Lucky Johanna and I had tickets for the sold-out Outside Lands festival in the San Francisco Golden Gate Park last Saturday. PARC intern Ashok joined and drove us. We couldn’t almost believe it when we found a parking lot right next to the park. Ford bless America.
When we came there at around noon, it didn’t seem like there would be 60,000 people all over the place pretty soon; only a few people in front of the stage and almost no one elsewhere. We had delicious mac & cheese and burritos—typical Californian food—and Heineken—typical Dutch Piss. By the way, the smell in the air all around the festival area also reminded me of Amsterdam.
The music started with a horrible performance of some hip hoppers that didn’t know how to sing or even speak, but continued with cool, funky jazz by The Greyboy Allstars. Then OK Go (see one of their unique videos below), Arcade Fire, and The Black Keys (a pretty cool Ohioan band I hadn’t known before) rocked the stage.
Right on (very American) time at 8:15 the best live band in the world started playing: Muse!
Heavy rock fading into symphonic compositions with classical piano sounds supported by stunning visuals, artificial fog, and lasers—this show had everything. Not only did they play great songs (of which they have plenty, much more than would fit into a single set), their show felt like a well-planned whole, which I appreciate a lot.
Unsurprisingly, they played many songs from their new album “The Resistance”, but they did include sufficiently enough older works as well, even not-so-mainstream-popular ones. And how cool is it to play a few chords of the “House of the Rising Sun” between “Time Is Running Out” and “Starlight”?
Here is Muse propagating the “United States of Eurasia” with very nice visuals in the background:
And here they perform their probably most popular song “Starlight”:
You can also see the complete setlist.
Apart from the music, I was amazed by the fact that there wasn’t even the slightest traffic jam after the festival and all the people went home (mostly by car).