No disrespect to legends like Radiohead or Stevie Wonder, but it’s high time Outside Lands booked a true Bay Area headliner.
Of course, Metallica, which closed the second night of Outside Lands 2017, called San Francisco home. But the band actually formed in Los Angeles. Green Day, meanwhile, was founded by two Oakland-born punks, who cut their teeth playing seedy East Bay clubs like 924 Gilman before becoming one of the biggest pop punk bands in the history of rock & roll.
While we’re excited to hear a Saturday night set that’s sure to include “When I Come Around” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” talent scouts from Another Planet Entertainment filled the rest of the festival with many local talents. .
Read on for a list of bands and transplants raised in the Bay Area with strong hometown ties.
Friday, 12:05 p.m. – 12:50 p.m., Sutro
Oakland native Chrystia Cabral was earning comparisons to Kate Bush a year ago stranger things introduced a whole new generation to Britain’s earliest high woman appearance. But the numbers behind its 2021 release, The spinning wheel, support him. On this album, Cabral collaborates with more than 30 musicians, carving out a wild array of soundscapes, often, as in “Boys at School”, in the same song. Reveling in its unclassability, Spellling’s voice betrays a love of restless experimentation, confidently delivering five- and six-minute songs in a world without attention spans.
Friday, 2:50 p.m. – 3:40 p.m., Lands End
Underpinning the latter’s upbeat and effortless personality is the upbeat bassline of “All Around the World,” Snakehips and Duckwrth’s latest collaboration. Raised in Los Angeles and a former resident of The Town, Duckwrth, born Jared Lee, is something of a direct musical descendant of Pharrell Williams and the Neptunes. He’s a rapper first, but he subordinates his verses to a very broad love for funk, R&B and a little house. He’s exactly the right choice for a mid-afternoon main stage, day one set, the act that hosts tens of thousands of people who left work early.
Friday, 3:45 p.m. – 4:35 p.m., Twin Peaks
“If the tide takes California / I’m so glad I could hold you,” Ashe sings on “Till Forever Falls Apart,” a duet with FINNEAS (Billie Eilish’s brother, for the uninitiated). If twirling around in a field with pop royalty sounds like the height of aspirational lovesickness, San Jose native and present-day Angeleno Ashe is a bit too ironic to run headlong into a field of sunflowers. She may embellish it with more than an echo of Sheryl Crow, but her first (and, so far, only) full-length album, Ashlyn, ranges from trust issues and vulnerability to genuine laments over the loss of a real-life sibling, via a Nashville-Netflix arc that’s far from peaking.
Saturday, 12:05 p.m. – 12:45 p.m., Panhandle
After everything that happened in Florida this year, a song called “Mad at Disney” may sound like a pretentious anthem for queerphobic Proud Boys, but it’s actually an endearing track from Mill Valley native Salem Ilese. 22-year-old who has been co-writing songs with professionals for most of his life. Ilese is young enough that her song on Coke is actually about drinking soda on the beach, but she’s too high and emotional to be a mall standard. Case in point: she was clever enough to anticipate the NFT backlash on “Crypto Boy.”
Saturday, 4:55 p.m. – 5:40 p.m., Panhandle
“Nobody’s the GOAT because we’re all the GOAT,” Symba concludes on the track of the same name, reversing the kind of bluster we’ve come to expect from those who consider themselves the greatest of all time. But the thing is, this Bay Area-born rapper has a legitimate claim: a mixtape featuring collaborations with heavy hitters like Ty Dolla $ign, Too $hort, and 2 Chainz even before his first full releases. (That’s because of Symba’s low-key but prodigious songwriting career, with credits from Jack Harlow at the Scooby-Doo Movie.) Always preaching a gospel of upliftment – “Ghetto Literacy” – he is a gifted performer but a lyricist first and foremost.
Saturday, 5:30 p.m. – 6:20 p.m., Twin Peaks
Chill, almost bordering on hypnotic, rapper Larry June’s motto is “You’re Doing Good!” June was born in 1991, and this year of transition is more or less the sun that shines on all his production, from the orchestral “Private Valet” to the July release “In My Pockets”, about which he says of a “I like Oakland girls” drawl. / But I’m a man from Frisco.
Saturday, 6:20 p.m. – 7 p.m., Panhandle
600 thread tenderness on Thuy’s 2021 I hope you see this only lasted nine songs and 25 minutes. So the Vietnamese singer-songwriter quickly capitalized on the demand for more, releasing a deluxe version that cemented her role as a source of plush comfort for people with too many feelings to handle right now. Five years after KMEL’s Home Turf competition launched her into the limelight of the local scene, Thuy (pronounced “twee”) excels in chamber R&B, not in the sense of getting into it, but of s ‘get out.
Sunday, noon – 12:45 p.m., Lands End
Much like an even goofier Chromeo, Bay Area electro-funk trio Planet Booty are currently releasing a track every Friday from their new album, a remixed companion to 2021. YES. After playing their very first SF show at Blue Parrot, a long ago incarnation of the doomed space that is currently Arena SF, Planet Booty has since turned their brand of amped up body positivity into opening sets for Peaches, Lizzo , Escort and others. If you’re disappointed with anything for any reason on Sunday, go ahead and feel better.
Sunday, 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m., SOMA tent.
Andy Goldsworthy’s “Wood Line” sculpture occupies MPHD disc cover Repetition, and the gentle sinusoidal curve of this site-specific work in the Presidio is a good metaphor for the home production of MPHD technology. A project by queer Black DJ Bradley Exum (known citywide for nights like A Club Called Rhonda and for opening LCD Soundsystem), MPHD opens the SOMA tent on the final day of Outside Lands in a back-to-back set with Tiffany Tyson – the farewell festival breakfast, if you will.
Sunday, 6:10 p.m. – 6:40 p.m., GastroMagic
Sunday, 8 p.m. – 9:35 p.m., Twin Peaks
St. Ignatius alum Nick Miller, better known as Illenium, is perhaps the biggest name to emerge from the future bass scene. Backed by a trilogy of electronic albums tinged with emotion—Ashes, Awake and To go up– this self-proclaimed sadboi and lover of Japanese percussion has racked up some 5 billion streams and a Grammy nomination. Being thrust into the unenviable position of closing out Sunday night against Post Malone and Mitski might doom someone with a less loyal fanbase, but the “Illenials” are sure to prove themselves. You can also see him paired with celebrity chef Tom Colicchio earlier in the evening at GastroMagic.
Sunday, 8 p.m. – 9:35 p.m., SOMA
If there’s one thing missing from a festival that ends well before midnight, it’s techno. SF-born Avalon Emerson is a DJ and producer seemingly transported straight from Berghain’s Panorama Bar, whose beats are tempered with occasional dabs of tropical radiance and Todd Terje-esque camp. For local credibility, Emerson has a track called “Church of SoMa” and it closes the weekend at the SOMA tent. If you need another reason to see it, Emerson also covers Magnetic Fields’ best song, “Long-Forgotten Fairytale.”
Peter-Astrid Kane can be reached at [email protected].