You’ve now gotten acquainted with beautiful Outside Lands grounds. You had time to study your map, realized it takes a good ten minutes to get from the Sutro Stage to Twin Peaks, and realized you only need to get to the Panhandle Stage a few minutes early to have a great view. Right when you think you’ve figured things out though, Outside Lands hits you with a bunch of big decisions to make.
Saturday night’s headliners, Nine Inch Nails and Phoenix, are probably the most overlapping in fanbase of the three night’s offerings. They play at almost identical times, with Nine Inch Nails at the main, Lands End Stage, from 8:25 to 9:55 and Phoenix across the grounds at Twin Peaks from 8:40 to 9:55. If you’re a fan of both bands, there’s really no way to win here. I might suggest flipping a coin.
Just prior to that is an equally tough decision to make – the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Lands End, 6:40 to 7:30) or Grizzly Bear (Twin Peaks, 6:50 to 7:50) or the Head and the Heart (Sutro, 7:20 to 8:20). Here, I’d definitely recommend the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Jurassic 5 (Lands End, 5:00 to 6:00) will be a cool reunion if you’re into hip-hop, as will Young the Giant (Lands End, 3:40 to 4:30), playing a sort-of-hometown, sort-of-reunion, although it hasn’t been nearly as long since they toured last and it’s really only home for frontman Sameer Gadhia, who graduated from Stanford.
If you get to the park early enough, try to catch some of Atlas Genius’ set (Twin Peaks, 2:10 to 2:55). The Australian duo just finished a tour opening for Imagine Dragons, and are soon setting out on a headlining tour of their own, playing some of the same venues they just opened at. Even earlier are The Lone Bellow (Sutro, 1:05 to 1:45), one of my favorite surprises at SXSW this year. They are playing early enough that there shouldn’t be too much of a crowd for their set of folky, alt-country.
There is also a bunch of great local music on Saturday’s bill. Chipper indie folk from Social Studies (Twin Peaks, 12:45 to 1:25), anthemic rock from the Soft White Sixties (Lands End, 1:00 to 1:50), alternative folk-rock from Thao and the Get Down Stay Down (Sutro, 4:40 to 5:30).
Biggest Conflict: Everything after 6:30. Yeah Yeah Yeahs vs. Grizzly Bear vs. The Head and the Heart, Nine Inch Nails vs. Phoenix, etc…
Must See Set: Yeah Yeah Yeahs