Day 3 â€“ Complete redemption
Highlights: gorgeous weather (for San Francisco), lots of romantic guitar, Broken Social Scene still having 1,029 people in their band, and Jeff Tweedy being adorable
Somehow the weather gods smiled upon our little festival in the park on the last day of Outside Lands, and I arrived to Golden Gate Park with sun shining on my fire engine red hair and in a good mood â€“ only 40 minutes door to door to witness people from Canada? Awesome!
[Entering the OSL grounds]
Broken Social Scene were visited on stage by one of the guys from Apostle of Hustle, a girl from Stars, and maybe some random Hippie Hill people as they shredded, danced, and waltzed their way through every nook of their catalogue to demonstrate why they're everyone's favorite mega-group from up North. Seriously, hearing "Capture the Flag" being performed flawlessly with the reverb and shoegaze piled on â€“ all the while the bright California sunshine warming everyone's skin â€“ was one of the best moments of the day. BSS was ending their national tour that afternoon in the park, and I was all too sad to see their set, as perfect as it was, end.
[The only way to get all of Broken Social Scene in frame]
One of my goals was to try and see acts that I'd never seen before live, so I hiked over to Rodrigo y Gabriela on the main stage after I got some Canadian goodness. And it wasn't until I witnessed this duo do things with their hands I'd never seen a human do that I was convinced that indeed there are really just two of them. The two former thrash metal musicians have moved onto bigger and better sounds in their folk-inspired, classical plucking of the guitar, and it was such a treat to see melodies interwoven on top of one another for all sections of a band, but produced by four hands instead. What a trip.
[Rodrigo y Gabriela]
I like things with waves in them (see: Longwave, 80s new wave, the Tidal Wave ride at Great America), so I bounced to Rogue Wave just in time to see new song "Bird On A Wire" be busted out with lead singer Zach standing above the crowd on the ledge of the stage giving his praise to the audience. Stellar vocals sold the SF band's set, and before I took off for Wilco, it made me so proud to see talent like Rogue Wave grace the presence of an Outside Lands stage, not only because they are local, but also because they are just plain good.
Jeff Tweedy and Co.'s performance can be summed up with this quote: "That was a great solo for a guy who has his zipper safety pinned together â€“ can you imagine playing guitar and worrying about your schlong falling out?" The sea of hands clapping extended all the way to the main funnel path a good half-mile up, and I couldn't help but smile. Outside Lands and me had definitely kissed and made up with Wilco's sunset performance.
After caving in and buying a $6 piece of pizza, I shamelessly sang along to Jack Johnson's "Maybe" before heading home while reminiscing. Maybe shit was fucked up pre, during, and post-show, but the music was the star, and for that, I bow down to Outside Lands for booking talent of quantity andquality. Could we just get a little transit love and organization up in this piece?