In a few day's time, Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival graduates to the decade club and is ready to put on a legendary weekend (August 11th-13th) of magical music and footloose fun. This year’s 10th anniversary lineup packs some heavy rock hitters, long-awaited reunions, Dr. Ian Malcolm and a potpourri of fresh acts making their Outside Lands debut.
We love the various Lands (wine, beer, choco), the live art and Barbary comedy tent, the fact that you can LIVE STREAM the festival this year, and that it’s one of the few independently-operated festivals out there in a sea of AEG and LiveNation owned fests. But most of all we love the superb acts they book year after year. Let’s break down the sound with the Top 10 (plus) Acts of Outside Lands 2017...
Maggie Rogers - Sundays in Golden Gate Park are where the magic happens and Maggie Rogers’ slinking croon and killer stage steez will bring out the dancin’ fool in you. She has one of the best voices on this year’s lineup so be sure to be on time for her 2:30p set at the Sutro Stage. I’ll be the guy belting out “Alaska” in key on the hill.
Alt-J - I might be most excited for this set having been introduced to this group’s live show three years ago at Treasure Island Music Fest and being blown away. Their latest album feels like a psychedelic medieval quest and what better way to see that played than in the middle of Golden Gate Park surrounded by glowing towering trees. You will lose yourself in tribal flow to songs like “Fitzpleasure” and be emotionally entranced by “The Gospel of John Hurt.” I won’t blame you for not leaving Gorillaz, but if you do, the musical journey they’ll take you on won’t disappoint.
Thundercat - Let’s get facts straight, Thundercat will be the hippest, kookiest cat on stage this weekend, there ain’t no doubt about that. He was a top act for many at Coachella this year debuting his new album Drunk and trust me when I say this is some of the best live music you will see all weekend. Pure funk talent, a Twin Peaks Saturday afternoon set time, add some tequila and you got yourself one of the best boogie downs of the weekend.
Metallica - The pyrotechnics have been tested, the guitars have been tuned and the fans are ready for ignition for the biggest blowout show of the weekend. I missed them for a polar-opposite energy Sigur Ros set when they played OSL 2012 but I will not miss out this time. Whether you like their style of rock music or not, these guys put on a metal show that you won’t ever forget. Saturday is the day of ROCK with these gents atop the throne.
A Tribe Called Quest - We saw the bittersweet reunion of Tribe last year for an album that was finished just before the death of the legend Phife Dawg, and the chance to see them play their hip hop bangers new and old has been on everyone’s wish list. Since being birthed into the hip hop world with the likes of Tribe, Mos Def and Talib this has been a long time coming for this writer. Q-Tip is one of the greatest rapper/producers in the game now and forever so their Lands End twerk-worthy twilight hour set should be a treat.
Kaytranada - The Twin Peaks stage always needs that bangerang show that has the whole crowd jumpin hands up. It was DJ Mustard two years ago and this year Kaytranada is that hero we need and deserve. Kay will bring his 99.9% new album hits along with his sexy slate of remixes. During a crowded Saturday of rockers, it’ll feel good to cleanse your palate with this set.
Gorillaz - We should feel so honored to attend the Gorillaz’ first US festival set since releasing their six years in the making album, Humanz. Damon Albarn’s cartoon concept band should be bringing out some heavy hitters as the album features quite the slate of guest vocalists. I was not the biggest fan of the album, but I am still excited to see their music come alive for the first time.
Mondo Cozmo - Los Angeles singer Mondo Cozmo is a new discover on this year’s lineup and his tracks are impressive enough to get me to the Panhandle Stage early to kick off rockin Saturday. I’ve heard whispers of his name across major festivals like Lollapalooza, Firefly and Bonnaroo and now he is arriving in San Francisco with a less than one week old debut album. If that doesn’t peak your interest then give it a listen and circle back with me.
Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra - Golden Gate (Jurassic) Park is about to get jazzy. Yes, you read this right. Jeff “Life Uh Finds A Way” Goldblum. Can you think of a better way to spend your Saturday afternoon than listening to Jeff play the jazz piano and work the crowd with witty banter alongside a killer crooning band he’s been playing with for over two decades?
The Who - Rock n roll owes these lads everything. They innovated the big rock sound, the windmill guitar and the punk feel of the genre. Peter Townshend and Roger Daltrey may be the godfathers of this year’s fest (every year tends to have an excellent classic act) but they might also have the most energy. Especially since this is one of the last few shows on their tour that they’ve been quoted as saying may be their last. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m gonna need everyone at the fest singing along to Baba O’Riley with me.
SCREW IT, ANOTHER 10 Acts We Are Stoked On! THEY’RE DOING IT LIVE!
Warpaint - Saturday isn’t only for the boys. These California rockbabes are sure to be part of your Top 5 Acts by the end of your weekend and I’m excited to catch them for the first time.
Little Dragon - Let’s get weird with the Swedes. Lead singer Yukimi Nagano is my spirit pixie.
Above & Beyond - Who’s gonna push the button?
Josh Wink - We have an electronic legend in the house, literally. Up there with Digweed and Hawtin this man has his own experimental (acid/tech house) sound and will be devestating The Heineken House on Saturday
Sofi Tukker - These brazilian flavored Brooklynites bring the energy and bounce. Start studying up on them if you haven’t already.
Rag 'n' Bone Man - Sounds like a more raw cut Jack Garratt. Killer soul rock.
Fleet Foxes - Six year hiatus and now they’re back. Sutro is gonna swoon.
Lee Fields & The Expressions - Move over Charles Bradley, we got another old school songbird and his band in the house. Get to the fest early Sunday to catch these cool cats.
Royal Blood - Simple is often better. For two dudes, they sure as hell rock the f out.
Solange - One of the best reviewed albums and acts of 2016, Solange is as powerful of a force as her famous sister and her live shows are all about the power of blackness and femininity.