Outside Lands

“They’re going up by the inflatable squid.”

It wasn’t until D-Man shouted this that I actually took stock of our surroundings. The squid? That tiny fucking squid way up there? It seemed a mile away, within the heart of chaos and excess. I figured we’d lose those two for the rest of the night. “Meet at the empanada stand if you get lost”, we had said earlier.

The scene was grander than I had imagined – more people, bigger stages. The only other time I was in a confluence of energy so giant was Munich, six years ago.

Odesza was impressive. It was what it needed to be. In a way, they delivered what I expected them to – positivity, movement, energy – and it was fulfilling. Seeing them was long overdue.

The shirtless guy, however? The nutcase chugging wine, doing brainless sketches with his bandmates between songs? Even with flowebrother’s insight, I wasn’t prepared for Mac DeMarco. He was a maniac. A carefree goon. An accidental superstar. I wasn’t witnessing a polished band play for a paycheck, I was watching a crew of pals – jokesters – simply making music and having fun. Bravo, Mac, bravo.


Day Two brought sunshine, and with it, steadily flowing beer. When we gathered the motivation to leave the backyard and head to the park, we arrived to the experimental sounds of Bon Iver. It wasn’t the vibe we desired – too calming. Give us something to move to.

We found it at Jamie xx. Mesmerizing, intense and unpredictable, he wasn’t there to cater to the casual fan; he was there to craft a genuine DJ set. He played songs I’d never heard; songs that made the crowd uncomfortable; songs that gave me flashbacks to warehouses in southern Spain.  He did not play two of his biggest hits. As daylight faded and darkness took over, he turned the crowd into a frenzy, and I loved it. Charley didn’t quite get it. Sam was a goner. Everybody was doing something.


It’s a surreal feeling to see a performer after they’ve only previously existed ever so frequently within your headphones.  Since I first learned about Tash Sultana, she has captivated me. Her energy, her spirit, her flare. I saw her come alive on that final afternoon, and she did not disappoint. As the sun set – physically on the evening, metaphorically on the festival – we tapped our feet to the vibes. It was tribal, passionate, authentic.

I never even saw the damn empanada stand.

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Outside Lands 2015 – A Brief Recap

This year I showed up to Outside Lands with a healthy dose of expectations. Last year’s eclectic lineup was next level stuff and Golden Gate Park’s laid back, isolated atmosphere lent itself to the prized staples of any successful and debauchery-filled festival – beer, dancing and people urinating as far as the eye can see.

“Kendrick better play Money Trees” (he opened with it). “ODESZA better light up GG Park” (they were electric). Luckily for me, the majority of my expectations were fulfilled at Outside Lands 2015. But anyone who has forked over a hefty lump sum for a festival, knows that this isn’t always the case…

But the true, genuine joy of going to a festival, is stumbling on the diamonds in the rough. And no one exemplified this more than Caribou – a group led by 36 year old Canadian mathematician/composer/drummer/producer who has a knack for creating cerebral brain candy. Showcasing a developing and purposefully ambiguous genre that the British media has labeled, “shoe-gazing”, Caribou took the crowd to another level.

I like taking mental ideas apart and playing around with them. That’s what appeals to me about what I’ve spent my life doing.”