Outside Lands 2022 Day 1 Recap: Soul, Rock, and Hip-Hop Dominate The Day
We’re back on-site at Outside Lands for a second go-around! Day 1 was full of epic performances, excellent food, and exceptionally large crowds. The shift back to the original August weekend from last year’s Halloween experience seems to have brought even more people out to San Francisco’s premier music (and food) festival. How did we spend all of our time on the first day?
Things started off funky — the good kind of funky — with Cory Henry on the Lands End stage. Live renditions of songs like “Happy Days” and “Switch” got people dancing as soon as the festival kicked off, and it was truly glorious to witness. A beautiful performance from the former member of Snarky Puppy, one that is sure to gain him more attention as a solo artist.
Following Cory Henry was the first of many treks we made between Lands End and the Twin Peaks stage, but we had to get over to see The Beths. The indie rockers from Auckland, New Zealand, got off with a bang by opening with “I’m Not Getting Excited,” and they never really looked back. There were fiery indie rock bangers aplenty, including both new singles for their upcoming album, Expert In A Dying Field, out September 16th.
After witnessing the majesty of The Beths, we got an opportunity to sit down for another quick interview with Dayglow! More on his set later, but be on the lookout for that video to get posted soon. Following that interview, we were able to get to both Duckwrth and Faye Webster’s sets! Duckwrth was bringing his soulful hip-hop style to Lands End while Faye Webster was painting vividly emotional pictures with an alluring vocal performance over on the Sutro stage. Two excellent sets from two outstanding artists.
But this was just within the first three hours of the day! One of the reasons festivals are amazing is the fact that you can cover this much ground in a three-hour window. It’s astonishing, really. To start the second third of the day, we headed back over to Twin Peaks to catch Ashe’s hometown set, and although we knew she was going to be incredible, we were still absolutely floored. She brought all the energy for her hometown — there was even a chant for her drummer, who is also from the Bay Area — and her modern-yet-retro style suited the overall vibe of Outside Lands perfectly.
Ashe on Twin Peaks led into Sampa the Great on the Panhandle stage. With her new album As Above So Below coming out on September 9th, she brought the “Energy” — yes, that’s a referential pun — to the amassed crowd. Through a blend of jazz, soul, and hip-hop, she opened the performance by welcoming positive energy, and she never looked back. Not a single ear went away from the stage, and it was wonderful to see.
Then came Dayglow’s time on Twin Peaks. As Sloan and his band took the stage, he remarked almost immediately how this was “the largest crowd we’ve ever played in front of.” Around 15,000 of the festival’s attendees had put Dayglow on their schedule in the Outside Lands app, and it seems like every single one of them showed up. What they got was truly a masterclass performance. Not only did Dayglow start “Medicine” with a cover snippet of “Funkytown,” but they also took it “back to prom” with their song “Crying On The Dancefloor.” After hearing the massive crowd scream the lyrics of “Can I Call You Tonight?” and “Close To You,” Sloan couldn’t help but remark: “Jeez, there’s so many of you here. What a dream. Thanks for being here, everybody.” They ended their set with a cover of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” segueing perfectly into their song “Run the World!!!,” and it was a perfect way to end that slot.
Of course, we couldn’t go to a music festival in San Francisco without having someone at Lands End for Oliver Tree’s hometown performance! While Dayglow was doing their thing, Oliver Tree was doing his, going completely off the walls, performing songs, and cracking jokes. His performance was, as always, something to behold. You just gotta love what was coming from that man during that set. Every hand in the audience was raised, and the crowd was as into the performance as Oliver Tree himself.
After Dayglow and Oliver Tree, we got back to Twin Peaks to catch The Marías. They’ve been torching the festival circuit, and their Outside Lands performance was no different. Opening with “Just a Feeling” into “Calling U Back,” following it up with “Un Millón” and continuing on with “Only in My Dreams,” “Clueless,” and covers of Bad Bunny’s “Otro Atardecer” and Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time?” The setlist was exceptional, but a lesser band would have crumbled under the expectations. The Marías torched Twin Peaks, and it was truly a sight to behold. Much like the dress that frontwoman María Zardoya was wearing, the band filled golden hour with their own sonic glow.
The final third of the day started off in the press tent, listening as Lil Uzi Vert dominated the Lands End stage. While they must have seen someone who looked like Jesus — overheard through the mic was: “Is that Jesus?” — they continued to talk their game like a gentleman (ok, yes, bad Killers reference, I’m sorry), and the crowd was completely wrapped around their finger. As soon as “XO Tour Llif3” started, the voices of the crowd completely overtook the stage. Truly an excellent performance.
Getting back on our feet, we moved over to Sutro to see the beginning of Disclosure’s set. Opening with “White Noise” into “F For You” got the crowd dancing, and the crowd was massive. People kept flowing into Lindley Meadow to get to Sutro, and although we had to sprint to Twin Peaks, it was tough to walk away from that.
Getting over to Twin Peaks, it was apparent that this was going to be a special Phoebe Bridgers performance. She calmed the atmosphere as the night sky lit up with fog and trees colored the landscape. Her voice pulled you into a quiet room to escape reality and feel feelings that are mainly left unspoken. Having a headlining spot helped this come across even more, and the night sky helped the storybook visuals on stage behind her come to life.
And then there was SZA on Lands End. Coming onto a stage set up like a pier, SZA took her place on top of the lighthouse for “All The Stars” and “Supermodel” before climbing down to the stage to continue her set. Despite just getting over COVID (“I had COVID like a week ago… I’m COVID negative now, but I was fighting for my life to be here”), her voice hasn’t aged a day in the seven years it’s been since I caught her at Lollapalooza 2015. While her set was primarily songs from 2017’s Ctrl, seeing all of those songs performed live was life-changing. I was completely in my feelings, and she stopped right before a song started to make sure some fans got out of the crowd ok before things got too hectic. It was a beautiful way to end night one, and we’re excited to keep this going for another two days!