SAN FRANCISCO — Day three brought sunshine and massive crowds to close the ninth Outside Lands Music Festival on a memorable note.
Tens of thousands packed the Polo Field at midday for a glimpse at Chance the Rapper and Third Eye Blind on the Lands End Stage. The monster masses filled back to the festival’s signature windmill an estimated one-quarter mile away.
They had two of our favorite sets on the last day of Outside Lands. Here’s a look at six of our favorites from Sunday:
Like Ziggy, Third Eye Blind plays guitar – Lands End Stage
San Francisco’s Third Eye Blind grabbed songs from throughout the band’s career in an hourlong set on the main stage, but the unexpected highlight wasn’t a trip into the band’s late 1990s mainstream nostalgia. It instead came when 15-year-old guitarist Spencer Barnett and the Magik*Magik Orchestra joined forces with 3EB for a Bowie tribute medley touching on “Young Americans,” “Heroes,” “Modern Love” and “Ziggy Stardust.” The likes of “Jumper,” “Graduate,” “Motorcycle Drive By” and “Semi-Charmed Life” were just icing on the well-attended cake.
Chance flashes flurry of features – Lands End Stage
The Chicago rapper did cut his set short by 10 minutes on both ends, but what he delivered to a boatload of fans was treasures from throughout his short career, including feature verses on other tracks. Action Bronson’s “Baby Blue,” Towkio’s “Heaven Only Knows” and Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam” all made appearances. Elsewhere, he drew heavily from this year’s Coloring Book, playing a suite of material from the gospel-inspired LP.
Lana remains elusive to close weekend – Twin Peaks Stage
Art pop singer Lana Del Rey kept her mysterious allure with Sunday’s weekend-ending set on the Twin Peaks Stage. Her banter with the crowd was minimal, relying instead on her shimmering voice, including on hits such as “Blue Jeans,” “Video Games” and “Summertime Sadness.” Her most revealing moment came when she strapped on a guitar and played a solo rendition of “Yayo” from her Lizzy Grant album, putting aside pretense and shining a spotlight on the music.
Ryan Adams tells us to chill harder — Sutro Stage
Seemingly out of thin air, the indie singer-songwriter, folky, bluesman, and Taylor Swift song rearranger created a ditty about missing balloons that worked as a Major Lazer diss track, heartfelt eulogy and reference to an improv song he made up two years ago during Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in the same park. It wasn’t completely off the cuff, but the ever agile Adams successfully mixed on-the-spot song creation with full band performance, his songbook, really funny stoner jokes and some great covers; the highlight being a faithful recreation of his “When the Stars Go Blue” popularized by The Corrs. He may have some apologizing to do to Major Lazer — “Somebody’s got their laptop turned up so high right now!” — but those in attendance deemed the stand-up routine a successful venture.
Kamasi Washington incites an awakening — Lands End Stage
Jazz was a flavor served for the first time Sunday at Outside Lands, at least real, unblemished jazz. Not that acclaimed saxophonist Kamasi Washington and his large band, which included an appearance by his father, Rickey, were traditionalists. They put their own spin on the greats and played four songs during a 45-minute set, opening with the song that launched Washington’s 2015 triple album, The Epic: “Change of the Guard.”
The Muppets’ Dr. Teeth plays the hits — Lands End Stage
At a time when adults at Outside Lands routinely wear Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-shirts and everyone is a child at heart, it’s a mystery why it took so long to bring the rag-tag Muppet band to a music festival. Sure, the music was not live. These are hand-operated puppets, after all, but who can resist Animal banging away on the drums when one in three drummers are compared to the red furry? The sextet, which included Dr. Teeth, Janice, Floyd Pepper, Zoot and infrequent member Lips, performed a few covers during its 30 minutes. The Beatles, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and The Mowglis were covered, and in-between songs video snippets showed the band answering questions, telling stories and visiting famous Bay Area landmarks. Fun fact: Dr. Teeth puppeteer Bill Barretta was the man inside the Earl Sinclair costume on the television show Dinosaurs.
Che Holts’ photos:
Adrian Jusue’s photos:
Roman Gokhman’s photos: