Photos And Review | Outside Lands Day One | San Francisco

Susan Weiand's Photos From Day One:

Eric Podolsky's Friday Highlights:

Paul McCartney – 7:10-9:55 p.m. – Lands End Stage

[Photo by Susan Weiand]

Talk about a life experience. It's obvious that there's something utterly momentous about seeing a Beatle perform, but the amount of exuberant energy and positivity which Macca poured into his marathon set of non-stop hits was nothing short of staggering. Paul is comfortable in his shoes, and clearly loves to please: he is well aware of the effect his music has on people, and genuinely cares about showing his audience a good time and making us feel good. It was impossible not to love this man and his unabashedly sentimental love songs. With his road-tested band of pros cranking out the Beatles and Wings tunes one after the other, this set was a whirlwind of sing-alongs and hugs — it was a continual delight and surprise to hear rarely played Beatles cuts like “Magical Mystery Tour,” “All Together Now,” “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” and “Paperback Writer” delivered with such authentic enthusiasm. Solo acoustic interludes that included “Blackbird” and “Yesterday” completely captivated the audience to a hush, while tributes to Linda, John, and George all tugged at the heart strings. But in the end, it was Paul's still-incredible voice and infectious, boundless enthusiasm which made this incredibly special show a night that everyone in attendance will remember years and years from now.

Chic Featuring Nile Rodgers – 6:05-7:05 p.m. – Sutro Stage

[Photo by Susan Weiand]

Stepping in for the absent D'Angelo at the eleventh hour, Nile Rodgers appeared very happy to be bringing his disco-funk dance party to the park, grinning ear to ear for a full hour. With a set that spanned his career as a disco hit-maker, Rodgers brought hit after hit of wedding and Bar Mitzvah-friendly tunes that turned Lindley Meadow into an old- school dance floor. It was interesting to hear his hits for Chic, Diana Ross (“I'm Coming Out,” “Upside Down”), Sister Sledge (“We Are Family”), and David Bowie (“Let's Dance”) all played in a row, as it became clear that Rodgers' unmistakably distinctive rhythm guitar runs like a thread through all of those songs. Watching him strum away those funk chords, it was impossible not to dance to the right hand that hip-hop was founded on. (“Rapper's Delight,” anyone?) The man clearly has impeccable taste, and it was a pleasure to witness him perform his own songs in his element.

Maria Bamford and Eugene Mirman – 3:45-4:55 p.m. – The Barbary Comedy Tent

[Photo by Susan Weiand]

Set up as an escape from the seething hordes that pervade this festival of 60,000, the Barbary is a circus tent/comedy club of sorts tucked into the back of Lindley Meadow that offers an alternate, well-rounded festival experience, complete with servers taking drink orders at your table. We weren't feeling Jessie Ware's set, so we popped in for a while, only to be surprised and delighted by two hilarious, surreal sets of stand-up. Eugene Mirman's bizarre stories included how he and Michael Stipe of R.E.M. got mugged by Mexican police officers, while Maria Bamford caught everyone completely off-guard with her bizarre act of bi-polar voices and awkward, surreal digressions on mental health (“I can crouch naked in the shower and get real small.”) These sets were an unexpected treat, and offered a welcomed change of pace before we ventured back out into the crowds to catch the next band.

Read on for Scott's highlights from Day One.


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