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RECAP: Outside Lands Day One Featuring Beck, Foo Fighters and Neil Young and Crazy Horse + more

By Staff; photos by Max Chapman Sweeney on August 14, 2012

 

RECAP: Outside Lands Day One Featuring Beck, Foo Fighters and Neil Young and Crazy Horse + more

Outside Lands, Day 1
Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, CA)
Friday, August 10, 2012

For more coverage of Outside Lands, check out Day 2 and Day 3 of the festival.

Deciding to escape Los Angeles for three days of Outside Lands in San Francisco was a no brainer; managing to escape Los Angeles during a crazy forecasted heat wave in exchange for three days of sweater weather, outstanding music, craft beer, red wine a-plenty and gourmet food in Golden Gate Park was nothing short of a blessing of earth’s greatest delights.

Tanlines (1:30–2:10)
Panhandle Stage (Hellman Hollow)

The first day of the music, food, wine, beer and art festival opened for us with Brooklyn trop duo Tanlines on the Panhandle stage, set up in the park’s Hellman Hollow. A large structure on our way proclaiming “WINE LANDS,” caught our eye, but we continued toward the medium-sized stage, which was already packed with early(ish) birds basking in the glow of Eric Emm and Jesse Cohen’s performance, offering up beats and beeps from the duo's debut LP, Mixed Emotions. Fog wafted through the meadow and people bundled in layers close together, but Tanlines’ warm vibes were a welcome contrast of climates.

Two Gallants (1:50–2:40)
Lands End (Polo Field)

On the other side of the park, an enthusiastic audience met San Francisco locals Two Gallants at the fest’s enormous Lands End stage on the park’s multi-use polo field. Before launching into “Steady Rollin’,” singer Tyson Vogel remarked on the surreality of the scene in front of him: “We played our 8th grade soccer tournament on this field,” he said in mild disbelief.

Fitz and the Tantrums (3:10–4:00)
Lands End (Polo Field)

As Fitz and the Tantrums took the stage midafternoon and warmed up the crowd, urging a willing audience again and again to shake it, a brief break of tequila and grapefruit cocktails were appreciated. While singers Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs offered the audience a soul-revival (and synthless) take on Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This),” we picnicked with our first eats of the weekend toward the back of the lawn with sandwiches from 4505 Meats (cornmeal-battered chicken with aoli and crunchy jalapenos) and Nojo (a simple and delicious tonkatsu with lettuce on crust-less white bread) in anticipation for Beck’s set.

Beck (4:30–5:40)
Lands End (Polo Field)

Following the lead of nearly every other performer of the weekend, Beck mentioned the cold right off the bat, “We’ll try our best to keep you warm,” he assured everyone. True to his word, Hansen’s performance consisted of a well-rounded set spawning the near-entirety of his catalog, treating the crowd to “Devils Haircut,” “Loser,” “Gamma Ray,” “Lost Cause,” “Where It’s At,” “The Golden Age” and covers of Dylan’s “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” and Friday headliner Neil Young’s “After the Goldrush.” 

Foo Fighters (6:10–7:25)
Lands End (Polo Field)

I’d hardly ever assume a Beck crowd and a Foo Fighters crowd to be one in the same, but many of the faces who chorused loyally to “Soy un perdedor,” remained firmly in place as others swarmed from the opposite side of the festival for the Foos. As soon as they took the stage, Dave Grohl and company ripped into Outside Lands with “All My Life,” and the surging crowd roared for more. “The quicker we’re done,” Grohl announced, apologizing to no one for the pace of the set, “the sooner I get to see Neil fucking Young.”

Andrew Bird (7:10–8:05)
Sutro Stage (Lindley Meadow)

If Foo Fighters had brought some of the sun out onto the polo field, a short hike to Linley Meadow’s Sutro Stage was like entering a completely different world. Nearing sundown—though no sunshine was in sight—fog rested in the valley, clinging to the sides of a steep grassy knoll where blankets and scarves were wrapped tightly around the masses waiting for Andrew Bird. In a perfect setting for his moody, beautiful music, Bird (accompanied by his drummer Dosh, a guitarist, and a bassist) opened with Armchair Apocrypha’s “Darkmatter,” allowing his signature whistling to carry through the meadow before erupting with a full, engaging sound. Also included were selections from his newest, Break It Yourself, including “Orpheo Looks Back” and “Eyeoneye.”

Before we gathered together for Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s headlining set back on the polo field, we stopped for some more of the fest’s gourmet fare, hitting up Pacific Catch for some classic fish and chips and the highly recommended Hawaiian poke (initially a bit nervous to consume raw fish at a music festival, the plate was delicious). For dessert was a trip to the festival's Choco Lands for a hunk of peanut butter chocolate from Sharona's Chocolate Shop that proved a lasting treat throughout the weekend.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse (8:10–9:55)
Lands End (Polo Field)

Neil Young and Crazy Horse took the stage shortly after 8:00pm and launched into a lengthy and jammy set, opting to play cuts from Rust Never Sleeps, Ragged Glory, and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, some new songs from an album due out later this year, and appeasing the crowd with a few favorites, including “The Needle and the Damage Done,” “Cinnamon Girl” and “Hey Hey My My (Into the Black).” Though nearly everyone was probably left wanting of a 20-minute version of "Cortez the Killer," the strength of Neil Young and Crazy Horse's lasting legacy was apparent until the end of the encore as the bouncing melody of "Mr. Soul" escorted us out of the park and into the uncertain destiny of the SF Muni.

For more Outside Lands coverage of Day 2 and Day 3, stay tuned through the rest of the week.

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