If you don’t count Phish or John Old-Fogy-Fogherty, today’s Outside Lands 2011 lineup announcement has some damn good acts on the bill; albeit the acts listed in the slightly smaller font size on said bill. The festival takes place each year at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in August; 2011 dates are August 12 – 14.
Right off the bat, my eyes were drawn to The Vaccines from London and The Limousines from S.F., along with Ana Tijoux, a spicy number from Chile who twists the hip-hop genre around her little finger and squeezes.
Foster the People put on a fab show at SXSW, but the band members really blew people’s mind when given the opportunity to play a full set during the headlining tour that followed. And in the life-is-good, summer of love genre, Starfucker, along with Best Coast, The Fresh & Onlys, and Grouplove will truly complement the gorgeous surroundings of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
For fans of Chapterhouse or Resplandor (like me), Tamaryn, led by Australian-born Sia Furler and accompanied by guitarist Robert Johnson, will have in tow an intriguing new album, Some People Have Real Problems. The Phantogram duo is also known for their highly atmospheric shows, so one would expect plenty of heads swaying before their stage.The antithesis will be Joy Formidable‘s set, a band (from personal experience) that kicks into the first song with all the fervor and thrash one would expect from the last chords of the closing song. And this energy level doesn’t stop until the three members actually do leave the stage.
One act’s bio, which I had to read twice and check the photo, said its line up included Neil Finn. Life is full of surprises. Listening to Pajama Party I thought the Pet Shop Boys were going to come in on harmonies and Sheila E. was going to break out in a drum solo; but Neil Finn? Then again, Split Enz’s “Hard Act To Follow” was a bit on the dance side of things, so…
…then you have the acts in the larger font, MGMT (which I haven’t seen since the band played Hi-Dive, one snowy night in 2008), OK Go, Arcade Fire, Girl Talk, The Roots, Muse, Decemberists, Arctic Monkeys, and a blast-to-the-past (‘cause we can never let go, can we?), Big Audio Dynamite.
Quick dos and don’ts if you haven’t been to the Outside Lands festival before:
1) For those flying into San Francisco – there is no real proof that Mark Twain claimed that summers in San Francisco are cold. They’re not. It can reach the high 90s and it does, so be prepared. Layers. Don’t be the dumbass with a major sunburn, hanging in the first aid tent with dehydration. Your friends will hate you.
2) Wear really comfortable shoes because you’ll be walking. A lot. To the center of the park. From one stage to another. Even so, you’ll never have an excuse to retrieve those “comfortable” but truly ugly Birkenstocks or Crocs your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband hid from you in the Salvation Army pick up bag.
3) There will be plenty of people who ignore part b) to tip number 2), so you could start a drinking game every time you see someone wearing Birkenstocks. Just stay away from the Phish sets (both of them, ’cause that f-ing band can never play a normal set time), otherwise you’ll end up completely pissed and in the first aid tent. And your friends will leave you.
4) Bring cash. Unless you like paying those lame ATM fees. Some places take credit cards, but it’s a gamble to depend on that.
5) Check out the food and drink tent. Local wineries and restaurants bring in their folks to have you taste their wares, and they’re healthy portions. From what I recall, there were no turkey legs in the menu line up; a good thing. Plus, there’s a nice picnic area to hang out in to rest your feet, supplied with flat screens so you don’t miss the show.
6) As you’re entering the park, find out about buses leaving the park after the festival is over. Otherwise you’ll be like me and my friends – wandering aimlessly and seeing full buses passing us by.
Full Outside Lands 2011 line up and info: www.sfoutsidelands.com/lineup