Showing posts with label Golden Gate Park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Golden Gate Park. Show all posts

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Outside Lands Fest Day 3 highlights: Italians, Africans, Bluegrass, and STEVIE WONDER

Stevie with one of his insanely hot backup singers.

Another year, another Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park. I (happily, these things are tiring) didn't get there all three days, but was surprised with a VIP ticket to Sunday, which was the BEST day to be there. Two words: STEVIE WONDER.

But first things first. We got there early to see this Italian dude Jovanotti, who was SUPER fun. His fabulously hooky song "Tutto L'Amore Che Ho" was featured on the festival's site and I just had to  see what his deal was.


Turns out this guy can rock a crowd, hard. His energy was infectious, reminding me of Manu Chao, like this video...



Toward the end Jovanotti popped down into the crowd (which was WAY smaller than what he usually plays for in Europe, I'm sure) and sang to us. Not bad for high noon.  I enjoyed seeing the sort of folks who knew who he was, and would get to the festival so early to see him.



"We usually play for three hours" Jovanotti said in the cutest Italian accent, "So we're trying to give you the highlights in forty minutes!


After some fried pickes from the Fabulous Frickle Brothers, we came across Dr. Flotsam's Hell Brew Revue, returning bigger and better than last year. "It's an extraordinary setup, envisioned and handmade by an artist named Mike Shine and his posse of Carny Bastards to evoke a family carnival ambience." (SFWeelkly blog)


And guess who was playing? The Brother's Comatose (a fabulous local bluegrass band)! And I later found out that's where The California Honeydrops and Tumbleweed Wanderers had been playing all weekend, to pretty large crows! I'm glad that local bands got to play for the throngs in such a fun and quirky spot.


Then we caught some of Caveman's brooding set, who I became familiar with after NPR featured them on one of their Tiny Desk Concerts. I love that their guitars are made by one of the band members and I love that dude's outfit. (Yes, I had some fun with the color saturation.)



And then it was onto Amadou & Mariam. The other highlight of the day for me. I've been wanting to see this Malian couple perform live since I first heard about them in grad school. My afropop ensemble covered a couple of their tunes (with varying success, this music is complicated!) And they did not disappoint! 

A totally oversaturated photo of Amadou y Mariam. With those colors I couldn't resist 



And then it was onto Mr. Stevie Wonder. HOLY SHIT. It was all I could have wanted. I mean the dude walked out onto stage with a freaking KEYTAR. He played all the hits, even the corny ones. That's OK Stevie, we'll let that go, because you can do whatever you want. Really WHATEVER you want. You're Stevie Wonder.


He really did whatever he wanted. It was pretty obvious that the band was pretty used to Stevie changing the order of the setlist, calling out keys and songs, and teaching them (Beatles) songs on the fly. Everyone was having a ball.

Aisha Morris, Stevie's daughter is second from the right.
I was particularly mesmerized (as I often am) by his backup singers. Not only were they too hot for words, but Aisha Morris, STEVIE'S DAUGHTER, is one of them. 

I heard that Metallica (who played the night before) was really fun, but I'll catch them next time. Two more artists checked off the bucket list: Stevie and Amadou & Mariam. w00t!

This is a cool photo of the Wine Land's tent. It's just purdy.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Things I saw (and ate) at Outside Lands Fest, Day 2: Bacon, opera, OK Go and dirty sinners



Saturday August 13th was just another amazing day in San Francisco, after the fog burned off in the afternoon anyway. There was a perfect breeze and the sun was out and I had music all around me.

We bounced back and forth a lot today, just following our mood. On the agenda was OK Go, the Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, The Roots and Muse if we felt like it.

OK Go
. I know the joke is that their music is nothing special, but I totally dig these guys for their continuous outpouring of creativity. Their videos are obviously incredibly innovative and fun, but they also do crazy stuff like play a whole song on the hand bells (like the video below). These guys are true artists and performers, in every sense of the words.

And let me just say that this might have been the one time in the whole of the weekend that I wanted MORE VOLUME.




Ok GO also cracked me up continuously calling the crowd a bunch of "dirty sinners", what San Francisco has always been known for. I can't say I disagree with them. He also mentioned how overwhelmingly white the San Francisco crowd is, can't disagree there either.

The Roots: So fun. I wish I was Jimmy Fallon and have these guys has my house band. They paid tribut to Fela Kuti, Guns and Roses, Zeppelin and some "Jungle Boogie."

Girl Talk: This is performance you really have to experience live to really get I think. Imagine all your favorite songs coming at you in enormous speed, sometimes only teasing you with one hook or one chorus. Some of the mash-up pairings are so awesomely funny. I need to get some of this for working out.

FOOD:
I ate this (I did not eat it all myself, in fact we couldn't finish it, it was too insane):


Good Lord, what is that you ask!? It's peanut butter mousse, chocolate fudge crust, candied bacon and caramel. Don't believe me?


The couple across the picnic table was eating this chocolate covered Oreo, marshmallow stuffed thing. It was too amazing not to photograph.


Later we also ate this from Criolla Kitchen : OMIGOD SO GOOD! Shrimp Po'Boy and Yam-Yam Tater Tots. I will definitely be visiting the restaurant in the Castro. Seriously... SO GOOD.


I did not eat this, but enjoyed the sign, imaging what these would be like:


Like I said yesterday, there were a ton of fun things to do not appearing on big stages. I found out more about the "mimes" I had seen the day before . Not mimes at all. Turns out it was a folk opera and installation called “Flotsam’s Wake” featuring Mike Shine and the Carny Bastards.


I enjoyed the banners in front of the Twin Peaks Stage. They were weird.



Theses lovely ladies practiced some yoga in front of us for awhile during the Arctic Monkeys and OK Go.


And an Australian sword swallower at the Barbary Tent. Crazy I tell you.


I'm skipping today's festivities to see Adele (rescheduled from last month when she was sick), which is okay by me, my feet are tired!