1:40 PM: Tennessee treasure Valerie June teases out new songs for the small but ardent audience members who have gotten an early jump on their day. She’s enviably positioned at the Sutro stage, the area that greets guests as they come through the gates.
1:55 PM: Britpop preservationists The Kooks have drawn an impressive amount of people to the main stage at this hour. It’s already evident that even though all three days of the festival were sold out, there are a lot more bodies in attendance today than the day before.
2:30 PM: Australia’s psychedelic dance trio Jagwar Ma are tripping out over the trees. “It’s cool seeing all these eucalyptus trees here,” says frontman Gabriel Winterfield. “Where we're from, there's koalas in them.”
3:21 PM: East Bay indie rockers Finish Ticket recently made the leap into the major label world, signing with Atlantic Records to release the album Tears You Apart. As they perform “Tranquilize,” a big and memorable single with a sedate name, it’s clear how far they’ve grown since working the local all-ages concert circuit. Singer Brendan Hoye (whose twin Michael Hoye is on bass) expresses how excited they are to be back home.
3:52 PM: San Francisco’s own rising electronic producer Scott Hansen (aka Tycho) is also so happy to be playing at Outside Lands after a lengthy stint on the road. “It’s really great to be home,” he says, “We never could have dreamed of this!” His lush basslines and leisurely downtempo-to-ambient pace has people laying down blankets for the perfect en masse chill moment.
4:14 PM: A sizable line is forming for the Sip and Shave lounge, an old-fashioned grooming service for men hosted by Esquire Network. Huh?
4:45 PM: Haim woke up like this; they’re flawless. But why are they on so early? Can these goddesses of rock please come back on later? Lead sister Danielle Haim insists that San Francisco is their second home and asks everyone to pretend they’re in the Haim family living room, complete with beer coozies and endless snacks. A gajillion girls instantly rise up on shoulders. Then the jam really begins, and Este Haim’s infamous “bass face” comes out to play. They look so good tonight.
5:17 PM: Fried dough has been on the brain since Big Freedia’s booty bounce beignet brunch earlier in the day. Fortunately, the epicurean caliber of this festival is second to none, and carby cravings are not hard to find here. These come dusted in powdered sugar and drizzled in chocolate sauce.
6:00 PM: Death Cab For Cutie eschews brand new for retro, even though there’s a demand for new material. The band starts this set with early songs like “I Will Possess Your Heart,” “Crooked Teeth” and “I Will Follow You Into The Dark.” It almost feels like eavesdropping on a private conversation.
9:03 PM: The crowd sings the chorus on an acoustic version of “Learning To Fly." It’s an intimate moment shared among tens of thousands.
9:48 PM: Petty takes his guitar off and waves to the crowd. The band locks arms and takes a collective bow as he says, "God bless and good night." With some of Outside Lands’ biggest acts still to come on Sunday, there are boundless potential blessings still to be revealed.
Additional reporting by Jason Black