Outside Lands 2018 Review
We came and we conquered yet another blissful round of Outside Lands at Golden Gate Park, this year’s festival featuring headlining performances from artists like The Weeknd, Janet Jackson, and Florence + The Machine. As always, the fans were greeted through the main entrance by none other than the larger than life statue of Ranger Dave and the festival itinerary.
Festival stages remained the same, which meant so did the distance, but it was never a problem when in passing, there was an abundance of art to take in, delicious food to try, all of the alcohol you could imagine, and activities to take part in. In speaking with a number of attendees, Outside Lands undoubtedly continues to be a festival that caters to its people. And at the risk of sounding cheesy, a festival for friends [or people you love in general].
To put on a festival is one thing, but to create an experience for people that they will wish to live and relive all over again is another. Outside Lands does the latter and more, so be sure to save the date for next year’s round of another three days of music and memories at Golden Gate Park.
F R I D A Y
Taking the Lands End stage early in the day was Lauv, and I must say, I’m grateful that I caught this performance when I did. Whether or not the placing of Lauv on a Friday afternoon was strategic, it was a fitting performance to set the tone of the festival. His voice caught my ear from afar, and judging by the state of intrigue on the faces of those that walked opposite me, they too were drawn in. Lauv is known for working with artists like Travis Mills and DJ Snake, and if he wasn’t on your radar before, you will want to get hip now.
From the moment she takes the stage, Billie has you encased in her gaze, her voice, and every bit of her stage presence. As we have said before, it is one thing to listen to her music, but nothing can compare to hearing the weight of her sound and her vocals in person. Accompanying her on stage of course was her brother FINNEAS who engaged in a few steps with her during “my boy,” and even graced those in attendance with a solo performance of his song “NEW GIRL.” You didn’t hear it from me, but we may even have something on the way from him here on The Plug Society soon. Billie put on one of the most impressive performances of the day, engaging completely with crowd and jumping around, all with a Louis Vuitton cast on her foot.
At the end of the day, there is nothing that I can say about this performance that could accurately capture how momentous of an experience it was. It is no secret that the group is composed of legends, but the second they took the stage, they made it known, and I could not help but think, “This is real hip-hop, this is real music.” Drawing a large crowd midday to the Lands End stage, the group sifted through a few oldies and their recent album No One Ever Really Dies, N.E.R.D essentially threw one big dance party. The set even featured a handful of some current hip-hop hits that found strangers joining in the festivities with each other, and before we all knew it, the set was coming to an end. The group signed off with the performance of their hit with Rihanna, “Lemon,” and even went as far to perform it again a second time, yet I doubt anyone would have been upset if they went for a third.
S A T U R D A Y
The best thing about Daniel Caesar’s performance is that he is everything that one would expect him to be. Sure he took the stage midday and would have set a heavier mood given the opportunity to perform at night, but all of that was forgotten the moment he began singing. Freudian came alive in broad daylight, and during songs like “Get You” and “Best Part,” it was evident that the crowd was made up of faces of people who were either in love or you could tell that they wanted to be. As I mentioned early, this festival provides an experience that people will seek to live and relive, and that showcases through performances like the one that Daniel Caesar brought to Outside Lands.
SOB X RBE
Granted many people in attendance would have been perfectly okay with nestling in the cathartic experience that Daniel Caesar left them with, SOB X RBE was there to follow and shake up the vibes. Bringing with them all of the energy that you would expect from them and more, their set was a wild ride from start to finish. They provided just the variety that Outside Lands as a festival needs, drawing in a large crowd of varying faces who all knew the words to just about every song all the while.
S U N D A Y
To the dismay of everyone in attendance and those on stage, The Internet’s initial set of 50 minutes would now become a 20 minute set due to technical difficulties. Although very unfortunate, the crowd was seemingly patient, and so was the band. Once things began working as they should, the band dove right into “Roll (Burbank Funk),” and it was as if nothing ever happened. They then drifted through a few oldies like “Girl” and “Special Affair,” then into one of their newer hits “Come Over,” and ended with an electric performance of a fan favorite, “Get Away.” The festival took a huge hit having the time of such a talented group be cut short, but they made the most of it, and it was easily one of the best performances of the three days. Luckily, the band will be embarking on tour soon to support their latest album, Hive Mind which you might want to cop tickets for before they go!
Saba is one of those artists that you can tell is genuinely happy to take the stage, and do what he does overall. The moments that he wasn’t bouncing around between ends of the stage, he was grinning ear to ear, taking in the huge crowd he drew to the Panhandle stage. His flow is one of those rare voices facing the industry today, making it outright precious. His presence is nothing short of vibrant, and although you may not know him, he is one of those people that you would probably wish nothing but good for. Unfortunately the beginning chunk of his performance had been missed by a handful of those in attendance due to The Internet’s set running overtime with the technical difficulties, but every moment at his set planted the a knowingness in a number of heads that they would indeed be seeing him again.