Saturday, August 23, 2008

SF Outside Lands-Day 1 Impressions

So yesterday was Day 1 of the OutsideLands Festival at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The festivities began with a pre-game party at a friends friends house. It was a nice mid-afternoon get together before heading to the Park. Following some shenanigans there, we began the 25-30 minute walk to the park, with a road soda for each of us in our backpacks (you can drink once you get in the park).

Anyway, the streets and trails of the park were pretty crowded with people making their way to the festival grounds. Friday's shows were slated to begin at 5:00. The lines to get in weren't bad at all and security was all but non-existent. We waited in line for a spell to get our ID wristbands, heard Black Mountain while waiting, so that was band 1. Once we regrouped we headed over to the Lands End stage all the way at the other end in the Polo Field. There we caught Manu Chao, but mostly while waiting in the painful line for food and beer. Those basic tasks took close to 40 minutes. Next up was Lyrics Born, on the Avenues Polo Field stage right nearby. If there was a saving grace for the day, it was LB. He rocked. I've never seen Lyrics Born before because he rarely makes it to the East Coast. He rocked and was well worth the hassle. Joy, his backup singer, has one of the best voices in hip hop, or any other music style, and can bring a chill to you. And she did.

Following LB, we moved over to the main stage to see Radiohead, with a "quick" pitstop first. Yeah, no such thing as quick. The polo field was surrounded by porto-potties, but had one access point to get to them. People were climbing over or under the fences to get to them. We headed to the end point of the fence only to be greeted by massive lines. Me and my friend Shane went to the woods, as were most men, and some women. A fence had been knocked down and people were walking in at will. Two dudes walked by and said, "See? I told you we didn't need tickets." Nice. That's what $250 gets you if you play by the rules. Anyway, we attempted to meet with some friends, via text message. The stage area was overly crowded and it was hard to move from the back of the lawn towards the front where our friends were. We pushed along as best we could, but it was in vain.

Overall, the main stage was as shitshow. The sound got knocked out twice during two separate Radiohead tunes. The band was unaware and you could see them still rocking on the video screen. The other big problem was that for a field that big there were only two video screens, on either side of the stage. Radiohead was doing a four-image split, kind of Beatleseque. It sucked. The sightlines were horrid, and the crowd was kind of crappy. The most interesting thing was the girl who was doing interpretive dance to each song. I never saw someone interpretively dance to "Idiotique." But so it goes.

Overall, unimpressive first day. Let's hope Day 2 is better.

And now I must go to get ready for another day. Links and photos to follow.

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