Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Outside Lands 2010: Day 1 Part 2

Yesterday we eased you into Day 1 of Outside Lands 2010, and now here we are, back with more! The second half of Saturday offered some killer performances, and the weather held up well enough to let the fans seriously enjoy some rock and roll awesomeness. Also, we're not going to lie: THE STROKES!!!! Just sayin'. Check out all the coverage below, and come back tomorrow for Day 2!

My Morning Jacket

It had been quite a while since we'd seen My Morning Jacket live, and we certainly weren't disappointed with their Outside Lands set. Ramping up for some dates opening for Tom Petty, the band delivered a set that was definitely a winner. A massive crowd gathered at the Lands End stage to see them play, and the scene was pretty crazy.

There was something about lead singer Jim James that seemed sort of majestic -- maybe it was his big hair, flowy scarf, and long coat -- whatever it was, he was fun to watch. Considering how much the band has played recently it was refreshing to see how stoked they all seemed to be on stage.

These guys are great performers and the crowd loved them. We've always been pretty surprised at how much energy and noise MMJ make on stage. For such a mellow band on record, they really rocked. Of course we were happy to hear some of our old favorites including 'I'm Amazed' and 'Golden'.


Outside Lands definitely does a good job at bringing a dose of musical diversity, and Wolfmother delivered one of the heaviest sets of the festival. Yielding a classic blues rock sound that landed the band somewhere between Zeppelin and Sabbath, the band really got into their show.

In fact, they got so into it that this stage was one of the few where we caught a glimpse of some real, true to life, crowd surfing. Ah, the nineties are no longer, but maybe the spirit's still there?!?!?

Regardless, they delivered a set that was unquestionably solid rock and roll. Their performance and stage presence, combined with a wild crowd, made for one of the most aggressive and balls-to-the-wall sets of the entire festival.

Cat Power

Poor Chan Marshall: no one seemed too excited to see Cat Power play Outside Lands, and while we're old fans of hers, we were sort of surprised to see her on the line-up. There wasn't much of a crowd, which surprised us, and her mellow, quiet music just didn't really inspire the drunken crowd.

To add to the difficulties, it was cold when she got up there, and it was obvious people were killing time waiting to see The Strokes. We overheard someone later say "Could Cat Power have played any longer? That set went on way too long." Sadly, we kind of agreed.

She opened the set with 'Good Woman' which we were excited about, but her quiet covers after the first song bored us. Now that Cat Power can get through an entire set without freaking out, we think she's best seen at a smaller, more intimate venue, not a big outdoor festival like Outside Lands.

Wild Beasts

Outside Lands was the last night of Wild Beasts' US tour. While we were lucky enough to catch them in New York last week, some SF fans who didn't make it to Golden Gate Park this past weekend were (understandably) a little disappointed the band didn't play another venue in the city before heading back to England.

The band played to a much drunker and colder crowd who were clearly ready to dance. Maybe we were getting tired at this point in the night, or maybe it was the festival vibe, but (unlike New York) their performance at Outside Lands didn't really hold a candle to their studio records.

We were clearly in the minority. Similar to the New York show, the crowd was filled with adoring, painfully enthusiastic fans. Maybe we're just getting old, but when the sound of the band is overwhelmed by the idiots next to you, we always get a little frustrated. Nonetheless, it was monster show for the band to close out their tour with, and we're happy to see them riding the wave of success.

The Strokes

It seemed like everyone at Outside Lands was there to see The Strokes on Saturday night, and frankly, we were with them. For a band that hasn't had an album in 6 years, and just started touring again, we weren't sure what to expect. We should have known better: The Strokes were just as awesome as ever.

Featuring a notably close-trimmed-yet-bearded Albert Hammond Jr., the band were rock solid and bulletproof in their live incarnation as always. We were impressed with how complex their music sounded, and the intricacy of the later material really shown through. They've definitely come a long way from the Petty-aping chug of "Is This It".

They opened up with "New York City Cops" and gave the crowd a pretty solid set complete with a monstrous 6 encores. Julian Casablancas said he appreciated all of the love and then commented that "maybe it wasn't love, so much as drunken excitement, but he would take that too".

After the gray day it was really fun to see a show as epic as The Strokes, with a crowd that was ready to eat it up. It seemed like it was probably the biggest production of the day, although we didn't bother to see what was undoubtedly a pretty trippy light show happening for Further on the other side of the park.

The crowd seemed pleased with what The Strokes had brought to the show, and with good reason. The band is a charismatic on-stage unit, who only truly shine when they're all together. Sure, we love a lot of their solo work, but at the end of the day, this show at Outside Lands demonstrated perfectly why The Strokes are (and should continue to be) here to stay.