For the most part, sequels can’t compete with the first, can they?
On its second day, Outside Lands celebrated with one of its best performances by none other than a talented comedian, actor and performer. On the other hand, an unfortunate experimental phase for a certain electronic producer felt stagnant and boring.
And the crowd. The ruthless crowd.
A cold morning and a cold night still felt warm at Golden Gate Park because of a landmark number in bodies.
Headliner Childish Gambino bursted out at the start of his set:
“I just found out that this is the biggest crowd they’ve ever had at Outside Lands!”
SFBay walked the grounds, from the polo fields, with a capacity of 57,000, to Twin Peaks, a circular wooded area with people packed like sardines to the brim.
Day two of Outside Lands 2019 saw a crowd like none other; a cool statistic, but a nightmare to deal with.
Indie rock group Wallows includes band members Braeden Lemasters, Cole Preston, and Dylan Minnette, the latter two of which have also found success in the film industry.
At 2:20 p.m., fans’ and bystanders’ ears pricked up at the Lands End stage when the Los Angeles based band plucked a combination of clean and fuzzy guitars and harmonized vocals.
The uninitiated 90’s kids found a new band that’s catchy and fast; like they understand our teenage angst.
“I once was at this festival by myself,” said Minnette, pointing to the high wooden tables near the endless food vendors. “Right back there, watching Radiohead.”
Wallows’ Outside Lands performance is emblematic to the loner and rocker in all of us.
The sun peeks in throughout the day but stays cloudy and misty for the most part.
Up next on the Lands End stage, titles that vaguely draws to the Suspiria poster lettering spelled ‘Santigold.’
Santi White, also known as reggae fusion and genre-bending singer Santigold, ran out to hyped visitors:
“We’re having some major technical issues. … But I’m going to do what I can to give you guys a show.”
Not even three minutes pass and her mesmerizing vocals under breakneck bass booming and trap-style drums win over the horde.
It’s painful if a mass of festival-goers doesn’t dig your music. Santigold burrows into the soul and finds a spot to lay down.
You ain’t going to forget these sweet lyrics: “Oh, we set our dreams to carry us, And if they don’t fly we will run.”
It’s unnerving to be an EDM, electronic dance music, fan during big outdoor festivals like Outside Lands.
They can either bomb or be bomb.
Real name Harley Edward Streten, Australian producer and DJ Flume pushed his set to an experimental level that’s weirdly a mix of safe and odd.
Flume, best known for hits like “Never Be Like You (feat. Kai)” and “Say It (feat. Tove Lo),” didn’t even play his best hits until the very end of his set.
Once he began his show spray painting “Hi This Is Flume,” an upset mob would rather talk and use him as background music. I can’t blame them.
Going for more than a full hour, throwing clay pots on stage and lying on the ground to, what sounded like, Odesza inspired synths can only provide so much.
SFBay watched Flume from the middle ground of the polo field, watching and listening to attendees say, “He’s played better sets” and “This is lame.”
Outside Lands doesn’t allow for a perfect EDM experience, no matter how amazing some past EDM artists were. Fact is, music that’s more visual and colorful deserves a space that’s visible from all angles.
Flume drops the ball here; boring and conventional.
By the end of the day, a handful of fine acts isn’t worth breathing in the immense crowd and seeing festival cliché after festival cliché by just walking from point A to point B.
But Childish Gambino is something else.
For first-timers, Gambino is also known as actor and comedian Donald Glover. Just think of Hannah Montana, except we all know. He said:
“This is going to be church.”
Glover then introduces an angelic choir and his funky and brilliant band.
He explained that no photos or videos are allowed during his sets because he wants fans to live in the moment and experience the now.
Boy, oh boy, the moments we are living are important.
Glover runs through the crowds, standing on towers, contorts his body and dances, shoots off fireworks, steals phones and even performed a new single.
Alongside the excellent video quality and camera crew, Glover crowns himself king of Outside Lands 2019, day two.
See him live. An infinite amount of words won’t give me the power to let you know how uplifted and chill I felt, excluding the puff of weed smoke hovering over the Lands End pack.
SFBay and Outside Lands company sang the lyrics to “Sober,” “3005,” “Redbone,” “This Is America” and more at the top of our lungs, still knowing that tomorrow comes the last day with an oldie but a goodie headlining.