Ten Must-See Acts At Outside Lands

Photo credit: Steve Gullick

Ten Must-See Acts At Outside Lands

By Mike Duffy

One week after traveling to Chicago for Lollapalooza, Fender is hitting the west coast for San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival.

The lineup is varied, but there are some great acts from the bottom to the top of the list.

To help you pick and choose who to go see, here are ten bands that are on our radar:

Papa (Friday)

With every live performance in and around the Los Angeles area, PAPA seems to be gaining more and more buzz with their punk-rock take on soulful grooves.  Drummer Darren Weiss takes the lead vocal duties, while childhood friend Danny Presant lays down head-nodding bass lines. Take a listen to PAPA’s 2011 EP A Good Woman is Hard to Find and you’ll want to catch them as they embark on a nationwide tour in September with Two Gallants.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse (Friday)

Neil Young and Crazy Horse released their new LP Americana on June 5. It’s their first album together since Greendale in 2003, and their first album with the full Crazy Horse line-up of Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina and Frank “Poncho” Sampedro since Broken Arrow in 1996. Young’s Americana-tinged tunes are a great way to close out the summer. 


Foo Fighters (Friday)

As one of a handful of modern-day rock bands that can readily fill stadiums, Foo Fighters have the live show down to a science.  Drawing from an encyclopedic cache of tracks, the Foos brings fans along for a roller coaster ride of fist-pumping anthems and introspective ballads.  The stage banter of frontman Dave Grohl will surely elicit a few laughs, as well.

Portugal. The Man (Saturday)

This psychedelic-pop outfit from Portland-via-Alaska has been riding the high of their successful 2011 release In the Mountain, In the Cloud.  Frontman John Gourley’s piercing falsetto and tight guitar riffs mesh well with the band’s liberal use of atmospheric synths to give their latest tunes a Bowie-esque feel.  A good example of that is “All Your Light (Times Like These).”

Metalica (Saturday)

One of the most influential rock bands in history, Metallica has sold 100 million albums worldwide. Having celebrated their 30th anniversary earlier this year, the guys announced that they will be releasing a new record at least by early 2014.  Metallica – a band that was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 – should quench the thirst of metal fans heading to Outside Lands. 

Dr. Dog (Saturday)

The Philadelphia rockers released Be The Void earlier this year, sticking true to the catchy melodies and two-man harmonies of Scott McMicken and Toby Leaman that have built the band such devoted audiences.  During their winter/spring tour, several guys in the band wore Dr. Dog-emblazoned stocking caps, but that would be a bold fashion statement in the hot San Francisco summer sun.

Rebelution (Sunday)

Wind down your Sunday with California reggae band Rebelution.  In early 2012, Rebelution put out their third studio album, Peace of Mind, and boast a stellar live vibe that is sure to put a nice cap on the festival.

Dispatch (Sunday)

The Boston roots rockers have been on fire since ending a hiatus that began in 2002 last year.  Embarking on a national tour, their fervent fanbase has been rejuvenated as Dispatch rolls out their crowd-bouncing hits.  We’re looking forward to a rousing version of “The General” at some point during this set.

Stevie Wonder (Sunday)

How can you miss a living legend in Stevie Wonder?  The pop, soul, R&B and all-everything artist can draw from a massive catalog – he’s recorded more than 30 top-ten hits and received over 20 Grammy Awards – so it could be an all-star event.  We’re expecting a few cameos from other Outside Lands artists, as well. Cross your fingers.

Bonus Round!

Some other bands that we’re excited to check out include Beck, Sigur Ros, Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman, Explosions In the Sky, Trampled By Turtles, Tennis and Electric Guest.


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