Outside Lands 2021 continued Saturday with a noticeably thinner amount of fog, even longer lines for bathrooms, and an overall younger crowd in attendance. And yes: Lizzo's spectacular headlining performance at Lands End really proved that she's, in fact, 100% that bitch.
Outside Lands' second day, historically speaking, tends to be the festival’s biggest day. (Back in 2019, OSL broke its single-day attendance record with a reported 90,000 concert-goers filling Golden Gate Park.)
For 2021, the same trend seems to have played out with people packed tight throughout the festival grounds — especially at the Panhandle, Twin Peaks, and Lands End stages. The SOMA Tent, too, saw another day of snake-like queues to get inside, and a healthy amount of those populating said lines seemed... let's just say a bit "off."
Waits for purchasing food and drinks from General Admission vendors were also much longer than what was observed Friday. The day’s amount of wandering bodies made for less-than-ideal walking conditions, too. The festival grounds had become incredibly mushy and soft as once firm topsoil churned into slick mud.
Those uplit trees Saturday didn't evoke the same haunting eeriness they did the day prior when a thick blanket of fog rolled into the festival grounds, either.
In something that we didn't exactly have on our bingo card for 2021, Albert Hammond Jr. of The Strokes made a surprise, low-key appearance in the press tent to partake in some guest bartending Saturday. Perhaps it was a move to promote his wine seltzer Jetway, which was happily consumed by the sleep-deprived journalists inside the tent. Or maybe Hammond was there to do some damage control amid his band’s tone-deaf blunders and hollow remarks from the night prior.
Whatever the reason, it was a nice change of pace from the festival's mid-day slump.
But through the long lines and challenging ground conditions, OSL's second day showing managed to outshine Friday's welcomed return to form. And much of yesterday's glow was due to the fact that Lizzo did, for sure, keep tens of thousands of festival-goers glowing — because when the three-time Grammy winner is shining, "everybody gonna shine."
Not unlike Friday, the newly added SOMA Tent was teeming with warm bodies on Saturday. Inside, nightclub tropes — deafening music, laser beams refracting off walls, a crowded dance floor where moving an inch too far in any one direction left you crashing into an unsteady biped — remained accounted for. Nancy Whang's DJ set inside the tent offered a post-punk balm to the otherwise basic EDM tracks that past DJs played inside the tent. That considered; Cloone's set that included his hit “Good To Me” was fantastic and gave those inside the shelter a much-needed second wind of energy.
The rest of Saturday evening leading up to Lizzo's 8:25 set time at Lands Ends was brimming with memorable moments.
Hitmaker Kelis — who's also become a laudable chef and prominent figure in farm-to-table cuisine, being now the co-owner of Bounty Farms in Quindio, Colombia — was a guest DJ at Cocktail Magic, a fitting setting for the woman responsible for bringing "Milkshakes'' to the masses. Kelis also played other bangers from her lengthy discography, like "Bossy," and her newest single "Desserts."
At the same time, Kelis was bringing all the boys (and girls and non-binary entities) to the yard (read: the Cocktail Magic stage), Shiba San was playing to a hypnotized crowd at Twin Peaks. San's illustrious career, which spans over fifteen years and is defined by his ability to mix-match certain house-music styles, made for a jaw-dropping performance with hits like "OKAY" and "All the People." The crowd was so dense with fans — newly converted and otherwise — that it was virtually impossible to get out to, say, find the restrooms to deflate one's bladder.
Right before the "Juicy" singer was to grace Lands End with an unforgettable, twerk-heavy, costume-change-filled set, Vampire Weekend introduced some early 2010's nostalgia to the gathering crowd. Guitarist and lead singer Ezra Koenig played a litany of staple tracks, including more than a few from the band's fan-beloved Contra EP, as well as new songs from the group's 2019 album Father of a Bride.
Shortly after Vampire Weekend exited Lands End, Lizzomania began with... well, an expected bang.
In the same spot she had headlined three years prior — though much further down the bill, performing around 3 p.m. that time in 2018 — Lizzo started what would become a magical, triumphant, emotional 90-minute marathon of songs with "Rumors," her fourth song to enter into the top ten on Billboard's Hot 100.
Not long after into her set, it was clear we weren’t going to get a repeat of her Baby Yoda costume that had gone viral across Twitter the day prior. That said: remnants of that getup were still lingering, most notably on her rear-end.
“Y’all see me as Baby Yoda last night?” Lizzo asked the crowd of around 20,000 people. “My ass is still green! And I’m going to show this ass all night.”
That she did — through a list of fan-favorites like "Juicy," "Phone," and many more. Her vocal prowess was on full display during her performance of "Cuz I Love You," proving just why she's firmly cemented as one of this generation's best live performers.
Oscillating between tender moments with the present crowd — "Y'all know why I said to put one finger up in the air? 'Cause that finger means a lot of things. But it most importantly means that you've always got yourself. You'll be alright, 'cause you got you, baby." — and twerking enough to lift our spirits for at least a year, it was clear that Lizzo's headlining performance would sit as a timely reminder about just why (most) music festivals are so damn magical.
BEST HALLOWEEN EVERRRRRR pic.twitter.com/qhvIAkKb2o— ALL THE RUMORS ARE TRUE (@lizzo) October 31, 2021
As her set concluded, Lizzo concluded her act in a plume of pyrotechnics, the smoke of those ignited fireworks glowing purple from the stage lighting. It was a perfectly appropriate conclusion to her massive performance that didn't disappoint — and left everyone feeling “Good As Hell.”
Top Photo: Courtesy of Alive Coverage via Grandstand Media