Lorde’s “Love Club”
Lorde-mania was in full force for her Sunday set. Teens cried, shoved, danced and then cried some more as they tried to catch a glimpse of their queen. People waiting for The Who just stood in shock and confusion. Lorde, dressed in her mainstay Adidas Superstars, was flanked by interpretive dancers and seemed in her element as the crowd watched her every move.
She didn’t disappoint as she ran through singles from “Pure Heroine,” debuted songs off of “Melodrama” and brought collaborator Jack Antonoff for a sweet cover of “Me and Julio Down by the School Yard.” She moved from her duet to an emotional monologue about moving away from home for the first time, as she introduced the heartbreaking “Liability.” But three minutes later we were all ready to dance and sing along to her mega-hit “Royals.”
“This red guitar kills fascists…”
So yelled The Who’s Pete Townshend as he held up his iconic Fender Strat, in response to the Aug. 12 attacks in Charlottesville. The attack’s presence was clearly felt by many of the artists on the last two days of the festival. Jack Antonoff, of Bleachers, grabbed the mic and bluntly denounced the attacks by saying, “f*ck white supremacy,” before he started a fun dance-heavy set that had people crowd-surfing and standing on each others shoulders per his request. Other artists like Solange, Lorde, Dawes and Joseph decided to promote messages of peace and unity.
But no one seemed more prepared to discuss white supremacy and its negative effects than Swet Shop Boys, a British-American Muslim rap group. The crowd danced, laughed and took Snapchats as Ahmed and Heems (of Das Racist fame) rapped about immigration and airport security. But they quickly turned serious as Ahmed started to perform “Sour Times.” The emotional spoken word poem condemned racism and white supremacy, while highlighting Ahmed’s fear of being unable to practice his religion. It had an overwhelming effect on the audience. Most of the crowd cried, cheered and clapped. A few left Sutro stage in a huff.
A Tribe Called Delicious
The only thing better than music festival food is food cooked by celebrities, and you could get both at Outside Lands’ Gastromagic. Jairobi White, the only member of A Tribe Called Quest that managed to show up to perform at Outside Lands, arrived via helicopter for Gastromagic’s No Ham N’ Eggs set. The rest of the rap group cancelled their Friday and Saturday nights, much to the disappointment of their fans. White teamed up with chef Chris Cosentino, as San Francisco’s Jazz Mafia played in the background. White shared his lamb burger recipe, while Cosentino made the best grilled cheese I’ve tasted in my life (perfectly gooey Taleggio cheese stuffed with truffles, topped with a fried duck egg).
Saturday’s Breakfast of Champions, hosted by Chase Sapphire and catered by The Little Chihuahua (a mainstay of my diet), was another highlight. The menu was made up of classic chilaquiles (tortillas cooked in salsa and topped with cheese, sour cream and salsa) and peppers stuffed with scrambled eggs, potatoes and salsa. They even had my personal favorite, the corn tortilla crepes stuffed with the crispiest bacon and plantains, which was introduced by Chef Andrew Johnstone. San Fermin played in front of their rustic al-fresco dining room setup, complete with a chandelier hanging from a tree.
Go! YaYa (and other Bay Area artists!) Go!
“Go! YaYa! Go! YaYa! Go,” screamed thousands, as they waited for Oakland rapper Kamaiyah to take the stage. It was a much warmer—and louder—welcome than other more established performers received. The rapper, dressed in a pastel Pink Dolphin sweat suit, ran through her latest mixtape “A Good Night in the Ghetto” as the crowd went wild every time she mentioned Oakland. But she wasn’t the only Bay Area performer to receive a warm welcome. The She’s, a San Francisco dream-pop band playing at the Panhandle stage, were also greeted by a huge crowd. The crowd went crazy when guitarist Eva Treadway asked, “Who’s from the Bay Area?” and kept up the energy as the band played songs from their upcoming album.
The Who Give Us a History Lesson
Living rock gods, The Who, still know how to bring youthful rebellion into their festival sets. Roger Daltrey whipped his microphone and ran along the stage, while Pete Townshend did his infamous guitar windmills, as they celebrated their first San Francisco show in over 40 years by playing just the hits (of which there are many).
The diverse crowd, made up of hardcore fans who’ve followed the band since their Monterey Pop days, and younger fans eager to see their heroes for the first time, told stories about their experiences with the band. They were treated to a timeline and fun facts about the band, like Daltrey’s marijuana allergy, while they waited for them to perform. When they began playing, the giant screen behind them showed recording-session footage, music videos and news footage of historical events during the band’s 53 year career. Daltrey and Townshend told stories about the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and the recording of “Tommy,” eventually joking about their age and the longevity of the band as they stopped to sip tea.
All photos provided by Staff Writer, Claudia Sanchez