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Outside Lands Day 2: HAIM take another step toward the top

HAIM_postPhotos by Marc Fong // Written by Mike Frash //

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival //
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco
August 8th-10th, 2014 //

Saturday brought a more celebratory tone to Outside Lands Music and Arts Festiva despite the typical August fog’s return to SF’s Golden Gate Park. Following Kanye West’s exciting Friday set that was marred by multiple man-baby moments, it was time for smiles to become contagious and for the communal spirit of the fest to take flight.

No one led this Day 2 transition better than HAIM. “I want to see babes on babes on babes. Totem pole!” demanded ESTE FUCKING HAIM of the Outside Lands crowd, and oblige they did. An effective festival technique, Alana, Danielle and Este quickly counted as festivalgoers doubled up toward the sky like a meerkat looking for a predator. And by the time the awesome threesome blasted into “Forever”, the crowd had been primed by funny, engaging banter.

More importantly, they are remarkably talented at what they do. HAIM fucking rocks live. They elongate and have adapted some of their songs, like “Forever”, for the better. Before introducing “The Wire”, Danielle prepped the audience for the call and response of “Right!”. Full buy-in permeated the Lands End stage as most everyone joined in the fun.

If HAIM continue to write undeniably catchy songs while retaining their fierce attitudes, the sky’s the limit. The atypical vocal phrasing never gets old, and I hope they continue to create music that develops around their quirky approach to modern pop while re-purposing the familiar. These Los Angeles-based sisters could be headlining big festivals in 3-5 years.

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Jagwar Ma displayed noted improvement since their show last year at The Independent, the group has expanded their sound further on stage, stretching out the vocal mantras into delirious territory. Jano Ma’s production showed shades of Nine Inch Nails, balancing Moog synthesizer and a squelchy analogue sound.

Big Freedia was everywhere Saturday. The Queen Diva brought a taste of NOLA to the new GastroMagic stage, allowing proactive patrons to cook up a beignet while they got there bounce on. Then, Freedia was at the Soundwave tent, and finally for her proper set at the Panhandle Stage. Ass Everywhere!

• SF-based graphic designer-turned-musician-turned-full-band Tycho had a prime spot mid-day at Twin Peaks, but it’s unclear if Scott Hansen’s minimalist approach translates in a big, open field at a festival. While the crowd energy was low as expected, it was a solid set accompanied by a new, intriguingly odd video component.

• The Sutro Stage was alive with an intimate crowd for Deer Tick. Screaming fans belted out lyrics and danced with interlocked arms to the group’s raucous, twangy Southern rock.

Duck Sauce is refreshing for embracing the absurd, boiling down dance music into explosions of bass with melodies as obnoxious as “Gangum Style” or happy hardcore. But A-Trak and Armand Van Helden have pinpointed the perfect equation for a ridiculously good time, making sure not to ever get too jarring or obvious. When looking for a raging, good time in a festival setting, nothing may be more fun than Duck Sauce. Quack.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are just about as “legend” as it gets, and tracks from Petty’s 2014 LP Hypnotic Eye were laced throughout the main stage headliner’s set. “Friend of the Devil” was covered, a nod and a wink to the Grateful Dead’s home turf, while “American Girl” finished of the night on a high note.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at Twin Peaks was way more crowded than Tom Petty’s show. Macklemore brought out Mary Lambert for the GBLT anthem “Same Love”, which included a wedding proposal well-suited for SF.

What was your favorite show or moment on Saturday? What are you looking forward to Sunday?

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Comments

  1. It was all about Tom Petty for me on Saturday.

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