Photos And Review | Outside Lands Day Two | San Francisco

Joe Russo's Photos From Day Two:

Eric Podolsky's Saturday Highlights:

Nine Inch Nails – 8:25-9:55 p.m. – Lands End Stage

[Photo by Susan Weiand]

Having recently resurrected Nine Inch Nails back after a four year hibernation, it wasn't entirely clear what type of show Trent Reznor would have in store for us. Did those years of movie soundtrack work take away his edge? The show began with a tense hush of just Reznor and a bare lightbulb on stage. Sonic layers and parts of the stage set were slowly added one by one, all building up to a huge drop of that trademark NIN industrial crunch, which hit that much harder due to Reznor's skillful ability to build tension. As the set went on, the music and the amazing, minimalistic light show got progressively more ferocious, and it became abundantly clear that Reznor has lost none of his soulful anguish. Delivering songs about isolation and loneliness in a mechanized world, he blew everyone away with artfully controlled and calculated anger. “Terrible Lie” featured a heavy build and frenzied, glitchy peak, while Reznor's passionate delivery in the heavy crunch of “Burn” and the punk-rock bliss-out of “Gave Up” had us feeling his pain. A “Head Like A Hole” closer whipped the crowd into a frenzied, nihilistic dance party before an encore of “Hurt” brought us all down to earth again. Reznor harbors a deep well of emotion, and his performance brought out feelings in us that don't often come out in everyday life. A truly powerful set.

Jurassic 5 – 5-6 p.m. – Lands End Stage

[Photo by Joe Russo]

When was the last time you've experienced some pure, unadulterated hip-hop? For me, I didn't realize how starved I was for it until this set of pure MC and DJ skills. J5 is a refreshingly ego-free hip-hop collective that rhymes and flows like few can these days. Trading off verses and finishing each other's lines like a true unit, these guys brought the old-school spirit, right down to a double DJ attack, scratching real vinyl. Tunes like “Concrete Schoolyard” and “Power in Numbers” brought the positive energy and infectious, effortless flow that had me bouncing like I hadn't in a long time. And no one will soon forget the epic DJ duel between Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark, which featured a scratch-off on a variety of custom-made, keytar-like turntable-guitars. It's sad that there aren't more hip-hop groups today that are as humble and fun-loving as these guys are.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – 6:30-7:40 p.m. – Lands End Stage

[Photo by Susan Weiand]

Parading around the stage with her face painted and dressed like a demented Joker, Karen O stole the afternoon with a set of sexual punk rock antics and a grimy, raw vocal performance. Often times screaming more than singing, her performance worked in the most rock 'n' roll way possible. The punked out club beat of “Heads Will Roll” and the fuzzy frenzy of “Date with the Night” were imbued with a fantastically sleazy, grating quality that the audience ate up. Clearly embracing the term “hot mess” with gusto, Karen O repeatedly stuck the mic in her mouth, and finished the set by sticking it down her shirt and pants. This was performance art at its finest, great entertainment from a real rock star. And the music was pretty great, too!

Read on for Scott's highlights from Day Two.


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