THE LO DOWN: Outside Lands Festival Day 1
The lineup has been released, the tickets have been purchased andÂ The Outside Lands Festival is getting ready to take over Golden Gate Park â€“ and you are no doubt getting ready yourself, gleaning those find-the-least-nasty-Porta-Potty skills and sharpening your let’s-bargain-for-beers swagger. So who’s playing this year? Aside from the big names, this year’s roster is full of lesser-knowns that can make (or break) your festival experience. Check out these five bands playing on Day One (Aug 14) that you may not have heard ofâ€¦ yetâ€¦
Well they clearly win for best band name, but the good news is that they sound pretty damn good too. This Brooklyn-based quintet is a funky throwback to the best of early 70s soul and is exactly the kind of group that plays so festivals well â€“ big sound, accessible melodies, easily danceable, and appeal that spans generations. Your parents will dig it but so should you. Who can resist that much cowbell?
Ah, spoke too soon with the best-band-name honor. These cats are hip, friends. I don’t know if it’s the effortless blend of organic instrumentation and electronic ambience, vocals with pop appeal that would even make Ben Gibbard cream his pants, or the general comeback of the banjo, but this band is pretty rad. Judging from the website’s Victorian-country-home meets insane asylum aesthetic, I’d show up early just to see what they do, let alone to hear â€˜em.
Dancedancedancedance. If you’re into samples n’ beatz and beatz n’ samples, you’ll be into Pretty Lights. Colorado based producer Derek Vincent Smith is great at what he does (samples n’ beatz), but I never really know how this electronic style is going to translate to the festival stageâ€¦ in the middle of the dayâ€¦ far from the fist-pumps of Jerseyâ€¦ I don’t mean to sell him, or accompanying drummer Cory Eberhard, short â€“ the sound is extremely versatile and the crowd will undoubtedly sway or dance as directed. But if you like your beats without the “z” and want to get your groove on in the two o’clock hour, I’d pony over to The Pimps Of Joytime. (Cowbell trumps beatz.)
Drums, bass, guitar. Sometimes you don’t need anything else, right? This Athens, GA based group has spent the last two years perfecting the trio-rock sound as support for bands like The Kings Of Leon, and will jump aboard The Black Keys tour for further rockage this September. I don’t know if this group is doing anything particularly groundbreaking, other than just being pretty great at what they do (which is refreshing in and of itself). Big choruses, rockin’ bass lines, well-mic’d kickdrum. They’re worth the early arrival, if only to remind yourself that you’re at a freakin’ rock concert, hippies.
Oakland based (heyooo) Beats Antique fuses Middle Eastern music with breakbeats and hip-hopâ€¦ with live performer/producer Zoe Jakes belly dancing on stage to complete the aesthetic. Straight from a stop at Lollapalooza, BA promises to scratch that I-need-more-accordion-in-my-hip-hop itch you probably didn’t know you had. The soundscape manages to be fascinating and completely danceable at the same time, so show some Oakland love and take your dinner break with these cats. (I know â€“ you were sold at “belly dancing”.)
Look for Day Two’s Bands On The Under next week!