To borrow some terminology from the Carters, this year’s Outside Lands “was a fucking zoo.” Childish Gambino’s headlining show Saturday saw a record-breaking attendance of 90,000. On-site weed vendors at the verdant “GrassLands” made the event the largest in the country to allow the legal sale and consumption of cannabis. It was even a bit frightening — three shootings in the United States preceding the festival meant extra safety precautions had to be taken, including the appointment of armed SWAT teams on the ground.
But Outside Lands was also, as any major musical festival should be, exhilaratingly surreal. The revelry of a single curated live performance from a favorite musician is an experience to be cherished. To stack many such performances back to back for three days is something else altogether. During this year’s festival, artists didn’t hesitate to pull out all their showy stops — setting cars on fire, swimming into the crowd on glittering platforms, unexpectedly inviting legendary rock icons to perform alongside them. Read on for The Daily Californian’s coverage of — and superlatives for — some of the most noteworthy acts from the weekend.
— Ryan Tuozzolo
The first day of Outside Lands saw the most emotive, in sync, saxophone-centric and floppy sets of the festival.
On Friday, Twenty One Pilots, The Lumineers and Flying Lotus boasted, respectively, the most risk-taking, nautical and surreal sets of the weekend.
The second day of Outside Lands experienced the most exciting festival debut, the best throwbacks and the most potent dad energy of the weekend.
On Saturday, Hozier gave the most action-inspiring performance at Outside Lands and Childish Gambino attracted the largest audience in the festival’s history.
On the final day of Outside Lands, performers brought on performances worthy of the titles of slowest burn, most stylish, strongest groove and most tritely eloquent.