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 – Saturday // Dolores Stage

Most Memorable Experience: Outside Lands x LIVE by Amazon Music

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

Best Night Show: Interpol – Thursday // The Independent

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.

The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2022

Best of 2022After seeing what the live music industry endured the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 was certainly a step in the right direction. For many artists and bands, this year marked the first since 2019 that they had the opportunity to step onstage — and that was a victory in and of itself.

While we aren’t completely out of the woods yet considering the coronavirus is still very much a part of our lives, there’s no signs of us returning to those dark and dire days of 2020. The shows simply must go on, and we are all better for it whether you’re a musician or just a fan.

Now as we turn to 2023 with cautious optimism, it’s time for us to share our annual “Best of” lists as we have done since this blog first began (see our 2021 picks here). We’ll be quick to admit we didn’t catch every show or hear all of the albums released in the past 12 months, but looking back on the year that was can not only be fun but also challenging with so much great music to consider.

So, without further ado, Showbams presents The Bam Team’s five favorite shows, albums and songs from 2022.

Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2022:

Tool - Viejas Arena


Tool at Viejas Arena // Photo by Josh Herwitt

Josh Herwitt // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2022
1. My Morning Jacket at Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO – August 26th-27th
2022 will go down as easily one of my favorite years for live music. So many of the artists and bands I love toured after being forced to sit on the sidelines for at least two years, and as I look back on all of the shows I was fortunate enough to witness, it would be a shame to not mention the ones that aren’t already included here, whether it was Eddie Vedder, Baroness, Royal Blood, Interpol and The Shins at Just Like Heaven, Jack White (two nights), The Kills, Puscifer on my big day, Fleet Foxes, Big Gigantic Telefon Tel Aviv, Moderat, Khruangbin and Arctic Monkeys — plus Lorde — at the debut of Primavera Sound LA, The Mars Volta, Bonobo, Foals, Modest Mouse performing The Lonesome Crowded West from start to finish to celebrate the LP’s 25th anniversary or The Smile closing out their North America tour. But this year’s No. 1 spot once again goes to My Morning Jacket, which have become my top live band over the last decade among some very stiff competition (see the rest of the bands listed below to get a better idea). With back-to-back dates in SoCal at the Santa Barbara Bowl and Hollywood Forever (read our review here) serving as a preview for what would come the following week, the Louisville-bred rockers left no stone unturned in their return to Red Rocks. If there was ever an act to catch — not once but twice — at the legendary amphitheater after visiting it more than a dozen times in my life so far, this was the one for me and MMJ proved it over two sold-out gigs with no repeats as always.

2. The War on Drugs at Shrine Auditorium – Los Angeles, CA – February 26th
3. Pearl Jam at The Forum – Inglewood, CA – May 6th
4. Tool at Viejas Arena – San Diego, CA – January 19th
5. Nine Inch Nails at Santa Barbara Bowl – Santa Barbara, CA – September 13th

Top 5 Albums of 2022
1. The Smile – A Light for Attracting Attention
It wasn’t until last year during a surprise performance for the concert video “Live at Worthy Farm” when we first learned of the latest side project from Radiohead members Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood with Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner. But after putting out six singles off their debut LP that came out back in May, it was clear the three-piece wasn’t messing around. Across all 13 tracks on A Light for Attracting Attention, it’s safe to say there isn’t one worth skipping, reaffirming why Yorke remains one of the best songwriters out there in the last 30 years. And with him and Greenwood switching off between guitar, bass and synthesizer among a bevy of other instrumentation including vocoder, piano and harp, their talents are as palpable as they have ever been before. After all, hearing Yorke croon “Don’t mess with me” toward the beginning of “The Smoke” is an edict — literal or not — many would have a tough time disputing at this point.

2. Kendrick Lamar – Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers
3. Jack White – Fear of the Dawn
4. My Morning Jacket – MMJ Live Vol. 2: Chicago 2021
5. Bonobo – Fragments

Top 5 Songs of 2022
1. The Mars Volta – “Graveyard Love”
For fans of The Mars Volta, it has been a long wait since Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala hit the studio to record new material. Even with the project’s two constant members on good terms these days, it took more than a decade before anything would enter our earholes. But despite many of the prog-rock tendencies it demonstrated on earlier albums dating all the way back to 2003’s seminal De-Loused in the Comatorium, the duo’s seventh studio effort delves unexpectedly into new sonic territory. With a pop aesthetic running through it that surprisingly sees no song surpass the five-minute mark, The Mars Volta will undoubtedly be looked at as a departure from the days of “Cygnus…Vismund Cygnus” and “Cassandra Gemini” when Rodríguez-López and Bixler-Zavala were captivating At the Drive-In fans as well as new listeners. Nevertheless, its second single “Graveyard Love” stands tall as some of their best work to date and reminds us that these guys haven’t lost what made them so uniquely special.

2. The Smile – “Thin Thing”
3. Jack White – “Eosophobia”
4. Interpol – “Toni”
5. Moderat – “EASY PREY”


Pilot to Gunner - Hail Hallucinator

Andrew Pohl // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2022
1. Yard Act at Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA – April 21st
Funny story about this show … I had been hearing a lot of buzz about Yard Act, and I had only listened to one song played a few times on KEXP, which I really dug. I had been on the Rickshaw Stop’s email list, and the venue ran a contest for free tickets. I happened to win so I took a chance and opted to see Yard Act’s show that same week. Wanting to familiarize myself with their material more, I immediately dove head first into their album and was totally hooked, so I felt really good about this turn of events. I hadn’t been to a gig at Rickshaw Stop in many years and was eager to visit again, so it felt great to be back in a packed room again for an intimate evening of punk rock. The opening act Buzzed Light Beer fell a bit flat in my humble opinion, but once Yard Act took the stage, the room started buzzing with life. Lead singer James Smith’s command of the crowd is very nonchalant, but he also knows he has you hanging on every word. The set was fun and well-executed, and the UK quartet was clearly on its “A” game after a lengthy run of shows and in between weekend performances at Coachella. Much to the chagrin of those in attendance, Smith kept referring to the audience as “San Diego” (LOL), though he did tell us that he had some mushrooms the night before, so … you know. To round things out, Smith offered to do a magic trick during the last song of Yard Act’s set before their encore and coaxed fans to hand over any loose bills they had, which he pocketed and took backstage. As it turns out, he actually gifted the money to the bar staff, which I felt was a nice touch and very much on-brand.

2. THE FEST 20 – Gainesville, FL – October 28th–30th
3. Coheed & Cambria at Greek Theatre Berkeley – Berkeley, CA – August 14th
4. Bauhaus at The Masonic – San Francisco, CA – May 22nd
5. The Velvet Teen at Arlene Francis Center – Santa Rosa, CA – June 17th

Top 5 Albums of 2022
1. Pilot to Gunner – Hail Hallucinator
Brooklyn indie rockers Pilot to Gunner hadn’t put out an album for a decade, and to be honest, I hadn’t really paid much attention to them prior to Hail Hallucinator. The name was always out there and I had friends who were really into them, but I never got around to checking out their music for one reason or another. And not unlike many other bands that came before them (i.e. Seaweed, Far, The Murder City Devils), I am bummed that I was so late to the party. They are absolutely fantastic, and this record was easily my most listened-to during 2022. From start to finish, the 10-track LP hit all the marks for me in terms of stellar songwriting, original-sounding guitar work that still feels familiar and vocals carrying the torch of the early 2000’s indie/emo revival sound ala Hey Mercedes and Jimmy Eat World all while not completely aping either group. “Drop the Sun”, “We’re Blasting to Masses”, “Total Rager” and “Escape Season” are among its best tracks, but I simply love all of them from beginning to end.

2. Thee Sacred Souls – Thee Sacred Souls
3. Yard Act – The Overload
4. Soul Glo – Diaspora Problems
5. High Vis – Blending

Top 5 Songs of 2022
1. 3rd Secret – “I Choose Me”
The supergroup 3rd Secret surprised the music world when their debut self-titled LP arrived in mid-April. Comprised of members from Nirvana, Soundgarden, Hater and Giants in the Trees, the album is a tour de force brought to you by grunge and alt-rock royalty. Its lead single “I Choose Me” turns things up and right out of the gate you can’t help but feel a little washed over with nostalgia from guitarist Kim Thayil’s signature riffage in addition to the thundering cadence courtesy of bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Matt Cameron. What makes the song — and the album — stand out to me, however, is the work of co-vocalists Jillian Raye and Jennifer Johnson. The pair deliver gorgeous singing atop the otherwise gritty instrumentation, harkening back to what made so many 90’s albums awesome with a beautiful balance of dark and light. I kept coming back to this song a lot throughout the year, and it made me really reflect on just how incredible the music that came out of the Pacific Northwest was when I was growing up. To hear this collection of musicians conjuring up those aural ghosts through a contemporary filter was not only refreshing, but also something that I was really looking for in 2022.

2. Yard Act – “The Overload”
3. Thee Sacred Souls – “Can I Call You Rose?”
4. Cave In – “New Reality”
5. High Vis – “0151”


Animal Collective - Greek Theatre


Animal Collective at Greek Theatre // Photo by Rochelle Shipman

Rochelle Shipman // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2022
1. PUP at The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – April 21st
Two years and one full length after this show was originally supposed to occur, LA finally got to see PUP perform on their “Thank Fucking God” tour. Worth the wait would be a major understatement here as the Canadian punks transported us back to pre-pandemic times like nothing had ever happened — we were touching, we were screaming, we were moshing again! The night had such an innocent air to it. Despite the delay, 2019’s Morbid Stuff felt fresher than ever (and it still does).

2. Yaya Bey at Cafe Erzulie – Brooklyn, NY – June 16th
3. Animal Collective at Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – May 20th
4. Vince Staples at The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – August 23rd
5. Bright Eyes at Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – June 23rd

Top 5 Albums of 2022
1. Lando Chill – if im being honest
The multi-hyphenate who’s based out of LA quietly dropped this mixtape early in the year, and it stood strong in my top spot from the start. With a sharp wit and silky delivery, Chill tears through pages of his diary without cutting a single corner. Thank God for vulnerability.

2. Smino – Luv 4 Rent
3. Pusha T – It’s Almost Dry
4. Yaya Bey – Remember Your North Star
5. Open Mike Eagle – Component System with the Auto Reverse

Top 5 Songs of 2022
1. Steve Lacy – “Bad Habit”
An earworm for the ages! This impossibly catchy tune took over TikTok and catapulted Mr. Lacy into the spotlight that he was born to occupy, whether he was ready for it or not. The cherry on top of his banner year was the singer-songwriter’s old iPhone (aka his instrument) landing on display in the Smithsonian.

2. Lando Chill – “guess”
3. Leggy – “Lipstick on the Mic”
4. Pusha T – “Brambleton”
5. Channel Tres – “Acid in My Blood”

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Just Like Heaven 2022: Pasadena’s own slice of indie-music bliss

Just Like Heaven 2022 - Interpol, Santigold & The ShinsPhotos by Josh Herwitt & courtesy of JLH with artwork by Melissa Herwitt // Written by Josh Herwitt //

Just Like Heaven //
Brookside at the Rose Bowl – Pasadena, CA
May 21st, 2022 //

For those of you in California who haven’t noticed yet, we’re right in the midst of festival season.

With Coachella wrapping up last month and Lightning in a Bottle as well as BottleRock taking place over Memorial Day weekend, 2022 has already brought the live music industry back to the Golden State in a big way (and let’s make sure we mention BeachLife Festival, too).

But for those of us who haven’t been attending music festivals for a few years in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more exciting when any concert promoter can assemble a lineup of great artists and bands to perform all on the same day. That’s what Goldenvoice did, in fact, when it announced the return of Just Like Heaven with a dream lineup for any indie-music fan during the mid-2000s, anchored by Interpol, Modest Mouse, The Shins and M.I.A. with Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, Chromeo, Santigold, Cut Copy, The Hives, Wolf Parade, Peaches and !!! also listed on the poster.

After taking over the Queen Mary Park in Long Beach for its debut in 2019, Just Like Heaven has found greener pastures to call home 35 miles north in Pasadena at the Brookside Golf Course adjacent to the Rose Bowl. It’s a proven location for hosting music festivals at this point after holding several large-scale events there before like Shaun White’s inaugural Air + Style and both editions of Goldenvoice’s two-day Arroyo Seco Weekend. But with the AEG-owned company’s other single-day fest Cruel World occupying the site two days the previous weekend and more music festivals like This Ain’t No Picnic scheduled for August, it’s safe to say that the Brookside is becoming quite a hotspot for Goldenvoice of late.

Just Like Heaven, nevertheless, seemingly fits the bill for Goldenvoice CEO Paul Tollett. And though the festival didn’t sell out nor was a second day added this time around, it still felt like quite a success given everything we have endured for more than two years. If anything, it was a brief reminder of what life felt like before the pandemic.

Just Like Heaven 2022 - Peaches


Peaches

While there wasn’t one performance at Just Like Heaven that stood above the rest, there were certainly highlights throughout the day — starting as early as 2 p.m. when Peaches stepped onto the main stage with an array of scantily-clad costumes to celebrate the belated 20th anniversary of her second LP The Teaches of Peaches. For those who got there in time to witness the Canadian electroclash musician in all her glory, it was 50 minutes we’ll never forget as Merrill Nisker delivered one erotic moment after the next alongside her backing band and backup dancers who were wearing as little as her. Sure, hearing Wolf Parade play 2005’s Apologies to the Queen Mary right after wasn’t quite as entertaining, but it did feel apropos given Just Like Heaven’s prior location, setting us up for an evening of classic indie rock.

By the time Franz Ferdinand took the stage for their 5:10 p.m. start, you could tell that the attendance had grown considerably compared to what it was earlier for late-afternoon sets by Kele Okereke, The Hives and Cut Copy. Of course the latter did their best to turn the daytime dance party up a notch with crowd-pleasers such as “Lights and Music” and “Hearts on Fire” off 2008’s In Ghost Colours, but it was Franz Ferndinand, Santigold and Bloc Party who shepherded us through the early evening (and one of them even made us pretend like we were back in 2005 listening to Silent Alarm for the first time again).

One of our only grievances with Just Like Heaven this year was scheduling Chromeo to perform exactly when The Shins were, leaving us less of an opportunity to catch both acts during the sunset. But James Mercer and his sidekicks made the most of it after a long time away from touring, offering 15 cuts across the band’s catalog before finishing with a rare cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “American Girl” as the sun fell behind the San Gabriel Mountains.

From there, the remaining hours of the festival belonged to Modest Mouse, M.I.A. and Interpol. With the first two receiving 60 minutes on their respective stages — Orion and Stardust — each made a point to placate the more casual listener with commercial hits like “Float On” and “Paper Planes” receiving their three minutes in the spotlight. But while some of the songs on Modest Mouse’s 2021 album The Golden Casket don’t translate as well to a live setting as their older material and M.I.A.’s show can often be a bit too bizarre for some, Interpol was there at the end to ground us and bring it all home.

The NYC post-punk revival trio has been on the road for about a month after completing The Other Side of Make-Believe, and although we will have to wait until mid-July for their seventh studio effort to arrive, Interpol did provide a preview of sorts with “Fables” and “Toni” sprinkled into a setlist highlighted by one of our personal favorites “Rest My Chemistry” from 2007’s Our Love to Admire. Yet, it was only fitting on this night for Interpol to also uncork “The Heinrich Maneuver” from the same record that hears frontman Paul Banks ask the audience in the opening lyric, “How are things on the West Coast?” before replying, “I hear you’re moving real fine.” With Just Like Heaven alive and well after a three-year hiatus and new music from Interpol on the horizon, there’s no doubt we are now.