Photos And Review | Outside Lands Day Three | San Francisco

Words by: Eric Podolsky and Scott Bernstein

Images by: Joe Russo and Susan Weiand

Outside Lands - Day Three :: 08.11.13 :: Golden Gate Park :: San Francisco, CA

Full review below photo gallery!

Head here for thoughts and images from Day One and here for Day Two.

Joe Russo's Photos From Day Two:

Eric Podolsky's Sunday Highlights:

Kurt Vile and the Violators – 2:30-3:20 p.m. – Sutro Stage

[Photo by Susan Weiand]

In a weekend filled with huge, larger-than-life rock shows, this pleasant, dreamy mid-day set in Lindley Meadow scratched a different kind of itch for me. Kurt Vile's bleary, sun- streaked, California, lo-fi pop tunes certainly made a fan out of many, as beautifully spacious, grimy takes on tunes like “Ghost Town” were just what the doctor ordered on this afternoon. Vile's friendly vocal delivery was refreshingly unique in its casualness, and it worked just as well with his full band as it did during a gorgeous solo acoustic interlude. For good measure, this tranquil part of the set was followed by a set-closing climax that featured a full-band freakout, complete with an alto sax free-jazz solo supported by ample psychedelic distortion. Proof that this was a special set? Vile was having so much fun that he went well over his set curfew, a big no-no at strictly regimented festivals like this. I was very glad to have been turned on to at least one new band over the course of the weekend—I'll certainly be following this guy from here on out.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – 7:45-9:25 p.m. – Lands End Stage

[Photo by Joe Russo]

Regardless of how “soft” the RHCP have gotten in their middle age, watching Flea perform is still enough of a reason to put this show at the top of any list. It also helps that Anthony Kiedis' singing was the most in-tune I've ever heard him, which improves the show tremendously. Playing a setlist comprised mainly of their post- Californication melodic pop songs, this was mostly a sing-along affair, with new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer skillfully filling in for his friend John Frusciante, though he has no musical identity of his own in the band as of yet. Things started to rock hard mid-set during “Right on Time,” while “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” brought a fresh, original groove to the set. Now that the band is augmented with keys and percussion, their long-time cover of “Higher Ground” was given new life, as the slap- happy, frantic sock-funk of old started to come out near the end of the set. Little bass/guitar duels in between songs gave Flea and Klinghoffer some time to flex their chops, which were the highlights of the set for me, before the band ended their performance 10 minutes early(?) to a raucous “Give It Away.” Aside from the band's laziness in not finishing their time slot, it was a pleasure to see these guys do what they do so well.

Vampire Weekend – 5:50-7:00 p.m. – Lands End Stage

[Photo by Susan Weiand]

The arsenal of classic, sing-along-worthy pop tunes that this band has amassed in its short existence is pretty impressive, and this made for a main stage set that was pure, candy-coated fun. Just like their studio albums, a Vampire Weekend performance is a well- crafted set of practiced songs. Perhaps they're a bit too practiced, because as fun and enjoyable songs like “Horchata” and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” are to dance to, it's clear that the music is always trying to sound like the album. There's no real improvisation to speak of at a Vampire Weekend show, but that's not what it's about. Lead singer Ezra Koenig has a fantastic voice, and the impeccably arranged songs are the showcase here. Infectious songs like “Ya Hey,” “Step” and “Unbelievers” from their newest album fit snugly into their older material, adding a more diverse sonic palate to their set. Song after song of clean, bright, happy dance tunes made for a great early evening dance party that brought a smile to everyone packed in front of the massive main stage.

Read on for Scott's highlights from Day Two.

Read on for Scott's highlights from Day Two as well as Susan Weiand's photos.

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