Outside Lands Day 3: RHCP, Matt & Kim, Foals & More Deliver a High-Energy Finale
The energy was high and eager in Golden Gate Park for Day 3 of Outside Lands 2013, as festivalgoers enjoyed the final installment of what is, for many, the final festival of a long musical Summer. The drinking was a little heavier, the partying a little harder, the weird a little weirder (check out our crowd photo gallery!) as we seized our final chance to freak out in the woods of San Francisco with the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Matt & Kim, A-Trak, Hall & Oates, Foals and more.
British indie rockers Foals were all business at the onset of Sunday's final Outside Lands installment, a markedly more determined approach than their swoon-baiting Bonnaroo performance. During “Providence,” lead singer Yannis Philippakis ran down the center divider and dove into the crowd, which consisted largely of ecstatically enraptured girls. He returned to his disciples later, during an extended jam of “Red Socks Pugie,” and by the time they closed out with the climactic “Two Steps, Twice,” the dance party was well underway.
Quebec DJ hero A-Trak commanded the youngest and most ecstatically excited crowd at all of Outside Lands, and the Fool’s Gold records co-founder and relentless genre pioneer got the dance party going hard with remixes of “R.I.P.” by Young Jeezy and Two Chainz. When he sliced up Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Heads Will Roll," it was hard not to wish the crowd for the actual Yeah Yeah Yeahs was this enthusiastic the previous day. When Kanye’s “New Slaves” beat came bouncing through, there wasn't the slightest hint of the previous day's sleepy apathy on the hillside.
The festival's west end was breached for a few moments during the DJs set, resulting in a mad dash by freeloaders and the security hordes rushing to tackle them.
Vampire Weekend further sharpened their festival blades with a set packed with the strongest selections of their latest release, Modern Vampires of the City. An argument can be made, however, for the performance simply being a platform for frontman Ezra Koenig's headshot-pose expressionism.
Speaking of expressionism, one of Outside Lands' recurring features are the art installations, which showcase projects done at previous years' fests as well as various displays of large paintings done in real time. Often, two different artists will work on the same piece, resulting in a fascinating mix of divergent styles.
Daryl Hall and John Oates climbed in a time machine on the main stage with an oddly benign performance, despite a nonstop wash of crowd-pleaser nostalgia jams from thirty-plus years ago. Opening with “Out of Touch” followed by old time favorites “She’s Gone,” "I Can't Go For That" and “Maneater,” before reminding us all to call our moms with closers “Rich Girl” and “You Make My Dreams Come True” .
Matt and Kim's first Outside Lands experience was a blasting success. Dropping snippets of hits from across the musical board between songs, the duo know damn well how to keep a crowd riled up. The duo's over-the-top antics and crowd interaction certainly feel a bit canned by now, as they're virtually identical at every show. But that doesn't make them any less fun to single-serving fans, who rocked along with Kim as she danced on top of her drum set, slapping her ass for emphasis.
When Matt encouraged crowd surfers to stretch to the far side of the hill, several people did just that – with varying levels of success.
Red Hot Chili Peppers are seasoned pros, to those who remember the band's lackluster Coachella performance the Los Angeles funk-punk superstars had something to prove. Sure, Anthony and Flea have both slowed down just a bit over the years, but their nearly two-hour hits-packed set brought endless singalongs, including “Under the Bridge,” “Can’t Stop,” “Look Around," "Snow" and more, with a side tease of "The Song Remains The Same" during one of many improv intros.
After an oddly-timed slow-burn with the classic "I Could Have Lied," the living legends closed out the festival with a sloppily awesome run through their signature hit, "Give It Away," which inspired tongue-rolling choral repeats for the next hour as we made our way through the wooded paradise and back to our regularly scheduled lives.