights, the pit remains the supreme concert experience. You might encounter rogue dreadlocks smacking you across the face in sync with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, or the countless, inflatable beach balls careening off happy Bassnectar lovers’ palms. Having shouldered my way in with ease, being female, and non-imposing, somehow lends credibility to my search for “finding my friends” closer to the stage.Â This is what I witnessed from the front.
Gogol Bordello- ÐšÐ°Ðº ÑÐºÐ°Ð·Ð°Ñ‚ÑŒ “aggressive moshing” Ð¿Ð¾-Ñ€ÑƒÑÑÐºÐ¸? Ð¥Ð¾Ñ‚Ð¸Ñ‚Ðµ Ð¿Ð¾Ñ‚Ð°Ð½Ñ†ÐµÐ²Ð°Ñ‚ÑŒ? (Translation: How do you say “aggressive moshing” in Russian? You wanna dance with me?)
Pretty Lights- Like zombies, the crowd dithered over from Lands End to Sutro stage following the bright flashes of neon and dulcet bass tones. A younger crowd donning flamboyant colors pulsed and swayed, indulging in whatever substances they had at their disposal. This set was less about music and more about the experience, but with a band name like Pretty Lights, you can’t accuse them of false advertising.
Bassnectar- The crowds felt this set pounding in their collective torso and coursing through their veins; that is, until the band had some technical difficulties much to their chagrin. They blew the minds of people who came to dance, and apparently their system as well. It was an unfortunate killjoy to an otherwise enjoyable assault on my eardrums.
Wolfmother- I scrambled to the front-lines to indulge in the sublime stage presence of these Aussies. Armed with tight pants, pointy shoes, and a wandering rock star kick, frontman Andrew Stockdale brought his A game. And his bulges. Much obliged, boys.
Cat Power- Since it was getting dark and people were winding down, this set was a welcome respite from raging. Those who had been rip-roaring, shit-smashed only moments before curled up like infants on their blankets and gave the rest of us a break from their personal volume control problems. Rhythmic and soothing, this was the icing of relaxation. I just wondered where Chan Marshall was meandering mid-song.
The Strokes- The who? It wouldn’t have made a difference if it were Milli Vanilli lip-syncing the whole show since I was standing behind the entire six feet and over club, San Francisco chapter. I just wished they had played at Lands End where there were TV screens for our vertically-challenged friends.
Attending this rad array of music provided a delightful plethora of costumes and people: the historical knit tops harking back to the 60s, LSD-fueled Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane free-for-alls; the Marina element fully loaded with their popped polo collars and spray-tanned girlfriends, and the older, smiling hippie demographic emerging from bushes surrounded by plumes of white smoke. Given the diversity of the fans, I was surprised by how seamlessly festival-goers combed in and out through the crowds, a frictionless testament to the all-embracing, all-loving nature of the City.
-written by Jocelyn Blore