I always feel such a sense of promise when I walk through that tunnel to Outside Lands. I'm at the Polo Fields all the time to run, but its transformation for the now ten-year-old music fest always leaves me breathless.
And like all festivals, there were last minute changes and glitches. The biggest one Friday was A Tribe Called Quest's last minute rescheduling (pity the poor kid who announced to everyone in his path that he'd just "done my first acid ever for Tribe!") due to "unforeseen travel issues." In their place on the main stage were a reshuffled Little Dragon and RAC, which I'm sure went just as well with LSD.
Another thing that always blows me away are the food offerings. In my day, we had to walk uphill in the snow for $25 pump cheese nachos, waiting in a lengthy line and missing Jane's Addiction or whatever (y'all I am old) in the process. But now, as anyone can tell you, the park becomes basically the greatest food court on the planet. Some of our friends from the Chron (not Bauer) braved a lot of the items I was reluctant to order last night, and let's just say that I'm looking at a Dirty Hooker in a whole new way. My favorite meal Friday was the veggie ramen from Itani Ramen, which I liked so much I slurped it all before I remembered to take a picture of it for you.
Friday's standouts for me (and I'm sure I'm missing something important, but I can't be everywhere at once!) were Tove Lo, and I'm not just saying that because she flashed her perfect breasts at the crowd. Sleigh Bells also turned in an electrifying set, turning them in my eyes from the kind of band that would have played Buffy's Bronze to the real freaking deal.
But for me, and I know I'm not alone because I weaseled my way pretty far up front (one of the benefits of looking older than many attendees' mothers is that they make way for my greying ass), the real highlight of the night was Gorillaz. As we all know, Damon Albarn's outfit rarely plays live, so it was hard not to feel history was being made as classic after classic rolled out. Joining Albarn on stage (in addition to the ubiquitous projections of their animated avatars) were Kali Uchis, Pusha T, Anthony Hamilton, Yukimi Nagano, Maceo, and many more. I danced till I blistered, then I kept on going.
Check out all our photos from Day One, and we'll have more for you in the next two days.