Outside Lands 2014: Top 20 Moments + Photos

Festival Review


    Spanning a thousand acres from Stanyan Street to the Pacific, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is seldom short on space. From the Japanese Tea Garden to Beach Chalet and the dual windmills reaching out to greet the sea, locals and tourists alike can stretch out across the park’s plethora of groves, trails, and meadows, affording a measure of peace and privacy seldom seen in America’s second-most densely populated city.  But all that serenity gets trampled one waggish weekend in August, as 200,000 music fans, hundreds of performers, and dozens of wineries storm the park for some sounds and shenanigans. It’s Outside Lands!

    An impressive array of world-class talent draws fans from around the world, while the mouthwatering grub affirms SF’s reputation as an elite foodie town.

    Outside Lands 2014 OSL 2014 by Joshua Mellin

    Photo by Joshua Mellin

    Topping the bill, the headliners delivered marquee performances. Kanye West leaned heavily on Consequence of Sound’s 2013 album-of-the-year, Yeezus, leading with “Black Skinhead” and closing with “Blood on the Leaves”. Tom Petty turned back the time during his ebullient and exuberant two-hour set. And The Killers, well, they killed it. Throw in some stellar sets from Mikal Cronin, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and HAIM, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a show.


    But let’s not forget the food. From five-course bacon flights to doughnut cheeseburgers and Filipino burritos, the grub was a glutton’s wet dream. Feeling crusty? Esquire was giving away complimentary cuts and shaves. Just want to get away from it all? Camp Grounded has you covered, featuring a technology-free zone stocked with typewriters, board games, and a human-powered search engine. Outside Lands 7.0, here we go.

    –Henry Hauser
    Staff Writer

    Best ’60s Throwback

    Janis Joplin Tribute (Mary Bridget Davies, Kacey Musgraves, and Nicki Bluhm)

    Janis Joplin Tribute 2 OSL 2014 by Joshua Mellin

    Photo by Joshua Mellin

    Fifty years ago, a feisty Texan by the name of Janis left the Lone Star State for the swinging city of San Francisco. “I just had to get away from Texas,” explained Joplin. “My head was in a much different place.” Joplin’s unique vocal style landed her with local psychedelic rock outfit Big Brother and the Holding Company, and the rest is history.

    Ever since Joplin first journeyed to San Francisco back in ’63, she’s held a special place in the city’s heart. So, to honor the “Queen of Psychedelic Soul,” Outside Lands lined up a tremendous tribute. Broadway star Mary Bridget Davies teamed up with singer-songwriters Kacey Musgraves and Nicki Bluhm for an exceptional homage to Pearl, treating early arrivers to a half-dozen impeccable covers.


    Photo by Amanda Koellner


    Bluhm led off with “Me and Bobby McGee”, sashaying around the stage in a skintight, white lace jumpsuit and turquoise-studded belt. As the chorus came around, Bluhm’s smoky voice grew thick with conviction: “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to looo-hooo-hooo-zee!” Opting for a down-tempo ditty, Musgraves tapped “Mercedes Benz”, smacking her tambourine to the beat.

    But despite strong efforts from Bluhm and Musgraves, Mary Bridget Davies stole the show. Davis, fresh off a stint playing Janis in the Broadway musical A Night with Janis Joplin, channeled the Texas singer’s quirks and flourishes to a tee.  Harkening back to Joplin’s iconic performance at the 1967 Monterrey Pop Festival, Davis shrieked and screamed until her face turned beet red on “Ball and Chain”. –Henry Hauser

    Most Heartbroken Festivalgoer



    Photo by Jon Hadusek

    Silvana Moiceanu was ready to see her favorite band. But like everybody else who made it to the main stage early on Sunday expecting to see CHVRCHES, she instead got the bad news that the band was stranded on the runway in Canada. Border-crossing/plane problems forced them to cancel, bumming out the large contingent of Chrvches fans who’d circled the set long before the schedule came out. Especially sad, Moiceanu toted this homemade sign of a squeamish Lauren Mayberry that read “#SadChrvchesFan”. “It was the one band I wanted to see this weekend,” she said. “But I know it wasn’t their fault. They’ll come back.” –Jon Hadusek