• Recap: Outside Lands Festival 2013

    I flew up to San Francisco last weekend to pay a visit to the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park, where I saw tons of incredible artists, new and old. It was so nice to get a break from the Los Angeles summer heat and experience a music festival in a non-sweaty environment (like that other festival I go to, Coachella). Here's what I experienced throughout the 3-day happening in the forest! Maddie

    My first set of the weekend was Smith Westerns, whom I've always loved. It was great to hear some of their new songs from Soft Will, their new album. They surely started the day off nicely, and I'm pretty sure their sweet sounds cleared the clouds and let the sun shine in SF, even if it was just a little bit.

    Next I saw Surfer Blood from afar at the main stage, who brought their East Coast beach jams to the West. Lead singer JP even put on an American flag print cap at one point during the set. Always gotta be on trend, right?

    The music at this festival is always great, but so is the food. Outside Lands always provides a "taste of the bay area," as they call it, with vendors lining the fields at the festival to bring the best eats. I often found myself staring at other people throughout the weekend just to figure out what food they were eating. Sorry everyone for creepin' on your fine foods!

    Also aside from the music are lots of fun activities to do in your down time, like free bouquet and flower crown making!

    Then I went to the smallest stage, the Panhandle, to see Daughter perform, whom I had never seen before. Elena Tonra's vocals seemed to fit perfectly in with the beauty that is Golden Gate Park.

    I ended Friday night with a nearly three hour, 40 song set from Sir Paul McCartney that included fireworks! Basically, I couldn't believe my eyes the whole time; he is a total rock and roll legend. Sir Paul played tons of Beatles and Wings hits, plus played the intro to Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze." Badass much? It was so beautiful.

    Saturday came along, and started with a great set from The Growlers, whom I also had never seen before! They played a perfectly psychedelic set that also fit right into San Francisco. I swear, there is no chiller dude on this planet than the lead singer, Brooks.

    A little later on I saw Bombino, all the way from Niger! I reviewed their recent release, Nomad recently!

    It was impossible to get remotely close at the main stage for Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but regardless of where you were standing their set was one to remember. They even played "Date With the Night"!

    Rounding out Saturday night was Nine Inch Nails. I may be about 25 years late to the party as I was a small child when they were popular, but they seriously impressed me. At the last minute my friends and I decided to stay for their whole set, and I'm really happy I did. Who knew I would enjoy industrial rock so much? NIN's visuals were also totally A+.

    The last day of Outside Lands, Sunday, began with a massive set from Foals. No doubt one of my favorite sets of the weekend. I jammed so hard to "Two Steps, Twice." I need to see them again ASAP!

    This festival definitely involved endless trekking to and from different ends of Golden Gate Park. Along with incredible performances, I also got lots of exercise, hopefully enough for the rest of the year.

    King Tuff was next at the Panhandle stage, and there was moshing. Lots of moshing, naturally!

    I think I took all of one photograph during Vampire Weekend's set, which was my favorite of the weekend, and honestly the last I really paid attention to! I was looking the most forward to seeing them play; they are one of my favorite bands ever. It was great to hear new and old songs of theirs, especially "Hannah Hunt" from Modern Vampires of the City.

    I spent most of Sunday night in "Chocolands" eating delicious desserts underneath these light-up sugar skulls in the trees. Like all festivals, Outside Lands quickly came to an end, but it was a great one this year! I saw and discovered some super bands, ate some sweet treats and enjoyed the cool San Francisco air. Hoping to make it back to the forest next year for Outside Lands 2014!