The tenth annual Outside Lands came to a close Sunday night in the most San Francisco way possible — with The Who playing their hearts out, shrouded in a foggy mist.
The early part of the day remained dry, but in a sign of things to come it was chilly and overcast as the She’s opened up the Panhandle stage at noon. Some fans opted to arrive later in the day on Sunday, but the weekend’s hangover may have had just as much to do with the tardiness as the weather.
The She’s is an all-female surf rock-dream pop meld that goes heavy on the bubble gum melodies and vocal harmonies. They appeared to be genuinely having fun as the crowd trickled in.
Bassist Sami Perez said:
“It’s cool to be here. … We’ve been going to Outside Lands since we were in high school.”
Indeed, the San Francisco four-piece first began playing music together in the 7th grade. It was during their high school years that the band received its first recognition.
The She’s announced that much of their Outside Lands set consisted of new songs from the record they’re about to release, but they also offered up a perfectly charming cover of the ‘90s hit from Sixpence None the Richer, “Kiss Me.”
Immediately after the She’s, the cerebral rap group Swet Shop Boys set up shop at the nearby Twin Peaks stage.
The group is made up of the British-Pakastani artist Riz MC, Heems an American of Indian descent, and white Brit, Redinho, and the trio covers topics focused on Islamophobia. Riz MC, also known as Riz Ahmed, is an Emmy-nominated actor who has been in movies like Nightcrawler and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Swet Shop Boys garnered a significant crowd, many of whom sang along to their songs about TSA racial profiling at the airport, the terrible violence committed by al-Qaeda and the detrimental affect it continues to have on Islam and those who practice the peaceful religion.
Riz MC rapped:
“The problem is modern. … Let me vouch for mine, losing my religion to tomorrow’s headlines.”
SFBay had the chance to stop by Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas for lunch and we fell in love. Their vegan tamale with nopalitos, green beans, garbanzo beans, red peppers and black olive salsa was to die for. They were one of only a handful of vendors whose vegetarian and vegan options didn’t feel like some kind of concession (sorry about the pun) to the San Francisco counter culture.
While in all practicality Alicia’s tamales translated well as festival fare, it didn’t feel like we were eating festival food. Her tamales melted in our mouths and if you plugged our ears and we ignored the windy weather, we could’ve been convinced we were indoors at a nice restaurant, not watching Bleachers perform from afar on the Lands End stage.
But it didn’t end there. SFBay got to taste their arroz con leche, a coconut rice pudding with cinnamon and raisins, and if we hadn’t already died for her tamales, Alicia’s arroz con leche definitely would’ve put us happily in our graves.
Meanwhile, Bleachers could be heard commenting on the state of things in Virginia, the first artist we heard all weekend acknowledge the turmoil of events going on outside the Outside Lands bubble.
Jack Antonoff exclaimed:
“Fuck white supremacy.”
For a change of pace, SFBay stopped by the Barbary tent to check out the comedy show curated by the festival. It was a nice break from what had come to feel a little like a grind, and we were glad to get some good belly-laughs in.
We got to hear Irene Tu explain what it’s like to make everyone around you gay, while Tiffany Haddish offered some very useful advice on exacting effective revenge, using the time she defecated in her ex-boyfriend’s Jordans as a prime example.
Shane Torres tried to convince us that everyone should stop hating on Guy Fieri, even if he does look like a guy who:
“… got electrocuted while drinking Mountain Dew.”
Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. headlined the show and the packed Barbary gave him lots of love. He made some really valid points about how the video game Street Fighter trained us all to mind our own business, even in the most extreme scenarios. He cited the scenes of the game in which everyday citizens in settings like fish markets stand idly by, ignoring the random people throwing fireballs at each other.
Sutro Stage saw reggae band Rebelution take over Lindley Meadow Sunday evening. The meadow is in a valley allowing the surrounding hills to form a dish, and this geography made it possible for Rebelution’s fans to nearly hotbox the entire space with weed smoke.
The band includes a saxophone and trumpet in its ensemble, and both instruments are played with a fierceness one typically expects to hear in a ska band, but the mellow factor keeps the sound strongly in the reggae camp.
SFBay ultimately escaped Sutro to catch the Who before we ended up with a contact high.