Monday, April 13, 2009

Outside Lands Lineup Announced, Considerably Less Balanced Than 2008

Okay, we have to admit - we're a little surprised. After last year's Outside Land Festival had a wonderfully balanced artist lineup (a little bit indie, a little bit classic, a little bit mainstream), it seems that this year they've decided to opt strongly (at least in the top slots) in the direction of mainstream bands, leaving the indie world to the likes of the Treasure Island Festival and Noise Pop.

Specifically, the main headliners for the festival (with the exception of Ween and possibly M.I.A.) are all easy, accessible, mainstream artists. Granted, there's nothing wrong with that per se. Obviously with a festival of this size needs to cater to the masses, and with headliners like Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, and Dave Matthews, this lineup is certainly doing that.

Last year we genuinely were thrilled with Outside Lands, and a lot of that had to do with the unique way the lineup catered to so many different types of fans. It did a fantastic job at mirroring San Francisco's diversity, both musically and culturally. More than anything, it just made for a really varied and interesting experience. By contrast, this year's lineup seems far more targeted at one specific demographic, and that's a bit of a let down.

That being said, the lineup is certainly not without merit. We're psyched to see The National, TV On The Radio, Deerhunter, Modest Mouse, Band Of Horses and John Vanderslice in the mix. What's more, the lineup has a good number of artists who fall into the "we've always been interested, but never got a chance to catch them live" category, which is also helps to make for a great festival.

At the end of the day, this year's Outside Lands lineup will no doubt be a solid entry into the festival's evolving history. It's just maybe not exactly what we would have liked to see in terms of headliners and the overall vibe they send. Even so, we had a great time at the fest last year, and we're pretty sure that's one thing that won't change this year. You might just find us at the smaller stages.


Caleb said...

yep. no one should be allowed to bill Dave Matthews as a Headliner of a supposed to be cutting edge new festival.

hippiesaredead said...

Okay, garbage is probably taking it too far. The DMB records produced by Steve Lillywhite definitely stand the test of time, and the band's live shows are pretty high energy. Granted, Dave isn't for everyone, but garbage? That seems extreme.

Jeffrey Greenblatt said...

Bottom line is that they have to sell tickets, so you have to put those big names at the top. But I do like the line up so far, some good names there. Definitely check out Os Mutantes.