Photos And Review | Outside Lands Day Two | San Francisco

Scott Bernstein's Saturday Highlights:

The Mother Hips – 6:05-6:50 p.m. – Panhandle Stage

[Photo by Joe Russo]

Outside Lands organizers made sure the local flavor went beyond the food offerings by booking Bay Area favorites The Mother Hips. The addition of former Zappa band member Scott Thunes on bass has boosted this already exceptional live act to a whole new level. Thunes has an intense stage presence that combined with his otherworldly musicianship makes him a force to be reckoned with. The Hips attracted a big crowd of festival attendees who all seemed to know each other to Outside Lands' smallest stage. While old favorites "Esmerelda," "Rich Little Girl" and "White Falcon Fuzz" were played with aplomb, it was "Toughie," "Freed From A Prison" and "Song For J.B." off this year's Behind Beyond LP that showed The Mother Hips still have plenty left in the tank after more than 22 years together.

The Head And The Heart – 7:20-8:20 p.m. – Sutro Stage

[Photo by Joe Russo]

Between the long distances from stage-to-stage and lots of high-impact music, there's not much down time at Outside Lands. By the time The Head And The Heart hit the gorgeous Sutro Stage on Saturday night I needed a breather. The Sutro Stage is tucked away just below the main stage and surrounded by trees. There's a bit of a hill to the right of the stage in which attendees set up blankets to sit down and watch the music. The Head And The Heart's lush indie-pop was just what I needed at that particular point and I enjoyed every minute of the hour-long set while sitting on the hill with some friends. The Seattle-based band's harmonies were like an aural gut-punch that had me hanging on every note. "Down In The Valley" and "Lost In My Mind" were particular highlights of a set that didn't contain any lowlights.

Phoenix – 8:40-9:55 p.m. – Twin Peaks Stage

[Photo by Susan Weiand]

2013 has been the year that Phoenix has established themselves as a live act worthy of the headline slot at major festivals. All you had to do was look at the small size of the crowd for Nine Inch Nails at the main stage on Day Two of Outside Lands as compared to the masses who attended Phoenix's set at the same time on the smaller Twin Peaks Stage. If you tried to catch any of NIN's performance, it was near impossible to get anywhere close to the stage for Phoenix. The French electro-pop act made a statement with their 16-song set in Golden Gate Park. Always the show man, Phoenix lead singer Thomas Mars engaged the audience throughout the performance and even showed off his crowd-surfing skills. Many of the band's sets this year have featured most of the songs from the recently released Bankrupt! LP, so it was a treat to hear tunes like "Rally" off 2006's It's Never Been Like That, Alphabetical track "Run Run Run" and "Too Young" and "Funky Squaredance" (which was mixed with "If I Ever Feel Better") from 2000's United. However it was still "Lisztomania" and "1901" that made the massive crowd go wild unlike anything else Phoenix played on this night.

[Published on: 8/17/13]

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