Outside Lands 2023: Three full days of ‘giving life,’ saving face & switching up the game to celebrate the festival’s 15th anniversary

Outside Lands 2023 - Lands EndPhotos by Christine Kemp & courtesy of Outside Lands // Written by Molly Kish //

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival //
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco
August 11th-13th, 2023 //

Taking a beat to fully process the 15th year of Outside Lands, we had a lot to consider in terms of our annual accolades for 2023. Our team has had the pleasure of covering the music festival’s evolution since 2012, and many of us have been on the journey with Bay Area concert promoter Another Planet Entertainment after attending OSL’s inaugural edition in 2008. But while we have learned to anticipate certain logistical nuances and look forward to countless familiarities at Golden Gate Park, this year felt different in several very unexpected and positive ways.

Walking into the festival grounds, the footprint had noticeable modifications from previous years, including brand-new stages and a relocated Wine Lands. McLaren Pass, typically home to Choco Lands, the Bubble Tea Party, Cocktail Magic and various food vendors, now included a paired-down, more communal place to sip wines from the best vineyards in the Bay. Switching spots with Cocktail Magic, the newly located Wine Lands provided a premier viewing location for the Toyota Music Den, which ended up being a backup stage for overflow acts on Saturday and a home base for surprise appearances/pop-up sets throughout the weekend.

Outside Lands 2023 - Lands End - crowd

The largest and most widely agreed upon, favorite new addition to the grounds was the Dolores Stage holding space in the Polo Field entryway. The open-air dance club brought a surge of new talent and life to the main field, highlighting DJs, drag performers and a schedule of explosive LGBTQ+ artists over three days. Providing a welcomed alternative to the SOMA Tent’s long lines and Saturday’s closure for dancefloor maintenance, the Dolores Stage proved to be a true festival MVP. The lineup highlighted an intrinsic part of Bay Area culture that never felt fully recognized on the scale that it should have been. Providing a non-stop homage to SF’s historic ballroom culture, performers hit the stage, runway and ground, keeping the sold-out crowd dancing and happy at one of the festival’s main access points.

Aside from some lineup alterations, structural damage and traffic-flow issues at the entrances and exits, OSL’s 15th anniversary was a massive success. Worried at moments that things could derail, the staff handled the various complications that came their way with super effective and seamless production pivots. Artists were quick to shift sets to alternate stages, pop-up performances kept fans excited and engaged, and the amount of satellite bars, lounges and interactive activations offered more than enough entertainment to keep the capacity crowd stoked. If this year’s success was any indication, we expect the positive changes to become mainstay additions for years to come and look forward to seeing what the future will hold for Northern California’s flagship music festival.

Outside Lands 2023 - ODESZA


ODESZA

OUTSIDE LANDS 2023 AWARDS:

Headliner of the Weekend: ODESZA

Breakthrough Performance: Crumb

Largest Crowd: DJ DIESEL

Best Stage: Dolores Stage

Most Swoonworthy Set: Lana Del Ray

Hardest Hip-Hop Moment: Tobe Nwigwe

Fiercest Performance: Reparations

Tastiest Menu: Shuggies Trash Pie and Natural Wine

Best Vineyard: Deux Punx

Most Magical Cocktail: “Large Marge-arita” // Buttery Tipple

Favorite Lands: Wine Lands

Most Impactful Artist: Balloonski

Satellite Bar Star: #OceanLove Tour by Grey Whale Gin

Favorite Merch: Outside Lands reusable festival cup

Best Marketplace: San Franpsycho

Top Showcase: Hard French at Dolores Stage

Most Memorable Experience: Outside Lands x LIVE by Amazon Music

Bay Area Favorite: Anchor Steam’s final kegs on draft at Beer Lands

Best Night Show: Interpol at The Independent

Wow! Coachella unearths 2023 set times & drops another surprise as blink-182 unexpectedly get ready to rock the Empire Polo Club

Coachella 2023

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival //
Empire Polo Club – Indio, CA
April 14th-16th & April 21st-23rd, 2023 //

When the calendar turns to April, we all know what that means …

Yeah, that’s right — Coachella is just around the corner, and unlike a year ago when Swedish House Mafia and The Weeknd were elevated to headliner status with less than two weeks to go, it looks like there won’t be any last-minute lineup changes in 2023 (and we can thank the absence of a particular rapper for that).

But after casually including Grammy winners Arcade Fire in its 2022 set times for Weekend 1, the three-day music and arts festival has once again stunned us with another surprising addition while unleashing the schedule for the first weekend of its 22nd installment and after 11 p.m. PT on Wednesday no less (at 11:07 p.m. PT to be exact).

This time, it’s blink-182 being thrown into the mix despite not being listed on the official lineup poster as Mark Hoppus (bass, vocals), Tom DeLonge (guitar, vocals) and Travis Barker (drums) storm the Sahara Tent on Friday for their first-ever appearance at Coachella. It’s particularly shocking given that the band had to postpone the Latin American leg of its highly anticipated reunion tour because Barker dislocated and tore ligaments in his left ring finger during rehearsals earlier this year. The last proper show that the reunited pop-punk icons played with their original lineup prior to DeLonge’s second exit was in 2014, so we would recommend getting there early — as in, well before their scheduled start of 6:45 p.m. — if you are hoping to catch what should be a memorable performance. Heck, maybe that’s why DeLonge typed 6:30 p.m. in his tweet? Or could it simply be a typo? Either way, it won’t be too long before we know for sure which one it is.

Regardless of what time blink takes the stage, there are always so many tough decisions to make at Coachella, and it doesn’t get any easier when a legendary 90’s act finally gets the chance to rock the Empire Polo Club. There’s also a world-famous DJ making his long-awaited return — seven years, in fact — on Saturday in case you forgot (we imagine Calvin Harris fans certainly haven’t).

Nevertheless, we want to hear it straight for those of you who are headed out to the desert: What’s your biggest conflict this year and who are you most excited for?

WEEKEND 1 SET TIMES

Coachella 2023 - Weekend 1 - Friday set times

Coachella 2023 - Weekend 1 - Saturday set times

Coachella 2023 - Weekend 1 - Sunday set times

WEEKEND 2 SET TIMES

Coachella 2023 - Weekend 2 - Friday set times

Coachella 2023 - Weekend 2 - Saturday set times

Coachella 2023 - Weekend 2 - Sunday set times

As you can see above, Coachella has finally confirmed with the release of its set times for Weekend 2 that Frank Ocean’s headlining performance has been canceled and will be replaced with another dose of blink-182 — for at least part of Sunday — as we shared a day ago.

But there’s also a TBA act now listed at 10:25 p.m. once blink wrap things up around 10:20 p.m., and we now know it will be Four Tet, Fred again.. and Skrillex following their big night in NYC at Madison Square Garden a couple of months ago already stamping their footprint squarely on this year’s electronic scene less than a quarter of the way into 2023.

MAP

A little more than 24 hours before the gates officially open, this year’s map has arrived and there’s not a whole lot that has changed in a matter of 12 months. There is one alteration that’s worth noting for those keeping tabs, however.

After allowing guests only one way to access the Sonora, Gobi and Mojave Tents last year, the fest has reinstituted a direct — albeit narrow — path from the Sahara Tent to them like there was in 2019. While that might create a bit more foot traffic close to The Do LaB Stage, the walk to those three stages won’t be nearly as far if you’re coming from that side of the polo fields. For many attendees, this route should definitely come in handy (and save you a few steps) at some point from Friday to Sunday.

Coachella 2023 - map

So whether you’ll be in Indio or watching the YouTube livestream from the comfort of your couch, there’s plenty of good music to witness over the course of three days. If you’re still thinking about going and are looking for tickets, you can hop on the waitlist for Weekend 1 here or purchase them for Weekend 2 (GA and VIP) here along with whatever parking and shuttle passes remain.

Happy Coachella!

UPDATE (April 16th): The first two days didn’t see any last-minute changes to the schedule, but there was one announced on Sunday. Los Fabulosos Cadillacs have been moved from the Coachella Stage to the Outdoor Theatre and will begin at 2:10 p.m. instead of 2:30 p.m., leaving Jacqk Glam to slide up 40 minutes and pushing Stick Figure back to 3:20 p.m.

But the most disappointing news on Day 3 was for those watching all of the action at home. Despite listing both acts on the schedule earlier in the day, Coachella has pulled the livestream for Björk and Frank Ocean this evening. 2023 will mark Björk’s third appearance at the Empire Polo Club and first since 2007, while Ocean is expected to close out the festival as Sunday’s headliner after postponing what has been considered to be a highly anticipated performance — his first in six years — and was originally announced when the 2020 lineup dropped. Despite there being no official word about Björk, YouTube did confirm the change for Ocean. With that in mind, we will have to make do with Noname, Big Wild, Weyes Blood, 2manydjs, Kali Uchis, Jai Wolf, DRAMA and Sudan Archives, among others, providing the entertainment. Stream on, Couchchellans!

Celebrating its 15th year in 2023, Outside Lands hands the baton over to Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters & ODESZA

Outside Lands - 2023 lineup

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival //
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco
August 11th-13th, 2023 //

Now that a handful of California’s music festivals — whether it’s BeachLife, BottleRock, Coachella, Just Like Heaven or Lightning in a Bottle — have announced what their plans will be this year, it’s once again time for Outside Lands to join the party.

SF’s signature event turns 15 this August at Golden Gate Park, but after returning to its usual timing in 2022 and granting headlining duties to Green Day, Post Malone and SZA, it’s handing the baton over to a triumvirate of standouts in Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters and ODESZA.

K.Dot returns to OSL for the first time since the 17-time Grammy winner ambushed the Twin Peaks stage back in 2015, while Foo Fighters, who suffered the tragic loss of drummer Taylor Hawkins last March and have yet to reveal his replacement behind the kit, will end their own decade-long drought after playing the three-day event in 2012. ODESZA’s last appearance, in the meantime, was the most recent of the three in 2018, yet much has changed for the Seattle electronic duo made up of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight over that time.

In addition to the aforementioned headliners, this year’s undercard is nothing to sneeze at — starting with Lana Del Rey, The 1975, Megan Thee Stallion, Zedd, Janelle Monáe, Maggie Rogers and Fisher. Other names on the 2023 lineup worth paying attention to include Lil Yachty, Noah Kahan, Cigarettes After Sex, J.I.D, Interpol, Willow, Father John Misty, Tobe Nwigwe, Orville Peck, aespa, beabadoobee, L’Impératrice, Cuco, Nora En Pure, Poolside, Alvvays, NIKI, Alex G, Soccer Mommy, Diesel (Shaquille O’Neal), Monolink, Raveena, Trixie Mattel, Mariah the Scientist and ISOxo.

Last year’s edition of OSL saw the SOMA Tent — which remains the fest’s home for all things dance music — expand after making its debut in 2021, and fans can expect the dancefloor to be packed as Âme b2b Trikk, Blond:ish, Claptone, Coco & Breezy, Daniel Avery, Denis Sulta, Disco Lines and more get ready to hit the decks from Friday to Sunday. Check out the poster above for the rest of the artists slated to perform.

Three-day GA, GA+ (a new ticket tier), VIP and Golden Gate Club passes go on sale here for $499, $674, $1,029 and $4,899 this Wednesday, March 8th at 10 a.m. PT, so take a peek at our previous coverage here before you pick one up!

Outside Lands 2023 - daily lineups

UPDATE (April 18th): Daily lineups for OSL 2023 are out, with Kendrick Lamar headlining Friday, Foo Fighters rocking Saturday and ODESZA closing down the festival Sunday. Peek at the daily schedules above before single-day tickets go on sale here for $199 (GA), $299 (GA+) and $449 (VIP) starting this Wednesday, April 19th at 10 a.m. PT. And if you’re thinking about purchasing a three-day ticket payment plan and putting down just $99 up front, you can still do that for a limited time here!

Outside Lands 2023 - Interpol

UPDATE (May 11th): Interpol has confirmed that they will be performing their 2002 debut LP Turn On the Bright Lights in full from start to finish during the band’s set at OSL this year. Fans of the New York post-punk revivalists should pick up their single-day tickets here!

Outside Lands 2023 - Friday set times

Outside Lands 2023 - Saturday set times

Outside Lands 2023 - Sunday set times

UPDATE (August 1st): With less than a couple of weeks to go, your 2023 set times have arrived. See the schedules above for all of your potential conflicts at OSL’s 15th anniversary so you can formulate a plan before getting to Golden Gate Park. Who will the TBA act on Saturday be?!?! Take your best guess in the comments below.

Coachella comes clean with 2023 lineup as Bad Bunny, BLACKPINK & Frank Ocean land headlining slots in the desert

Coachella - 2023 lineup

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival //
Empire Polo Club – Indio, CA
April 14th-16th & April 21st-23rd, 2023 //

It’s that day again when Coachella finally lets the cat out of the bag each year.

Many had speculated the famed California music festival would offer up its big secret this week as it often does once we ring in a new year, and Goldenvoice did just that for its latest installment on the same day Bonnaroo, Boston Calling and Sonic Temple all revealed their own lineups as well.

But after last year saw late lineup changes with Ye (fka Kanye West) — unsurprisingly — backing out as the headliner for Sunday and being replaced by Swedish House Mafia and The Weeknd, it appears that Goldenvoice CEO Paul Tollett is prepared should the same sort of scenario happen again at the Empire Polo Club this April.

Headlining will be Bad Bunny, BLACKPINK and Frank Ocean, and while two of those artists check the box that we referred to in 2022 when it comes to the fest featuring more international acts, this year’s Day 3 headliner — whose set was originally announced for the 2020 edition but was pushed back to 2023 as the COVID-19 pandemic sent Coachella on a three-year hiatus — is also one who has been known to cancel his performances.

If Ocean does this time, Tollett and company will have Calvin Harris waiting in the wings and ready to step onto the main stage after 10 p.m. much like SHM did in 2022 (with some help from The Weeknd). He could even elevate sub-headliners Gorillaz, ROSALÍA and/or Björk to the No. 1 spot since two of them have headlined Coachella before. Either way, the man who has been organizing the three-day event — which expanded to two weekends in 2012 — for more than 20 years now certainly has his share of options after locking down Harry Styles and Billie Eilish to lead the charge a year ago.

We should note that it’s not clear yet which day Harris will perform if all goes according to plan, but the five-time Grammy-nominated DJ/record producer has headlined once before in 2016 and was included as a sub-headliner in 2020 before it was ultimately canceled. We will provide updates about his status below whenever we have more information.

Given those contingencies, the roster for Coachella’s 22nd year has a lot to consider below the top line for all three days and there are plenty of names that stick out among the undercard. And though those receiving high placement on the poster like Burna Boy, Eric Prydz, Kali Uchis, The Chemical Brothers, Porter Robinson, boygenius, Porter Robinson, Kaytranada, $uicideboy$, Fisher + Chris Lake, Blondie, the Kid LAROI, A Boogie, Becky G, Charli XCX, Dominic Fike, Metro Boomin, Labrinth, Jai Paul and Underworld are worth considering, there are others farther down that deserve being mentioned here such as FKJ, SOFI TUKKER, Jai Wolf, Wet Leg, Chromeo, 2ManyDJs, SG Lewis, TESTPILOT, Mura Masa, Weyes Blood, Marc Rebillet, Alex G and Hiatus Kaiyote.

Tickets for Weekend 1 are almost sold out, though you can always jump on the wait list here after three-day GA and VIP passes go on sale here during a presale this Friday, January 13th at 11 a.m. PT.

UPDATE (April 19th): So much for not having any last-minute changes this year. But considering how capricious Ocean remains as a performer and what transpired during his Weekend 1 headlining set, it should not come as a complete shock that the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has pulled the plug on his Weekend 2 performance only a few days before it’s scheduled to happen. What might be more surprising to learn, however, is that Ocean sustained two fractures and a sprain in his left leg while at the Empire Polo Club last week and still decided to perform (sort of). blink-182, the reunited pop-punk icons who were tapped as this year’s surprise addition when set times for Weekend 1 dropped (much like Arcade Fire were in 2022), will reportedly take over the headliner slot on Sunday after rocking the Sahara Tent last Friday to mark the band’s first show with its original lineup since 2014. If you thought last year was bad after Ye’s cancellation with less than two weeks to go, we think it’s fair to say Ocean just one-upped him but feel free to chime in with your thoughts in the comments section below.

UPDATE (April 20th): Coachella has confirmed with the release of its set times for Weekend 2 that Frank Ocean’s headlining performance has been canceled and will be replaced with another dose of blink-182 — for at least part of Sunday. But there’s also a TBA act now listed at 10:25 p.m. once blink wrap things up around 10:20 p.m., which will be Four Tet, Fred again.. and Skrillex following the trio’s big night in NYC at Madison Square Garden a couple of months ago when they performed a five-hour B2B marathon.

Coachella 2023

The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2019

Kali Uchis at Smokin Grooves Fest - Rochelle Shipman


Kali Uchis at Smokin Grooves Fest // Showbams’ Photo of the Year, by Rochelle Shipman

Um, that’s it? Another year in the rear-view mirror? Where the hell did the last 12 months go? Time sure does seem to fly when there’s so much good new music out there to enjoy.

With that said, it’s once again time for us to share our annual “Best of” lists like we have done the past few years (see our 2018 picks here). From new emerging artists to reunion tours to the return of rock ‘n’ roll, this year had a little bit of everything for both the casual and passionate music fan. And even if you didn’t have the time to listen to every album that came out (neither did we), that’s why we’re here: to help point you in the right direction whenever you do finally get the chance to dig in.

So, without further ado, Showbams presents The Bam Team’s five favorite shows, albums and songs from 2019.

See our favorite performances from 2019 here.

Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2019:


The Chemical Brothers at Shrine Expo Hall - Josh Herwitt


The Chemical Brothers at Shrine Expo Hall // Photo by Josh Herwitt

Josh Herwitt // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2019
1. Tool at Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA – October 20th & 21st
Unlike the delay on Tool’s fifth album Fear Inoculum, I thankfully didn’t have to wait 13 years to see my favorite band perform live. It was only a couple of years ago when I caught the boys at The Gorge, earning top honors as my favorite show in 2017, and subsequently a week later at Glen Helen Amphitheater for an all-day affair with Primus, Clutch, Fantômas, Melvins and The Crystal Method. Perhaps my tastes haven’t changed all that much since then, but even in a year that saw me attend half as many concerts as I usually do, Tool are still finding new and innovative ways to enhance their live show. Whether it’s tinkering with their stage production to incorporate a see-through curtain at times or adding surround sound throughout the arena, a Tool performance has evolved into a spiritual, meditative and almost out-of-body experience over the last decade. It’s no wonder why scoring tickets remains a trial of good fortune.

2. The Raconteurs at Santa Barbara Bowl – Santa Barbara, CA – July 27th
3. The Chemical Brothers at Shrine Expo Hall – Los Angeles, CA – May 15th
4. Jim James & The Claypool Lennon Delirium at The Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA – July 3rd
5. FOALS at Shrine Expo Hall – Los Angeles, CA – March 24th

Top 5 Albums of 2019
1. Tool – Fear Inoculum
When a three-time Grammy-winning band takes more than a decade to release its next album, it’s only natural for expectations to go through the roof. And I’ll be the first to admit that there was a small seed of doubt in my mind when it came to just how epic Tool’s latest sonic voyage in the studio could and would be. But upon first listen, any uncertainty I had about the merits of Fear Inoculum was quickly dispelled. The title track lures you in from the onset, building to a higher place as Maynard James Keenan (vocals) and company — Adam Jones (guitar), Justin Chancellor (bass) and Danny Carey (drums, percussion) — take listeners on an 80-minute rite of passage that holds up as some of the quartet’s best material in its entire catalog. I just hope they got at least one more LP in them, even if it takes another 13 years to make.

2. The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger
3. FOALS – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1
4. The Chemical Brothers – No Geography
5. Black Pumas – Black Pumas

Top 5 Songs of 2019
1. Tool – “Descending”
If you’re still reading, you’ve probably gotten the hint by now that I’m a big fan of Tool. After all, it only seemed fitting that my top song in 2019 should also come from my No. 1 album of the year by my favorite band over the last two decades. I have seen Tool perform a shortened version of “Descending” several times since 2014, before it ever had an official title, so when Fear Inoculum arrived back in August, there was no track I anticipated hearing more. In fact, at more than 13 minutes long, it’s one that requires your full, undivided attention, which can be a significant amount of time to dedicate in a world of three-minute pop songs and endless distractions now. But for prog-rock enthusiasts like myself who are more than willing to take the ride, “Descending” delivers a total rush of blood to the head that ultimately leads to pure unadulterated euphoria.

2. Bon Iver – “Hey, Ma”
3. Hot Chip – “Hungry Child”
4. FOALS – “On the Luna”
5. Karen O and Danger Mouse – “Turn the Light”


Cate Le Bon - Reward

Kevin Quandt // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2019
1. Stereolab at Primavera Sound – Barcelona, Spain – June 1st
Primavera Sound has always had a knack for booking reunions (i.e. Pulp, The Avalanches and Pavement) to its “musical mecca” on the Balearic Sea. 2019’s iteration featured the first proper show in nearly a decade from the anti-capitalist art-pop darlings Stereolab. “Come and Play in the Milky Night” on 1999’s Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night would open the evening to the international consortium of aging music nerds who undoubtedly knew that they were about to be treated to a “best of” set from the English-French outfit. Better yet, their politically themed lyrical content seemed more relevant in 2019 than it was around the time of their creation a quarter-century ago.

2. Mike Dillon’s New Orleans Punk Rock Percussion Consortium at The Music Box Village – New Orleans, LA – April 26th
3. BLACK MIDI at Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA – November 21st
4. Amen Dunes at August Hall – San Francisco, CA – January 10th
5. Ween at Desert Daze – Perris, CA – October 12th

Top 5 Albums of 2019
1. Cate Le Bon – Reward
What a banner year for the Welsh artist as she created her most highly acclaimed LP to date. Le Bon has truly honed her craft over the last decade as she has collaborated with a laundry list of indie-music royalty before writing the whimsical and austere Reward that employs an array of fresh sounds swirling around her haunting, pixie vocals. 2020 will see Cate jump on tour alongside Kurt Vile in a solo capacity, but we can’t wait to see what she produces next.

2. Wand – Laughing Matter
3. (Sandy) Alex G – House of Sugar
4. The Murder Capital – When I Have Fears
5. Omni – Networker

Top 5 Songs of 2019
1. FOALS – “Sunday”
As FOALS teeter on the edge of being rock’s next big headliner, the British group semi-quietly unleashed a pair of albums entitled Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1 and Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 2. While their style continues to hover around math, dance and indie rock, they dig into a deeper realm of sonic atmosphere as frontman Yannis Philippakis questions, even laments, the state of our current times. “Sunday” tends to borrow a tad from the grandiose nature of their fellow Brits in Coldplay before dropping into a four-on-the-floor section that was rather well-received during their March stop at the Fox Theater in Oakland.

2. Crumb – “Ghostride”
3. Vampire Weekend – “Sunflower” feat. Steve Lacy
4. Oh Sees – “Henchlock”
5. Allah-Las – “In the Air”


Rochelle Shipman // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2019
1. slowthai at Lodge Room – Los Angeles, CA – September 4th
Shortly after releasing his debut album Nothing Great About Britain in May, Tyron Frampton played a few intimate U.S. shows several months later. My guess is that those were probably the last ones he’ll do if the UK rapper out of Northampton continues to rise and deliver, just like he did for much of 2019. Part Johnny Knoxville-type grime smart ass, part brilliant gritty-crust punk, slowthai shook the roof off LA’s Lodge Room, which turned out to be a warm-up show before he returned to play Camp Flog Gnaw in November. Frampton certainly came to please, setting the energy level at 11 and even performing his rowdy hit “Doorman” twice in the set. He could’ve run through it 15 times and the crowd would’ve left just as satisfied.

2. Little Simz at The Echo – Los Angeles, CA – June 13th
3. Taking Back Sunday at Hollywood Palladium – Los Angeles, CA – April 11th
4. Night Moves at The Echo – Los Angeles, CA – September 21st
5. Usher at Smokin Grooves Fest – Long Beach, CA – June 15th

Top 5 Albums of 2019
1. Little Simz – GREY Area
The production. The flow. The bars. The BALLS. Little Simz absolutely brings it on GREY Area, leaving no space for second-guessing, sexist bullshit or honestly anyone else at all. This latest studio album from the British emcee is all her, and you can feel it with every breath she takes. We should all be so lucky to come into our confidence the way that she did on this record, but most of all, we should just be grateful “Simbi” trusts us to keep her deepest secrets — and that they sound so, so good.

2. slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
3. Shura – forevher
4. Ari Lennox – Shea Butter Baby
5. White Reaper – You Deserve Love

Top 5 Songs of 2019
1. slowthai – “Doorman” (with Mura Masa)
This song technically dropped in 2018, but its spotlight was shone even wider with slowthai releasing his debut LP this year. The Mura Masa-assisted cut pulses with adrenaline, carries the air of a movie soundtrack in only three minutes and has a beat that will take you all the way to the moon and back. In the words of Lizzo, it’s a whole damn meal!

2. Kari Faux – “Latch Key”
3. Billie Eilish – “bury a friend”
4. Little Simz – “Venom”
5. Smino – “Trina”


Tool - Fear Inoculum

Andrew Pohl // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2019
1. IDLES – Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – October 10th
After putting out one of my favorite albums from 2018 and missing their show earlier this year, I was thrilled to finally catch IDLES live. To say that these English punk rockers put on a good performance would be a true understatement. They had the energy of an out-of-control freight train but were able to contain it while proving to be an incredibly fun act to see live. Frontman Joe Talbot engaged with the audience in a very authentic way, talking and singing to fans, not just at them. There were crowd-surfing guitarists, mosh pits and sing-a-longs … it was wild.

2. Punk Rock Bowling 2019 – Las Vegas, NV – May 23rd-27th
3. Judas Priest at The Warfield – San Francisco, CA – June 24th
4. Van’s Warped Tour 2019 at Shoreline Amphitheater – Mountain View, CA – July 20th-21st
5. ITCHY-O at Cornerstone – Berkeley, CA – November 23rd

Top 5 Albums of 2019
1. Tool – Fear Inoculum
Well, after all of the waiting and speculation, Tool have done it again, in a really big way. Fear Inoculum is everything that I was hoping it would be, and then some. HUGE-sounding drums, guitars and bass wrap your head in a warm prog blanket while Maynard does what he always has so well. It takes the best parts of their previous albums and combines them to showcase a band that has clearly not missed a step in the 13 years since 10,000 Days.

2. Bad Religion – Age of Unreason
3. Brittany Howard – Jaime
4. Catbite – Catbite
5. Plague Vendor – By Night

Top 5 Songs of 2019
1. The Hammerbombs – “I Hate Cars”
The Hammerbombs are an undersung Bay Area pop-punk group that have written some of the catchiest and fun songs I have heard from the East Bay scene in a long time. Their 2019 release Goodbye, Dreamboat made my top 10, and this track is the hands-down standout on an album chock-full of toe-tappers. It’s a heartfelt song written by singer and bassist Jen Louie, who has a knack for crafting some really fantastic tunes. The chorus is saccharine sweet, and you can’t help but sing along.

2. Lizzo – “Juice”
3. Bad Religion – “Do The Paranoid Style”
4. Ceremony – “In The Spirit World Now”
5. Lagwagon – “Surviving California”

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FYF Fest drops 2016 lineup, led by Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala & Grace Jones

FYF Fest 2016

FYF Fest //
Exposition Park – Los Angeles
August 27th-28th, 2016 //

If you thought Kanye West and Morrissey were big gets for FYF last year, the two-day music festival is going even bigger in 2016.

Led by headliners Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala and Grace Jones, the lineup for the 13th annual FYF Fest is jam-packed from top to bottom.

The rest of the bill includes performances from Air, Beach House, Anohni, Grimes, Hot Chip, Father John Misty, Explosions in the Sky, Rae Sremmurd, Blood Orange, Young Thug, Moby (DJ set), Saves the Day, Vince Staples, Wolf Parade, Shellac, Todd Terje & the Olsens, Charles Bradley, Ty Segall & the Muggers, Junior Boys, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Jagwar Ma, The Black Lips, Peter Bjorn and John, DIIV, Chelsea Wolfe, Kelela, Bicep, Wild Nothing, Floating Points, Gold Panda, Corbin, Hop Along, Viet Cong, Oneohtrix Point Never, Julia Holter and more at Exposition Park near downtown LA.

UPDATE: FYF has added slacker-rock king Mac DeMarco, LA electronic duo CLASSIXX and Banks & Steelz, a new collaboration featuring Interpol frontman Paul Banks and Wu Tang original member RZA, to its already stacked 2016 lineup more than two and a half months after dropping the festival’s initial bill.

Founded by Sean Carlson back in 2004 and produced in association with LA concert promoter Goldenvoice, FYF will sell weekend passes for $199, with single-day passes also available for $125 and weekend VIP passes available for $339. Tickets can be purchased starting this Friday, April 1st at 12 p.m. here.

Excited for FYF now? Make sure to check out our coverage from 2015 here.

FYF Fest 2016 lineup