Tuesday, April 14, 2009

San Fran's Outside Lands Festival

In only its second year, this end of August festival that takes place in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is quickly becoming one of the go-to festivals on the west coast.

Recently, they announced their initial artist lineup, which includes former Cincinnatians, The National and the Heartless Bastards. Are the Heartless Bastards still based here? I know Erika moved to Austin, TX last year, but I'm not sure if they're technically/politically correctly still based here...anyways...

The festival will be headlined by Pearl Jam, the Dave Matthews Band and the Beastie Boys. The lineup also includes some bands that are somewhat new to the festival circuit including Incubus, Black Eyed Peas, Jack White's new band The Dead Weather (Jack's the drummer, although he's no stranger to summer music festivals) and Tom Jones. Wait. Tom Jones? Okay...that's different.

Some of the other acts (my favorites that is) for the festival include The Mars Volta, Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, TV on the Radio, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Brett Dennen, Built to Spill, JJ Grey & Mofro, Deerhunter, Akron/Family, John Vanderslice, Portugal. the Man, Ryan Bingham and Extra Golden.

Because I live out here in the midwest, chances are I'll never hit up a festival on the west coast, I just thought this festival was worth mentioning.

Speaking of west coast festivals, Coachella officially kicks off the outdoor festival season this weekend, with what I think is a pretty damn good lineup. Headliners include Paul McCartney (say what you will about him, but who never liked The Beatles at somepoint in their life?), The Killers, with The Cure closing out the festival on Sunday.

I was looking over the stage schedule (I do this for every festival, just to see who I would see if I was going), and I have to say that both Friday and Saturday are some of the strongest days I've seen in past festivals.

Aside from McCartney, some of the big conflicts of the day include choosing between Franz Ferdinand, Conor Oberst and Crystal Castles...The Black Keys, M. Ward, Los Campesinos! and The Hold Steady.

Saturday's probably my favorite day of the festival, which includes TV on the Radio, Band of Horses, Franti & Spearhead, Fleet Foxes, two sets from the Drive-By Truckers (one being fronted by Booker T. Jones), Blitzen Trapper, Dr. Dog, Liars and Cloud Cult.

The highlight for Sunday most likely won't be headliners, The Cure, however, the long awaited My Bloody Valentine reunion will probably garner the most buzz (they're opening for The Cure). Aside from that, Sunday appears to be the weakest day (according to my tastes), with only Peter Bjorn & John and Devendra Banhart. I really like Okkervil River, the Gaslight Anthem and Friendly Fires, however, those three are playing at the same time.

Although different styles of music, all of these bands are great, and a festival wouldn't be complete without missing something great. I'm still working on a way to be in twenty different places at one time because, when I attend Bonnaroo this year, I'm sure I'll be let down and upset when I realize who I'll get to see and who I'll have to miss...

Anyways, just thought this festival was also worth mentioning. To those of you lucky enough to be able to afford the first festival of the season or live close enough, have a great time...I hate you. Okay...I don't really hate you, I'm just jealous I can't afford every single festival on the planet.

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