South By SF

April 13, 2009

Outside Lands Festival Lineup Analysis

Outside Lands Festivalgoers dancing to Manu Chao last year...

Outside Lands Festivalgoers dancing to Manu Chao last year...

They released the initial line-up for this year’s Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival, and if you haven’t already seen it on the 20,000 other sites that are posting it, here it is…
Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Beastie Boys, Incubus, Black Eyed Peas, MIA, Jason Mraz, Ween, Band Of Horses, TV On The Radio, The Dead Weather, Atmosphere, The Mars Volta, Thievery Corporation, Modest Mouse, Tom Jones, Silversun Pickups, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, The National, Q-Tip, Brett Dennen, Built To Spill, Mastodon, Raphael Saadiq, Calexico, Os Mutantes, Midnite, JJ Grey & Mofro, Kinky, Deerhunter, Lila Downs, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave, The Dodos, Betty Lavette, Dengue Fever, Heartless Bastards, The Dirtbombs, Lenka, Akron/Family, John Vanderslice, Matt & Kim, Portugal. The Man, The Morning Benders, The Duke Spirit, Zee Avi, Blind Pilot, Sambada, Ryan Bingham, West Indian Girl, Extra Golden…

Now, I think it looks pretty good, and I can discuss all the bands at length if you wish, but I am a bit more worried about all of the things that can go wrong with this show.

My experience with the festival last year was pretty bad. The restrooms were located in the middle of the festival grounds, and there were only very small passageways cleared to move between the stages. Also, security was few & far between. It felt as if anything were to go wrong, you would have to have to count on the kindness of strangers to get to the medical tent (also very far away from the main stage).

So, I’ll just bullet point a bit that I am excited about for this year’s event, in all hopes they fix some of the big issues from last year, so the show can actually be enjoyable.

First the headliners: Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, & The Beastie Boys. All bands that could have played a similar festival 15 years ago. Not very edgy choices, not very risky, but I really like the idea of Pearl Jam playing in my backyard.

On for the main reasons to brave the possible riot:

Os Mutantes: Brazilian Psych-Punk band, that rarely play North America.

Tom Jones: His voice is still in great shape, and that man has charisma coming out of his ears.

Raphael Saadiq: Former member 0f Tony! Toni! Tone! that put out a great retro-soul record last year.

More thoughts leading up to the event


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