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.

Susan Weiand's Photos From Day Two:

Scott Bernstein's Sunday Highlights:

Camper Van Beethoven – 1:15-2:00 p.m. – Sutro Stage

[Photo by Joe Russo]

Northern California's Camper Van Beethoven came out with a number of exceptional and highly underrated albums between the time they formed in 1983 and their breakup in 1990. The group parted ways just after they scored a hit with a cover of Status Quo's "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" in 1989 and front man David Lowery went on to achieve even greater commercial success with Cracker soon thereafter. CVB reformed in 1999 and picked up right where they left off in terms of delivering more underrated albums filled with exceptional songs. Lowery and Co. put songs from both eras on display during their early afternoon set at Outside Lands. The older catalog was represented by a spirited "Pictures Of Matchstick Men," a rollicking "Good Guys and Bad Guys" and perhaps their best known song - "Take The Skinheads Bowling." But don't be deceived, a two-tune blast off this year's La Costa Perdida in "Too High For The Love-In" and "Northern California Girls" was just as good as the "hits." Camper Van Beethoven set the bar high for an outstanding final day of music at the picturesque Sutro Stage.

Hall & Oates – 4:20-5:20 p.m. – Lands End Stage

[Photo by Susan Weiand]

It's insane how many memorable songs Hall & Oates recorded 1975 and 1984. The duo stacked their set with nine great hits at Outside Lands and didn't even get to "Kiss Is On My List," "One On One" and "Method Of Modern Love." Yet with a set that includes crowd- favorite smashes "Out Of Touch," "Family Man," "Say It Isn't So," "She's Gone," "Sara Smile," "Maneater," "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)," "Rich Girl" and "You Make My Dreams," what do you possibly cut? The pair gave their extremely talented backing band plenty of time to shine with versions of each song that differed just enough from the album cuts to be interesting. If you're a child of the '80s, Hall & Oates is one act you should cross off your bucket list as soon as possible.

Dawes – 5:10-6:00 p.m. – Sutro Stage

[Photo by Joe Russo]

Outside Lands sets tend to run on the shorter side, as for example Dawes only had a mere 50 minutes in front of a large Sutro Stage crowd on Sunday afternoon. Taylor Goldsmith and Co. made the most of their time giving an enthusiastic performance that included three songs a piece from the recently released Stories Don't End and 2011's Nothing Is Wrong as well as a pair of tunes off their 2009 debut North Hills. The L.A.- based four-piece opened up with Stories Don't End's first single, "From A Window Street." The studio version belies the intensity Dawes infuses into the live version. Four years after Dawes burst onto the scene "When My Time Comes" remains a show-stopper with its chorus that will stick in your head for days and days. What surprised me most was how the group extended nearly all of their tunes with meaty keyboard and guitar solos that combined with their songwriting prowess makes Dawes a powerful live act.


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