Outside Lands Festival Recap 2012

If you were unable to attend the 2012 Outside Lands Festival, you’re probably tired of hearing about the fabulous lineups, scrumptious food, and high-energy crowds, but this year’s event certainly deserves one more recap. A blanket of heavy fog may have covered Golden Gate Park for the opening festivities, but what followed was enough to warm the senses and soul. From spicy edibles to heated music discussions, you now know that tickets fly like hotcakes, so next year, don’t procrastinate or you’ll be on the outside looking in.

When taking breaks between sets, Outside Lands provided plenty of distractions. Party-goers sipped on vino at Wine Lands, laughed it up at the Comedy Tents, sampled brews at Beer Lands, and mingled with street artists – a delight for all the senses. Food plays a significant role in experiencing Outside Lands and there was definitely something for everyone. Vendors representing local standouts in the restaurant community served up a variety of treats, such as Hawaiian pole (Pacific Catch), fried pickle chips (Fabulous Frickle Brothers), and Farmer Brown’s Fried Chicken and Waffles.

Below is just a glimpse of the talent that rocked Golden Gate Park this year:

Friday (August 10)

Talented indie acts, such as Andrew Bird and Of Monsters and Men, drew in the masses as music fanatics raced to keep warm between sets. The Sutro Stage presented Brooklyn-based Reggie Watts who provided an interesting blend of singing, beatbox and comedy. His improvised act of soulful crooning and jokes fed off of the energy and mood of the audience.

The main stage offered the sounds of Beck, which included a mellow tribute to the late Adam Yauch of Beastie Boy’s fame. Physical expression for the day ranged from hardcore moshing that broke out at the Die Antwoord and packed Foo Fighters sets to interpretative dance at Polo Fields for the extended jam sessions of Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

Saturday (August 11)

In the afternoon, rapper Big Boi (one-half of the duo Outkast) brought energy to the Twin Peaks stage with hits, such as crowd favorite “Mrs. Jackson” and while rapping over Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” The Sutro Stage was no match for the crowd that gathered to listen to Alabama Shakes, who could have easily held their own on a main stage.

Outside Lands mixes the new with the legends, and heavy metal band Metallica did not disappoint – both visually and musically. Some will say they were the loudest to hit the main stage for the entire weekend. Other performances throughout the day included Norah Jones, Sigur Ros, Grandaddy, and Passion Pit.

Sunday (August 12)

While all five Outside Land stages competed for the attention of participants, it was hard to ignore the talent on Polo Field’s main stage. The day started with Franz Ferdinand performing on the Lands End stage. Regina Spektor tickled the ivories for the crowd, while singing tunes, such as “On the Radio” to “Fidelity.” Jack White provided a healthy dose of rock for an hour that included a blend of White Stripes favorites and new solo material – culminating with the bass-riddled “Seven Nation Army.”

The highlight of Sunday was definitely watching a soulful star shoot into the sky with hits including “Isn’t She Lovely” and “Superstition.” R&B genius Stevie Wonder played for two hours and filled the night air with the mesmerizing melodies of harmonica, piano and voice. Thousands came to listen to the legend, as he belted out his own hits, as well as covers of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” and Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is.”

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