Photos: Outside Lands Day Three
Being the little overachiever that I am, I got to Outside Lands early enough on Sunday to catch Nicole Atkins and the Sea. I had heard their name being tossed around on the internets, so I figured it was a good time to check them out. I liked what I heard, and I especially loved the guitarist who was pulling rock star moves at 1:30PM on a Sunday afternoon.
This was the first day that the sun was actually out, instead of the overbearing clouds, so I had some nice blue sky backgrounds in my photos.
After that, it was a trek over to the Twin Peaks stage to see Stars, who were just as good as they were at Coachella. Their fan base was still adorable and fervent as well.
Next up was Bon Iver. It really pained me that Andrew Bird’s set started 15 minutes after his did, because in a perfect world, I would have been able to see the entirety of both sets. Alas, it was not so. But Justin Vernon was kind enough to launch into “Skinny Love” as the third song of his set, and I think I got some weird looks in the pit as I was belting out the words while shooting. I’m a weird one sometimes.
But they all sounded perfect, and it was great when someone in the sizeable crowd yelled out, “I came here for you!” As I was booking it towards Andrew Bird’s stage, I heard Justin teaching the crowd how to do the sing-along part of “Wolves (Act I and II).” Bummed that I missed it, but I’ve always got this
, I suppose.
Then it was Andrew Bird. That man just looks so…suave…in his suit, with his violin and his whistling and his crazy sound looping. Breaks my heart that I couldn’t see his entire set. He absolutely blew me away when I saw him at the Hollywood Bowl last year.
And then I ran
to get to the Drive-by Truckers’ set. Figures that the day involving the most running was also the warmest. The chick bassist was totally rocking out and it cracked me up.
After this, it was time for some church with Ms. Sharon Jones on the main stage. Their set at Coachella was amazing, so I knew to be prepared for some dancing all over the stage. It was kind of odd though – since the Dap-Kings played for a few songs before Sharon Jones even came out onstage (ala
James Brown), the photographers got to chill in the pit for 5 or 6 songs, instead of the normal 3. Security didn’t really know what to do with us, so we just hung out. And it was worth it.
I kind of want that dress.
Broken Social Scene was up next on the opposite main stage, and I was excited to see their set. Especially after hearing how they were the best live act at the Pitchfork Music Festival last year.
I ended up taking a bunch of photos, because there are approximately 8 million band members, and they were all constantly switching instruments. And other than Doveman, I have no idea which one was which.
It doesn’t matter though, as I was fully absorbed in their sound. Much better live than on record. Just a cacaphony of awesomeness. And as if 8 million members weren’t enough, they were joined by members of Stars and Land of Talk.
I stayed until the last second possible before heading back to the other main stage to catch Rodrigo y Gabriela. And well, compared to the visual smorgasboard of Broken Social Scene, there wasn’t much I could do with a guy and a girl and two guitars. I think I was only in that pit for a song and a half.
Again, I ask, are you still with me? I shot Rogue Wave really quickly on my way back to the Twin Peaks stage. Being local, they had a pretty large audience, which was nice to see. I missed “Chicago x 12” though, which was a bit of a bummer.
And then it was time for Wilco. Apparently as Broken Social Scene were leaving the stage, they remarked that “the greatest American band was up next.” In fact, after shooting the set, I saw several members of BSS in the VIP area watching the show. Again, nice to see musicians geeking out on each other.
And Wilco was Wilco. Which is to say, they were great. A nice way to end my “official” photography duties at the festival.
Except that by the end of their first 3 songs, my bladder was about to explode. To be truthful, it had been close to exploding for the last hour (I hadn’t had time to relieve myself since arriving at the festival several hours before). So when I saw Rogue Wave’s manager heading backstage, I grabbed him and asked if he could escort me to the backstage port-a-potty. His response was, “Just follow me and walk confidently.” It’s funny how well that works at these things – especially when you’re holding a camera with a large lens. End of story – I got backstage for 10 minutes to pee, then returned to VIP to watch most of the rest of their set.
Which made me a little bit late to get into the pit for Jack Johnson. I was only really interested in taking photos of him for my friend Krystal, because I knew that Pitchfork probably wouldn’t run them. But all the other photographers had already been escorted into the pit by the time I got there. The security guard told me he couldn’t escort me himself, and I replied, “What if I just run really fast?” Que the cute face, add a bit of a shoulder shrug and a tilt of my head to the right. He glanced around for someone else to escort me, and then sighed and said, “Just go.”
And that’s how I was officially the last photographer in the pit for Jack Johnson. Phew.
He was lighthearted and fun. And dropped his guitar while trying to blow a little green spider off his microphone. Too funny.
And, when I was done with everything, I grabbed my first beer of the festival and sat on the grass for awhile and just listened. Not a bad way to end things. Not bad at all.