Yesterday Outside Lands ’13 kicked off in San Francisco, and there’s already been a ton of memorable moments, from food to comedy to many great sets. The first real highlight of the day was the Men. They’ve quickly evolved into such a diverse sounding band in just a few years, and played a nice, rough set that shifted from fast punk to country-tinged slow burners. On the Barbary stage, a perfectly balanced triple bill of comedy came from Maria Bamford, Eugene Mirman, and Kate Berlant, who worked in drastically different styles. It’s clear from this and the upcoming sets today and tomorrow that Outside Lands puts a lot of thought and effort into curating their comedy.
I was worried that Rhye’s set time would mess up their intimate night time vibe, but rather than falling prey to that they delivered a surprisingly sunny and fun set. Their full band is something to be seen as well, especially when they played an extended, jamming version of “Open.” Meanwhile the National’s Matthew Berninger delivered a fierce set in spite of some voice issues and even brought San Francisco legend Bob Weir out on stage at the end.
D’Angelo cancelled his appearance earlier this week, and there wasn’t enough time to change the schedules so his name is resting there like a tease all weekend. But the hero of the whole day might as well have been Nile Rodgers, who got Chic to fill in and played through a massive medley of the many songs he helped turn into hits. He even stuck around to dance to “Get Lucky” on the PA.
Near the end of the night Chromatics played in a slot against Paul McCartney, but brought an intimate crowd (as we predicted) and played a breathtaking set as the sun went down. Perfectly sequenced, and with some of the best sound heard at an outdoor festival. There was still time to catch McCartney’s set, which ran a massive three hours and culminated with “The End” and a fireworks show. Check out photos from Friday by Moses Namkung above and stream the fest at PureVolume all weekend.