Outside Lands 2019: Our top sets & festival awards

Outside Lands 2019Photos by Marc Fong & Mike Rosati // Written by Molly Kish & Kevin Quandt //

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival //
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco
August 9th-11th, 2019 //

Now that the dust has settled in Golden Gate Park both literally and figuratively, it’s time to look back at what made the 12th annual Outside Lands such a success this year. Besides the banner performances from a smorgasbord of artists and bands across a multitude of genres, some attention should be paid to the fresh features that were brought to the three-day music festival’s expansive grounds.

Grass Lands was unquestionably the most talked-about “land” onsite, as OSL made history by becoming the first major U.S. music festival to permit the sales of recreational cannabis. There was something for every stoner in this lush forest, whether it was a variety of edible selections from Kiva to our own personal favorite, the Pineapple Coast-flavored disposable vape pens by DomPen. It wasn’t surprising to witness a vast majority of attendees make a pass through this immersive area that featured vendors, promotional goodies and dedicated cannabis smoking areas. While the enjoyment of ganja-related items is not new to music events in the Bay Area, it was a breath of fresh air to have it be considered legal in these specified areas. What better way to cure that cotton mouth and those pesky munchies than with all of the mind-boggling food and drink options that were available?

The 2019 edition of Outside Lands also featured plenty of memorable sets from some of the best breakthrough talents, returnees and legacy acts in the business. So, sit back, relax and discover which were our favorite performances of the weekend, plus our picks for the fest’s most standout aspects, below.

Outside Lands 2019 - blink-182


Artist: blink-182
Set date/time: Friday, 6:25-7:40 p.m.
Location: Lands End

Though these 90’s pop-punk kings may be short an OG member, that didn’t stop them from a summer shed tour alongside Lil Wayne. Sure, we all miss Tom DeLonge, and yes, Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio remains a considerably solid stand-in, but how effective is this nostalgia act in 2019? That’s a tricky question we won’t answer because at the end of the day, festivalgoers of all ages still love singing along to “What’s My Age Again?” and “All the Small Things”. It’s really as simple as that to be honest. Does frontman Mark Hoppus’ silly onstage banter work even as he approaches 50? That’s a whole other can of worms I won’t unpack here. -KQ

Outside Lands 2019

Artist: Tierra Whack
Set date/time: Saturday, 3:45-4:35 p.m.
Location: Twin Peaks

Following in the footsteps of many groundbreaking female artists who came before her, Tierra Whack brought some next level “Black Girl Magic” to OSL. Filling the oddball category on this year’s bill, the fire-spitting emcee brought impeccable artistry and her uniquely quirky brand of hip-hop to a stunned crowd as she competed against blink-182’s nostalgia-laden set over at the festival’s main stage. The audience was completely immersed in the 24-year-old’s warped red-and-white “Seussical” set design, as she delivered penetrating verses off her debut album Whack World. Reminiscent of Janelle Monae’s production during her tour cycle for Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase), Tierra paid homage to the aesthetics of Missy Elliot and Grace Jones while setting the bar for what music fans should expect from a truly authentic hip-hop show. -MK

Outside Lands 2019 - Childish Gambino

Artist: Childish Gambino
Set date/time: Saturday, 8:25-9:55 p.m.
Location: Lands End

As one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend, Childish Gambino (born Donald Glover) was an absolute highlight of OSL 2019 and it could very well go down as one of the best sets over the festival’s 12-year run. Minutes before making his grand entrance on the main stage, Glover was informed that he had induced the largest crowd in OSL history. When he finally dismounted from his disco platform in the middle of the polo fields, he shared the news and the audience’s energy from that point forward was palpable. Catching Childish Gambino on his current touring schedule is not only rare, but also few and far between. This year he has been mainly headlining festivals, and rumor has it that this cycle will be his final one billed under the “Childish Gambino” moniker, which made for an even more monumental event in SF. Glover dove straight into an aggressive set of songs from Because the Internet and notable cuts on 2016’s Awaken My Love while being accompanied by a backup band and rotating cast of creative support, including a full choir and crew of dancers/performance artists. More of a conceptual art piece than a typical headlining set, Childish’s masterpiece is one that we will remember for a long time. -MK

Outside Lands 2019

Artist: DJ Koze
Set date/time: Sunday, 3:40-4:30 p.m.
Location: Sutro

Daytime disco is never an easy feat to pull off at a festival, but DJ Koze had no issue whipping a packed field of dance enthusiasts into a lucid, sweaty frenzy. Coming off his OSL night show Friday at Mezzanine, Stefan Kozalla brought the club vibes so seamlessly to the midday crowd that in the moment, you could barely recognize that you were with so many glistening festival attendees in 80-degree weather (yes, really). Everywhere you turned, smiling faces flashed in unison to the infectious beats of “Pick Up” and “Operator” from his 10-year discography. Fans unapologetically sang along to DJ Koze’s well-known, nu-disco anthems and genuinely let go of themselves during a set that produced some of the weekend’s best vibes. -MK

Outside Lands 2019 - Kacey Musgraves

Artist: Kacey Musgraves
Set date/time: Sunday, 4:10-5:10 p.m.
Location: Lands End

Kacey Musgraves is arguably one of 2019’s top artists. Her fourth LP Golden Hour has received incredible accolades since its release in 2018, eventually nabbing the highly coveted Grammy for Album of the Year. That said, it was little surprise that Musgraves was able to fill the main stage with fans. Her subtle, yet powerful opener “Slow Burn” could not have been more ideal as she took in the immense crowd. She cutely quipped about playing the Sutro stage in 2014, and you could tell she was well-aware of the moment’s gravity. She naturally leaned heavily on Golden Hour, making sure to include fan favorites such as “Butterflies” and “High Horse” during her set, and at this rate, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before this alt-country breakout star finds herself in big font at the top of festival posters. -KQ

Outside Lands 2019 - Toro y Moi

Artist: Toro y Moi
Set date/time: Sunday, 6:10-7 p.m.
Location: Sutro

While this wasn’t Chaz Bundick’s first OSL appearance, the Berkeley resident was welcomed back with the biggest and most energetic audience that he has ever amassed in the festival’s history. Riding high from touring in support of his sixth album Outer Peace, he commanded the stage with confidence and performed a club-worthy list of dance-floor jams from his full catalog. Complemented by idyllic weather, Chaz Bear got us grooving and sweating during a much-needed, pick-me-up set on an often-weary Day 3. -MK

Outside Lands 2019 - Paul Simon

Artist: Paul Simon
Set date/time: Sunday, 7:35-9:35 p.m.
Location: Lands End

Now that OSL has casually cruised into its 12th year, some musical traditions appear to be in place. Sunday night has become the “legacy artist” slot for many years now, and while these may not be the highest-attended sets of the weekend, they have become a quintessential part of the event. Simon was no different in all circumstances referenced above. No one should be upset that his live retirement barely lasted a year, as the 77-year-old came out jubilant and as entertaining as ever. He quipped about his past musings and even invited a Bay Area legend onstage. As the sun began to set on a shockingly sunny August day, Simon waltzed out there and opened with “Late in the Evening”. Other classic hits like “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” and “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” were featured early. “Graceland” kicked off his encore, which saw the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir join in on the Simon & Garfunkel tune “The Boxer”. Although Weir didn’t tackle any major vocals, it was a unique moment to see the two share the stage. And in a fitting way, “The Sound of Silence” served as Simon’s closing song before the masses strolled into SF’s Outerlands one last time. -KQ

Outside Lands 2019


Best “Lands”: Grass Lands
Elevating the festival game with the legal purchase and consumption of marijuana on the grounds, there were interactive installations like the smell wall, tutorials on how to make bongs and pipes out of fruit, and lounges to chill and take in all the heady vibes.

Best Beacon: The Giant Inflatable Straw
In a city where the use of plastic straws is nearly obsolete, OSL found a tongue-in-cheek way to make sure that the last remaining one was ever-present throughout the park.

Best Food: Lobster Roll (Woodhouse Fish Co.)
This decadently loaded, perfect on-the-go meal may have been overshadowed by the rest of the 2019 culinary menu, but it was by far the best bang for your buck.

Best Cocktail: Pork Chop Express (The Treasury)
If you were looking for something refreshing and not too overwhelmingly intoxicating, The Treasury had you covered all weekend long. Consisting of gin, pineapple gum, honey syrup and lapsang souchong tea, this libation was a crowd favorite that essentially tasted like an adult Arnold Palmer.

Best Wine: West + Wilder (Sparkling)

Best Pop-up: Wyclef Jean’s (somewhat surprise) set outside of the Heineken Dome

Best Upgrade: Verizon Members Lounge

Best Merchandise: Limited Edition Bomber Jacket (buy here)

Best Comedian: Alyssa Edwards

Best Cameo: Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead (during Paul Simon’s headlining performance)

PHOTOS: Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Bob Weir at Sweetwater 4/18


By Sterling Munksgard //

Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Bob Weir & Maria Muldaur, Howell Devine //
Sweetwater Music Hall – Mill Valley, CA
April 18th, 2014

A New Orleans institution, Preservation Hall Jazz Band hit the road every year when they aren’t delighting local audiences in the French Quarter. When visiting Preservation Hall in NOLA, the group take requests from show-goers in the hallowed 100-person space — just don’t request “Saints”, it’ll set ya back ten bucks.

In between consecutive weekend dates at Coachella, the legendary group played at Sweetwater Music Hall just over the Golden Gate Bridge, and one of the Bay Area’s own local icons Bob Weir graced the stage, along with folk songstress Maria Muldaur. Weir also joined opener Howell Devine. View the snaps below from Sterling Munksgard.

Dancin’ in the streets of LA with Furthur at the Greek

By Pete Mauch //

Further //
Greek Theatre – Los Angeles
October 5th-6th, 2012 //

Night 1

Furthur took the stage Friday night at the beautiful Greek Theater in Los Angeles and proceeded to play an inspired show full of surprise guests and timeless songs. The Greek Theater is easily my favorite outdoor venue in Los Angeles. It’s nestled right in the mountainside of Griffith Park and gives you the feel of seclusion, which is exactly what I want when I see a Furthur show.

This particular night the sky was a dark shade of purple and had amazing patchy clouds that made me think of the song “Cream Puff War.” One of my favorite parts of attending a Furthur show is the family of deadheads who truly hear the music the way it is supposed to be heard. It had been a year to the day that Furthur graced the stage at the Greek, and I was reeling with anticipation because the shows last year were absolutely wonderful.

Due to my day job and Los Angeles traffic, I walked in late and caught the tail end of what seemed like a blistering “Brown-Eyed Women”. After “Brown-Eyed Women”, I turned to my bug-eyed neighbor and asked him what I missed, and he enthusiastically said “Truckin'” and “Smokestack Lightning.” I immediately gasped as I’ve always loved “Smokestack”, but I didn’t worry because there was still plenty of show left for this young deadhead.

Next came a Bob Weir tune “Money for Gasoline”. I was pleasantly surprised with this version because I can usually do without this song, but Weir pulled it off quite nicely with a lot of help from the backup singers, Sunshine Becker and Jeff Pehrson. Furthur then decided to tackle the George Harrison song “Any Day”. Lead guitarist John Kadlecik took lead vocals on this track. It was my second time hearing this cover, and I will surely welcome it anytime. Bassist Phil Lesh then treated us to a beautiful take on “Peggy-O”. Lesh is usually not very strong with his vocals, but he absolutely nailed “Peggy-O”.

Furthur then invited Jonathon Wilson on stage to play guitar and sing on “Mission in the Rain”. A lot of Deadheads recognized Wilson from the Jerry Garcia tribute show “Move Me Brightly”, put on by Weir back in August. I’m usually not a big fan of special guests, but Wilson did a great job on this Garcia tune, especially with his vocals. As Wilson walked off stage, Lukas Nelson walked on and played a countrified rendition of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released”. Nelson is the son of the legendary Willie Nelson, and you can tell that the apple does not fall far from the tree. Nelson then led Furthur into a fiery take of “Althea”, which is one of my all-time favorite Dead songs. So, when Lukas Nelson took lead vocals, I was at first put off. But by the end of the song, he had the band and the crowd completely hanging onto every note. Drummer Joe Russo was obviously moved because he was bouncing behind his kit like I’ve never seen before. I haven’t seen that much energy on a Furthur stage in a long time.

After a lengthy set break, Furthur started things off with the famous segue of “China Cat Sunflower” into “I Know You Rider”, known simply by Deadheads as “China Rider”. “China Cat Sunflower” is one of those songs that just makes you smile. There is something about this song that puts you into your happy place, and this version definitely did that for me. Furthur transitioned beautifully into “I Know You Rider”, which had everyone in attendance singing along.

Furthur wasn’t ready to take a breather just yet, so they segued right into a rather lengthy and psychedelic version of “Cassidy”, which had some serious legs to it and clocked in around 15 minutes. Kadlecik and Jeff Chimenti on keys were feeding off each other while Lesh and Russo stayed locked into the rhythm. “Cassidy” is rarely a highlight of a Further set, but tonight it was just that.

Another highlight of the show was the classic combo of “Scarlet Begonias” into “Fire on the Mountain”. It was 20 minutes of pure bliss for these ears. “Scarlet” was fired up from the get-go, and it had all the players in the band locked in. They transitioned flawlessly into a raging “Fire on the Mountain”, and Furthur must of known the crowd needed a break because next came an angelic take on “Standing on the Moon”. It is impossible to compare Weir’s take on this song to Garcia’s, but I will say that Weir did one hell of a job on this version. His vocal phrasing was on point, as was his guitar playing. My hat goes off to Weir for even trying to sing that song.

Next came a very unexpected, second-set “Shakedown Street” that brought the disco funk to the Greek Theatre. My friends and I always joke that “Shakedown” will be the opener of the show, but we very rarely expect it late in the second set. It was a very welcomed treat to hear it at this point in the show. It was also really fun to sing “Don’t tell me this town ain’t got no heart” because everyone thinks that LA is fake and has no real soul. But as an Angelino, I can verify LA and the Greek were full of heart this past weekend.

Furthur invited Wilson and Nelson both back on the stage for a fun singalong of Van Morrison’s “Gloria”. This version had Weir rapping about baseball playoffs in between verses that gave the crowd a good laugh. They ended the night for me in a confusing way as I thought the encore was for sure “Cosmic Charlie”, but after the intro, they slammed right into “Revolution” by The Beatles. All in all, it was a fantastic night at the Greek Theatre as I looked forward to getting back to the Greek for Night 2.

Set I:
Smokestack Lightning
Brown Eyed Women
Money For Gasoline
Any Road
Mission in the Rain (with Jonathan Wilson)
I Shall Be Released (with Lukas Nelson)
Althea (with Lukas Nelson)

Set II:
China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider
Mountain Song
Scarlet Begonias
Fire on the Mountain
Standing on the Moon
Shakedown Street
Gloria (with Johnathan Wilson and Lukas Nelson)

Revolution (with Johnathan Wilson and Lukas Nelson)

Night 2

After walking in late the night before, I made sure my crew was on time and ready to dance to some Grateful Dead music. Furthur once again started just after 7 p.m., and they got right into things with “Golden Road”. I love this song for many reasons, one of them being that this was the first Grateful Dead song I ever heard back as a kid. This is the opening track on Skeletons From the Closet, and its a show opener for a reason because it gets the party started — and that’s exactly what happened when they opened with it on Saturday night. Furthur moved right along with a great version of “Music Never Stopped” to keep the dance party going. Weir took the lead vocals on this one, and he delivered them quite nicely while Kadlicek was on point with his lead-guitar riffs. Furthur then decided to go into the classic cover of “Dancin’ in the Street” that had the Greek going nuts. It was really fun to have these three songs all in row to start the first set. It’s almost like we were treated to three opening songs, and I thought that was pretty special.

At first, it seemed like Furthur was going to transition into “Just a Little Light”, but I must of heard a tease of some sort. Anyway, they went into a Ryan Adams cover called “Let It Ride”. I wasn’t all that surprised by this selection because last year Furthur covered Adams twice in LA. Adams once toured with Phil Lesh back in 2005, so I’m sure Lesh was giving his friend a nice gesture. “Let It Ride”, in my opinion, is a perfect song to place in the middle of Dead songs. It has lyrics that have great imagery of rivers, ferry boats and sailors that many Grateful Dead songs have, too.

Furthur then transitioned beautifully into “The Wheel”, and that had the crowd roaring because this version was smoking. Russo and Lesh were feeding off each other the whole night per usual, but they seemed especially locked in during “The Wheel”. After that scorcher, Furthur then segued right into the fun singalong “Dire Wolf”. This song invokes the feeling of drinking whiskey and sitting around the campfire all night. As they were playing this, I couldn’t help but think about the dire wolf skulls they have on display just a couple miles away at the La Brea tar pits. Furthur then closed the set off with a fun, bouncy version of “Loose Lucy” and a very passionate “Touch of Grey” that had the LA crowd singing the chorus of “I will Get By”. I really enjoyed this first set, especially the opening three songs.

The second set got started with the classic Weir combo of “Lost Sailor” and “Saint of Circumstance”. I personally wasn’t that enthralled with “Lost Sailor” as the second set opener since they played it last year at the Greek, and it just wasn’t very exciting out of the gate. “Saint of Circumstance” was played beautifully, and it brought the energy back to the show before they went into the song of the night, which was “Unbroken Chain”. The Lesh-penned song was raucous from the start, and the band seemed to feed off that energy because this version was amazing from start to finish. I really enjoyed Lesh’s bass lines on this song while Kadlicek complimented him perfectly. I’d highly recommend this version to any Deadhead.

The classic “Uncle John’s Band” came next, and it’s always a treat to these ears. It was soon after “Uncle John’s Band” when I heard the bass thumping of “The Other One”. Lesh absolutely destroyed this song on bass as Weir and company belted out the lyrics. After the enormous “The Other One”, Weir led the group in another great rendition of “Let It Grow”. This song has really grown on me over the years, mostly because Furthur absolutely nails it every time. They then brought the high energy down with a beautiful take on “Comes a Time” that was truly needed as I found myself drenched in sweat from dancing.

Furthur brought the house down with the powerful trio of “Help on the Way”, “Slipknot” and “Franklin’s Tower”, better known as “Help, Slip, Frank”. The “Slipknot” was absolutely breathtaking as they weaved perfectly into “Franklin’s” and kept the momentum throughout. It was a great way to end a gigantic set. Lesh did his donor rap to remind everyone to be a donor because it saved his life, and then he went on to sing his signature song “Box of Rain”, which is such a beautiful song and was a perfect way to cap off an already amazing weekend of music. Long live Grateful Dead music.

Set I:
Golden Road
Music Never Stopped
Dancing in the Streets
Let it Ride
The Wheel
Dire Wolf
Loose Lucy
Touch of Grey

Set II:
Lost Sailor
Saint of Circumstance
Unbroken Chain
Uncle John’s Band
Other One
Let It Grow
Comes a Time
Help on the Way
Franklin’s Tower

Box of Rain