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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Outside Lands - Day 1 - Friday 8/29/09

Thievery Corporation kept tons of fans clear across Golden Gate Park from headliners Pearl Jam near the end of the first night of the Outside Lands Festival with a steady stream of vocalists, a real sitar, and free earplugs.

The first day of San Francisco's second annual Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park was met by a lot of eager if wardrobe-challenged Bay Area residents and visitors who were not prepared for hot & humid weather. Day 1 saw bands as diverse as garage-rock inspired The Duke Spirit-- who kicked off the festival-- through a cycle of indy heavies (Built to Spill, Silversun Pickups), to the actual Mr. Tom Jones, who played new songs and covers, as well as his own hits from 40+ years ago. No underwear was seen flung to the stage, but women up front were alternately clutching and holding up his picture.

The festival runs throughout the weekend and also features comedy, international music (if you are ever tired, just go see Alt Rock en EspaƱol act Kinky), and a variety of burlesque/circus-themed bands, dancers and other art forms, such as a shadow puppet theater. One can even get a first look-- and play-- of Beatles RockBand in the XBOX 360 lounge.

As a celebration of all things San Francisco, organizers Another Planet Entertainment and Big Hassle worked to bring together some of the best food and wine purveyors around. Local restaurants Q, Maverick, Ti Couz, Eos and Farmer Brown can all be found amongst the many terrific food stalls.

Fans of artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen and Joy Division all came together in appreciation of The National and the cool baritone lilt of singer Matt Berninger. No wonder the band's "Fake Empire" was adopted by the Obama campaign during his nomination and victory speech events.

Hailing from the Silverlake district of Los Angeles, Silversun Pickups took the main "OutsideLands" stage with thunderous applause. The front-man Brian Aubert, gave ample complements to the beautiful city & people of San Francisco. He also gave heart-felt props to Built to Spill, being in awe of getting to play alongside them.
Even with minor technical difficulties, Silversun Pickups played a driven & first rate rock show. They preformed a covey of songs including the hits "Panic Switch" & "Lazy Eye". - Clovis

Meric Long from The Dodos focuses intently on the music. The Bay Area outfit swung from minimalist to psychedelic with their heavy emphasis on percussion and beautifully played vibes that were even treated to a couple violin bows.

Zap Mama is a Belgian group with strong African influences, especially Congo. It is lead by Marie Daulne who pioneered the use of voice as an instrument to meld popular music such as R&B and hip-hop with traditional African sound and rhythm.

The Duke Spirit kicked off the second annual Outside Lands festival at 1pm on an uncharacteristically hot and muggy day in San Francisco's Golden Gate park. Early festival goers swooned to their raw, bluesy, vintage sound and spectacular front woman Liela Moss.

Words by Dru Photos by Clovis IV

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