Outside Lands hits San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park Friday through Sunday, and you’re probably just starting to realize that you have no idea who you’re going to see beyond the five or so acts that compelled you to buy a ticket in the first place.
Don’t stress. It’ll all be OK.
The lineup this year seems particularly stacked with excellent electro-pop, indie rock and hip-hop, and overall, much less straight-up electronic dance music than usual. That’s great, because watching deejays press buttons will probably never appeal beyond a certain demographic. Headliners include LCD Soundsystem, Radiohead, Lionel Ritchie, Duran Duran and Lana Del Ray, but what other sounds shall you fill your day with?
Foals: If you’re not hip to English indie rock band Foals already, you’ve probably unwittingly heard their hit song “Mountain At My Gates” already. But unlike the many radio hit-makers that regularly plague festival lineups, Foals puts on a killer live show.
Hiatus Kaiyote: This Australian band is the final act of the day on the small Panhandle stage, up against heavyweights LCD Soundsystem and Beach House. Too bad, because Hiatus Kaiyote’s sound is really special: futuristic neo-soul with some R&B, jazz, funk and even Dirty Projectors influence mingling in there. If you need a break from the crowds, keep Hiatus Kaiyote in mind.
Julien Baker: OK, getting to Outside Lands at noon can be real difficult sometimes. Consider making the effort for this Southern, Christian and queer singer-songwriter. With those descriptors, you can guess her songs are packed with heartfelt confessions. But would you guess that her voice is this stunningly beautiful and devastating?
Anderson .Paak: The internet has been full of anger over Outside Lands pitting Anderson .Paak against Radiohead. How can fans choose between a rock legend and a rising hip-hop star? Well, since Anderson .Paak is performing on the tiny Panhandle stage, it’ll be a million times more intimate than Radiohead’s set.
Kamasi Washington: Again, getting to Outside Lands at noon, especially on Sunday morning, may sound unrealistic. However, saxophone player Kamasi Washington’s soulful jazz will surely soothe. Plus, this is the guy who provided much of the sound on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.
The Muppets’ Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem: What’s going to happen? No idea. But with a short, 22-minute set, why not see?