Day three of Outside Lands Music Festival began with a sprint through the woods to make it to see my favorite Los Angeles band, Grouplove. I made it! I weaved my way through the obstacle course of a shit load of people using a big smile and a “I’m so sorry” to get up in the front just to take it all in. They were already playing when I arrived but I think they were just one song through their set. Still I felt a little bummed that I had deprived myself of even a second of it. So I shook off that feeling and got into the flow. If you have not experienced a Grouplove show you are missing out. This show has all the elements you want in a live concert experience. The music is freakin’ amazing! It feels like happiness up there on stage and I’ve almost cried tears of joy during their set countless times. This show was no different.
They played all my favorite songs and not surprisingly the audience knew the words. I saw some audience members make the heart/love sign with their hands. That was totally cool. Like a Grouplove gang sign. Is there a gang? Can I be in it? Can we get jackets like the T-birds? Let me know. The band was extremely energetic as always and had a tight but short set. They looked hot, as always (yeah, they’re all babes in case you didn’t know). They closed with “Colours” and I heard the girl next to me say that’s the song she was waiting for. It’s true, it is an excellent song. My only complaint was that it wasn’t a longer set. After their set I hiked to the other side of the park to interview a few members of gypsy rock band Diego’s Umbrella. It was a really fun interview with Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band providing the background music as it bled from the main stage.
Later I parked myself to see Creedence Clearwater’s former lead singer and song writer, John Fogerty take me back in time. I felt so lucky and fortunate to catch this set. The man played all the CCR hits and the endless sea of thousands of people just seemed to be in absolute wide-eyed amazement. It was such a site to be seen and heard! Guitar playing? Effortless. Voice? Hasn’t changed one bit. He sounded exactly like he does on the albums. Amazing! How many years has it been? After every song I thought it was the last one because the man thanks the audience so much you think he’s about to walk off the stage. Not the case however, he was just really gracious. After playing “Born on the Bayou” he stated, “I know that song says born on the bayou but I was actually born right here,” to which the crowd exploded. Mr. Fogerty was really into this performance filling it with enthusiasm and spirit. He closed the show with “Fortunate Son” and then my personal favorite, “Proud Mary.” It was an iconic set by an iconic man: perfect.
I went ahead and waited around to catch a bit of The Decemberists before heading to another stage. I hate to say this and it makes me feel bad, but I was kind of bored. I really don’t remember anything about their set except that the free beer I was drinking was Heineken. Oh well. Next stop, Beirut. I climbed a hill to the right of the stage in order to get a good view of the band and crowd. The band stole my little heart with the sound of their sad horns harmonizing together echoing through the small valley. The audience joined in on “Elephant Gun” almost over powering Zach Condon’s vocals. As much as I love guitar it was refreshing to see an indie band holding horns and accordions and still blowing everyone’s mind.
During the last song I could see the masses start to migrate to the main stage for closing act, Arcade Fire. It’s all about arriving early at these things. I too joined the exodus.
Well, Arcade Fire … hmmm how does anyone ever review a show like this? So much going on! All I can do is rewrite the notes from my beer soaked notepad which look more like this list:
Dramatic, red Lighting, a flock of ducks fly over head almost in slow motion, epic sound and theatrics, activism moments about Haitian awareness and voting for certain politicians, intense movement of the masses, costume laden band members doing vivid moves, someone’s probably going to write a poem about this, the big dipper constellation is so low it’s like they are directly under it, unreal.
That was the final set of the three-day festival, and the end of my narration. The whole experience was awesome and I hope to come back next year.
Festival Experience by Roxanne Hilburn
Photography by Dominoe Farris- Gilbert
Outside Lands Day One Photos – Click here
Outside Lands Day Two Photos – Click here
Click through the photo gallery below for more pics!