Day two of any festival is a little rough. Your energy is a little bit zapped from the day before. You can’t seem to drink enough water or coffee. Your legs are sore. But, when you arrive, you need something to kick yourself into gear. And I managed to stumble across that band at 12:00 on the dot.
As I was walking through the park, I heard some solid funk grooves were pumping. This was from NYC’s Lawrence. Fronted by brother and sister vocalists Clyde & Gracie Lawrence, this was exactly what I needed to get my blood pumping. Gracie is the kind of passionate singer that can melt your heart with a single note. Very few bands cross that line of accessible to all, while still being adventurous. Lawrence did that perfectly.
After this, I walked over to The Barbary to register for tickets to see Jeff Goldblum play. While I was there, I checked in to see the new Barbary. It’s bigger, and way more comfortable than years past. It’s also surprising to get to walk right into any set there! We checked out Guy Branum’s Talk Show Game Show, and caught former Obama speech writer John Lovett being challenged on his “talk show guest” capabilities. He was sharp and battled well with the host. However, he lost to Sketchfest founder and all around talent Janet Varney. Of course.
Next, we moved onto the Gastromagic stage to see something called “Kimchi 3030.” Which really was just Del The Funky Homosapien making Korean BBQ ribs, while Dan The Automator and celebrity chef Roy Choi made kimchi. Del shared, Dan did not. Mostly because kimchi needs to ferment. Then we were treated to a couple of live Del solo songs.
Next was one of the most highly anticipated sets of the festival: Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra! This was mostly jazz standards performed by Jeff Goldblum on piano and seasoned veterans backing him. Goldblum was definitely having fun, telling goofy Dad jokes between songs, and occasionally hosting movie trivia with the audience. And, as expected, there were many people in the room that answer “Jurassic Park” to every question.
My next goal was to go see Thundercat after grabbing a quick lunch. While I was enjoying my chicken curry nachos, we took in a set of psych infused glam rock by Lemon Twigs. Calling to mind Wolfmother and the late, great Foxy Shazam moreso than T Rex or Bowie, they proved to be a pretty fun band to enjoy lunch to.
Off to the Twin Peaks stage, to get cozy for a bit, because last night’s A Tribe Called Quest was due to happen here, and the app had 22,000 people scheduled to watch them, so I knew we needed to hang for a bit to get a good spot. Thundercat was up next, and if you haven’t been listening to his album Drunk. obsessively this year, then you need to reevaluate your life’s decisions. He sailed through a set of spaced out yacht rock jams that felt like the long missing Sun Ra / Michael MacDonald record that we all know should have happened.
Things were going good. We had a nice spot and knew that we only had to endure whatever Kaytranada is before Tribe. Except, one of the worst concert behaviors was on full force leading up to their set: two people grabbed to spot up close, and ended up bringing, I kid you not, 15 of their closest 6’+ friends to the front. And those friends had the audacity to complain about how crowded it was. It all was fine when the music started, as they went from being terrible to being fun folks to dance to Kaytranada’s roller disco inspired DJ set, complete with excellent videos of actual roller skating.
And now we waited. And kept waiting. And five minutes before Tribe were due to take the stage, we were alerted to the fact that Tribe weren’t playing. So we walked back to the Barbary to la ugh our sorrows away with a great set of dry, conversational comedy with Nikki Glaser. My favorite thing about her is that she’s so unapologetically female focused in her material, and the audience was about 50/50 split men and women, and the men were laughing as hard as the ladies.
Closing up the day was the mighty Metallica. I know that’s their tag line, but they more than owned up to it. Taking the stage five minutes early, which is unheard of, we were treated over two hours of precision metal, complete with pyro, lasers, and all the boombast you need. The setlist covered all you needed, with plenty of soaring epics from their 90’s period, lotsa old school thrash, plenty of their surprising new album Hardwired, and even the first ever performance of (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth since Cliff Burton passed away in 1986. A solid way to close out day two.
Outside Lands 2017 – Day 2