Over 210,000 fans converged on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for this year’s Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival. The staple Bay-area gathering pays homage to northern California with an incredible offering of wine and beer vendors as well as various gourmet food options scattered throughout the park. This year’s musical lineup included stunning performances by headlining acts including LCD Soundsytem, J. Cole and Lana Del Rey — and The Muppets‘ Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem (yes, seriously). Here are our 11 favorite other moments from the weekend.
11) Lewis Del Mar – Coming off the release of their first EP, this young new pop-duo have already managed to acquire a comfort on stage typically seen in more seasoned performers. Their fast paced percussions, accompanied by gentle vocals and charming guitar play make them one of the most engaging new acts to hit the circuit. Their live rendition of their debut track “Loud(y)”, saw the group plunging into a Jimi Hendrix-style electric guitar solo which had the whole crowd rocking out.
10) E-40 & Warren G– In past years, Outside Lands is notorious for creating pop up performances worthy of a main stage booking. Jack White once brought an amp into the woods and began playing by himself to a passing crowd and this year we saw Big Boi create a pop-up stage in front of the Beer Land area of the festival. It was West Coast hip-hop legends E-40 and Warren G performing in front of the Heineken House together that was the real surprise treat for fans this year. “My homie Warren G and I go back 27 years, I love this dog,” shouted E-40 as the duo suddenly drew a massive following of few thousand people while performing hits like “Super Hyphy,” a quick Big Sean collaboration, “IDFWU” and “Saturday,” among others.
9) Haelos – This electro-pop duo from London have been making quite a splash all over the U.S. festival circuit, with breakout performances at Coachella, Lollapalooza and SXSW. Their music contains an orchestra of pop sounds, heavy percussion and different electronic elements that could easily be played alongside a full backend track, but instead they stubbornly bring a full live band along with them on tour. Thankfully, this creates a truly honest live experience for fans. On tracks like “Dust” and “Separate Lives” the charming and seductive vocals echoed through the park, as the hard-hitting duo percussionists and various electronic elements kept fans clapping along and dancing.
8) Snakehips – Another group from London to infiltrate the Bay Area at this year’s OL were met with open arms and a full dance crowd. They had just dropped a new track, “Cruel,” featuring Zayn Malik last month and their performance of tracks like “Dimelo” and “All My Friends.” created a good-time afternoon dance party that had fans jumping up and down from start to finish.
7) Miike Snow – A blanket of fog rolled in and covered most of the festival on Day one and the group consisting of producers Bloodshy & Avant and singer Andrew Wyatt, provided the perfect sonic accompaniment for the ominous weather. What made this performance a highlight for the weekend was their introduction of various ambient electronic sounds that lifted and carried listeners within the bridge of tracks like “Black and Blue” and “A Song For No One.”
6) Big Grams – This all-star trio consisting of Outkast‘s Big Boi and Phantogram brought an onslaught of party tracks, including a few of their own like “Lights On,” dropping a heavy bass for fans on “Drum Machine” and got the entire crowd singing along to various remixes of Outkast and Phantogram tracks.
5) Chance the Rapper – This Chicago-based rapper brought a high energy performance from the minute he jumped on stage. Chance shared with the audience, “I had a friend out here who I called when I found out I was performing here, so I asked him if I should do that acid rap and he told me, NO, do the features!” And that;s exactly what he did as he went right into a stunning performance of “Baby Blue.”
4) Major Lazer – Not a top headliner this year, but this crew drew the biggest crowd of any performer the whole weekend. A sea of fans flocked to the main stage and extended all the way back to what seemed to be endless horizon. Tracks like “Lean On”, “Get Free” and “Cold Water” (featuring Justin Bieber and MØ) gave ML full and total control over the crowd as they made waves jumping in unison to the bass-laden playlist. The energy was electric and infectious for this Diplo side project.
3) Third Eye Blind – This San Francisco-based act was truly the hometown hero this weekend as lead singer Stephen Jenkins shared with the audience, “Thank you for being the city that has influenced every single song we have ever written.” Although the group is looking to release new EP soon, they respectively performed their notable breakout tracks like “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Jumper” and “Graduate.” Besides bringing out all the features, Jenkins paid tribute to one his biggest musical influences, David Bowie, as they went on to provide brief covers of “Heroes” and “Ziggy Stardust,” among others.
2) Radiohead – As a copy of the Bay Area bridge covered in lights was positioned over the main stage, spotlights beamed directly up from its towers and illuminated the night fog that set over fans. This created a fitting ambience for when Radiohead took to the stage. Singer Thom Yorke injected whole-hearted feeling and emotion into each lyric he sang but what really affirmed this group’s mastery for creating sonic landscapes was when various tracks seemed to start off aligned with the studio version to draw fans in and then left them vulnerable when the band suddenly detoured into a hard-hitting rock jam, alongside a bright, flashing light show. During their 2 1/2 hour set, there were a few expected tracks from their 2016 album, A Moon Shaped Pool, but the group dipped largely into Ok Computer to the delight of fans as well.
1) The Muppets – Although they played a short, 25-minute set, Dr. Teeth, Animal, and the whole Muppet gang brought down the house on the main stage with a live performance of covers including “San Francisco” by The Mowgli’s, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Home”, “Ophelia” by The Band, and The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends.”