More than 70,000 people returned to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Saturday (Aug. 8) for day two of the Outside Lands Music and Arts festival. The evening’s lineup presented a skew of performance conflicts with an overabundance of the year’s biggest acts scattered throughout the park.
Day two also came with a polar opposite climate from the day before, as the drop in temperature and early fog mist warranted for less sunblock and more rain coats. However, this did not prevent one of San Francisco’s best new rising acts, HEARTWATCH, from kicking off the day’s performances with inescapably catchy guitar hooks accompanied by dynamic indie pop vocals.
The feel good beats of Mister Wives kept the positive vibes of the day going on the main stage, as they warmed up the audiences with a full out stage jam cover of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’, “Uptown Funk.”
The most surprising breakout performance came from Angus & Julia Stone, who seemed to have arrived with one agenda and that was to rock out. They provided exceptional guitar playing with earnest use of various distortions and guitar solos. The set included various songs from their duo work like “Big Jet Plane,” “Crash and Burn” and a few tracks from their solo work such as Julia’s “It’s All Okay.” The electric guitar heavy performance permeated with shredding solos that were kept in check by Angus’s delicate, yet concise vocals. The band’s guitarist danced between an arsenal of different sounds with sliding guitars and even a classic Spanish flamenco on a banjo.
The afternoon fog lifted at the very end of the day; it seems that even the sun came out to catch the 80’s rock icon Billy Idol perform. The sensational punk rocker maintained the same energetic, fist-pumping, charismatic stage presence and howling vocals as he had 30 years ago. The crowd was banqueted with a set of all the hits, such as “White Wedding” and his cover of “Mony Mony.” Idol paused on stage as he ran up and screamed, “this next song only takes two words to introduce, “REBEL YELL!”
Giraffage’s set provided the highlight electronic performance of the day, with a fusion of deep house beats and pop samples of popular remixes like his take on Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone.” The multi-instrumentalist/producer continues to grow in popularity and became a fan favorite that day as the younger crowds flooded too the stage when sounds of his remix to Tinashe’s, “All Hands on Deck,” echoed through the park.
The artist favorite of the day went to Tame Impala, as fans and many of the other artist surrounded the stage for their afternoon set. Psychedelic, tie-dye visuals were layered over the stage monitors and complemented by the inspiring alternative rock sounds. They played tracks such as “Let It Happen,” “The Less I Know the Better,” and “The Moment,” from their critically acclaimed new album Currents.
And the night saw one of the biggest headlining conflicts of the festival. The gritty blues-rock of The Black Keys commanded attendance as they cycled through various big hits such as “Gold on the Ceiling,” “Howlin’ for You,” “Tighten Up,” and “Lonely Boy.” The duo has evolved from the two person band as singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney were joined on stage will a full ensemble that provided a noticeably stronger sound that freed up both Carney and Auerbach to provide a more explorative sound as they added in new sound elements to various tracks throughout the performance.
Attendees took up every available square inch of festival real estate, with an eye view of the Kendrick Lamar stage, for a glimpse of the rapper’s performance after the release of his second studio album, To Pimp a Butterfly. Lamar’s dynamic onstage presence, energy and showmanship cemented his rightful place this year as a leader within the hip-hop industry. The electrified set was closed out by an extended version of “Alright,” which kept Lamar performing well past his initial end of set time.