Music fans have descended upon San Francisco for the 8th annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival this weekend. The Northern California event, situated in the heart of the Bay Area, launched Friday (Aug. 7) and is set to showcase a spectacular lineup of both chart topping artists and rising new talent.
Singer-songwriter Natalie Prass kicked off this year’s festival this year with groovy guitar licks and devastatingly romantic vocals. She provided audiences a look at her new song “Jess” and brought out a few early ’90s jams as she paid homage to Janet Jackson (and Kendrick Lamar) with a cover of “Any Time, Any Place.”
The 2015 lineup continued to showcase rising talent such as the golden 26-year-old Leon Bridges, whose sultry gospel voice and resurrected New Orleans blues guitar-riffs warmed up the crowd for a full day of dancing at the Sutro Stage.
Alternative-dance artist Robert DeLong continued with that dancing notion on the opposite Twin Peaks Stage as he electrified the younger fans with his control wielding bass drops, manic drums sets and galvanizing stage presence.
A surprisingly high energy performance came from Sweden’s First Aid Kit. The folk-rock duo delivered a spectacular show, filled with delightful surprises such as a dedicated cover to their heroes June Carter and Johnny Cash with an undeniably exceptional cover of “Emmylou.” With a lack of heavy metal acts on this year’s lineup, the band also delighted the audience with a justified rendition of Black Sabbath‘s “War Pigs.”
St. Vincent, calling out to San Francisco’s “freaks to the queers and to the dominatrices,” took the stage in a leather jumper for an all-out assault on the audience with aggressive guitar riffs and haunting vocals with various tracks from her self-titled Grammy-winning album from 2014.
English rockers Glass Animals provided a playful audience interaction during their set, with sudden guitar solos erupting during the hit “Gooey” and even a cover of Kanye West‘s “Love Lockdown.” “There’s a lot of good inflatable shit out there — this one is for the palm tree,” shouted lead singer Dave Bayley.
The set from the violin-wielding Lindsey Stirling seemed to have mended the age gap between the audiences as she burned through classical violin solos laid upon various dubstep rhythms.
The first half of Wilco‘s set consisted of their most recent album, Star Wars, played in it’s entirety. Although the album was only released onr month ago, devoted fans sang along in familiarity with each track. Frontman Jeff Tweedy continued the rest of the set with staple crowd-pleasers such as the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot definitive “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.”
Having already visited the Bay Area less than two months ago while touring behind his new album, Black Messiah, D’Angelo closed out the Sutro Stage Friday night. The R&B icon transported audiences once again to a place with warm grooves and soulful vocals that kept hips moving and feet dancing from start to finish. Accompanied by the 10-piece Vanguard, D’Angelo and his singers electrified the audiences and commanded hearts through emotional heavy fist pumps and smooth hip sways.
The first day of the festival came to a close with the newly found electric guitar sounds from Mumford & Sons. As various hues of blue and red blanketed the trees surrounding Golden Gate Park, frontman Marcus Mumford treated the overflowing park of fans with their classics like “Little Lion Man,” “I Will Wait” and “The Cave,” and then ended the night with an explosive roar with the single “The Wolf,” from new album Wilder Mind.
Outside Lands continues to keep a highly balanced lineup of platinum artists and rising favorites throughout the weekend with performances by Kendrick Lamar, Elton John, Tame Impala, Mac DeMarco, The Black Keys and more.