This year’s Outside Lands festival, all hyperbole aside, was nothing short of spectacular—topped by memorable performance by Sir Paul McCartney.
Friday night wrapped up an already impressive day of music that included the Heavy, Band of Horses, and The National before McCartney headlined.
At 71 McCartney has the stage presence and energy of a man one third his age. With his famous Hofner violin bass, he started the set with the Beatles’ “Eight Days A Week” and a selection of Wings tunes and carried on for almost three hours with music from the last four decades. During “Live and Let Die,” the main stage erupted with fireworks that lit up the entire polo field.
As the temperature dropped, and the fog mixed in with the haze left by the fireworks above the crowd, McCartney sang “Hey Jude.” For a a few extended moments, if felt like we were all on the Yellow Submarine, surrounded by the warm purple glow of the illuminated trees that surrounded us and a voice many in that audience were deeply familiar with.
The second day of the festival was an appropriate sequel to Friday. Blues guitarists Guy Clark Jr. started the festivities early before Jurassic 5 got the crowd primed for the night’s headliners.
The polo field was a solid block of people for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and by the time Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails walked onto the stage, the crowd was so packed it would have been easier to just walk on top of the people rather than through them.
Sunday—always the toughest day to get through at Outside Lands—had some of us shaking off the groggy morning blues until Hall and Oates began their set. Willie Nelson and Vampire weekend performed on opposite stages shortly there after. There were people sobbing during Kaskade and women screaming like teenage girls when Anthony Kiedis walked on stage.
When the Chili Peppers finished their set with their 90s hit “Give it Away,” and the festival had officially come to a close, the crowd started to slowly dissipate through the exits, kicking up plumes of dust. Walking out of Golden Gate Park that night almost felt like a communal dream. We all made our way to our separate homes together.
Continue to the next page to see more photos by Metro photographer Jennifer Anderson at Tomek Mackowiak.