Outside Lands 2022 Day 2 Recap: Masterclass Performances, Wine Tasting, and Several Hometown Shows
Day 2 of Outside Lands was dominated by walks through Golden Gate Park, stopping pretty much everywhere to see amazing performance after amazing performance. From the moment we got through the gates, we were on the move. This isn’t much of an introduction, but we want to throw you into the day as quickly as we were thrown in ourselves. So let’s go!
Right away, we were over at the Panhandle stage for rising artist Salem Ilese. Her soft voice rang through with confidence, roping people in to experience her exceptional hometown performance. Though it was early in the day, she brought an insane amount of personality and energy to the stage, even handing out bracelets to the crowd afterward, meeting with as many people as possible. We were lucky enough to sit down with Salem for an interview later in the day, so be on the lookout for that to show up as well!
Following Salem, we headed over to Twin Peaks to catch MICHELLE’s set. While there were unfortunately some sound issues, the predominately POC and queer neo-soul collective – seriously, what’s not to love about that statement – powered through, getting the audience involved and putting their vocals at the forefront. “SUNRISE” stood out in particular for its harmonic similarities to Noname’s “Yesterday.” Hopeful messages were present throughout MICHELLE’s set, and they are definitely a group to watch.
After MICHELLE, we sprinted over to Sutro to catch Benny Sings. I’ll let his opening quote explain him as a musician: “Yeah, it’s true. All the way from Holland. Come closer, people, we’re going to have a little party up front.” Tim van Berkestijn, aka Benny Sings, has been putting out music for almost 20 years, and it’s about time an American audience acknowledges how incredible he is. His ability to juxtapose melancholic lyrics with upbeat and happy sounds is astounding, and his band for his Outside Lands set was absolutely flawless. While he didn’t bring out Mac DeMarco to perform “Rolled Up,” he did tease the audience about his presence on the record before playing the cut from his 2021 album Music (which everyone reading this should check out).
Benny Sings gave way to our aforementioned interview with Salem Ilese. We sat down with the rising star to talk about her history with the festival, her biggest muse currently, and her favorite Disney character (among other things). We’ll get that video posted as soon as we can, so definitely look for that in the coming weeks.
Of course, we couldn’t miss Zoe Wees on Twin Peaks. Her performance was powerful and evocative, and her gritty voice carried her powerful lyrics across the entirety of Hellman Hollow. Visually, her lime green hair matched her acrylics, signifying a new era for her artistic expression. Her performance was absolutely a highlight of the day, and we’re excited to see where she goes from here.
This is where scheduling got to us. While we would have loved to catch Sam Fender and Zoe and Robert Glasper, we had to make tough decisions. So we ended up at Robert Glasper after Zoe Wees. When I say that walking into Lindley Meadow hearing Radiohead’s “Packt Like Sardines In a Crushd Tin Box” was life-changing, I mean it. Robert Glasper brought the Blue Note to the Bay Area, rarely stopping his performance. It was a long jam session that included Radiohead, Nirvana, several of Glasper’s originals, and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.” The crowd was in awe of his virtuosity and reveled in the moment they had to just chill and listen. Exceptional stuff from an exceptional artist.
After Robert Glasper, we took a bit of a breather to do some wine tasting! Brick & Mortar was serving some of their signature wines, so we decided to have some rosé and some pinot noir. The rosé had that chardonnay start with a bright fruity finish, and the pinot had a clean, crisp, and rich front with hints of blackberries and cloves. We also got a chance to try a sauvignon blanc from The Duckhorn Portfolio, which was the perfect choice for such a sunny San Francisco day. Outside Lands is known for the music, yes, but we would be doing our readers and ourselves a disservice to not mention the wine offerings. More will come in our full recap, but just know that we’ve been taking in all the sounds, sights, and tastes of the festival.
That was when we started to just hang out at Sutro. Empress Of (aka Lorely Rodriguez) took the stage at 4:10 with her DJ, and she dropped the hammer. She created an ambient experience with deep bass reverberating from the stage to the audience’s core. Of course, her vocals were no exception to that hammer drop. Empress Of is known not only for Rodriguez’s lyricism and production but also for her voice. Her vocal performances are intricate and unique, leaving many mouths open in awe. She put on a great set for Outside Lands, and that audience will remember it for years to come.
When I say we just hung out at Sutro for most of the next few hours, I mean it. We just stayed for Franc Moody, and the British duo took the stage with a full band to perform songs from their second album, Dream In Colour. There was more to their set than that album, of course. They performed an unreleased track called “In Transit” as a teaser for their third album, Into The Ether, out on September 2nd. They performed “Dopamine” and “Dance Moves.” The biggest highlight, though, was when they lost their drum kit for a second. The audio cut out, and the only reason we know this is because Ned Franc pointed it out laughing after it got fixed. The band seamlessly vamped on “Night Flight” while it was fixed, to the point where no one would have noticed something was wrong if they didn’t say it outright. That’s how good these guys are. Very much looking forward to Into The Ether.
We of course had to sprint over to Lands End to catch a bit of Jack Harlow. The Kentucky rapper made a point to mention how one of the turning points in his career was playing Outside Lands in 2018, and he brought his best this year as a thank you to “one of [his] favorite cities in the world.” Lots of pyro, lots of bars, thousands of fans descending on Lands End. Jack Harlow should be proud of this one.
Then we split up to cover both Parcels and Rina Sawayama. Parcels, on the heels of their excellent 2021 double album Day/Night, and Rina, in preparation for her new album Hold The Girl (out in September), were the best of the best on day two of Outside Lands. Parcels never stopped playing from the moment they stepped on stage, covering The Magician’s remix of Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers” as well as tearing through their original material, and Rina delivered an impressive vocal display paired with exceptional visuals and choreography, proving her status as “the next big thing” in pop music. So grateful there were two of us on-site, this would have been an impossible choice otherwise.
Remember how I just said that those two were the best of the best? Well, I may have been forgetting one major hometown performance. One headlining set to crush the rest. I am of course talking about Green Day. Green Day brought hit after hit to Lands End, and the crowd was packed, invested, and hanging onto Billie Joe Armstrong’s every word and command. Every “Heyyyyyy ohhhhhhh” was met with an even louder response, and the band tore through every hit imaginable from their catalog. They played “American Idiot.” They played “Holiday.” They played “Hitchin A Ride,” “Longview,” “Welcome To Paradise,” “Waiting,” “When I Come Around,” etc. etc. etc. They have always known how to hook an audience, and their hometown festival was no exception. Everyone was screaming, singing, jumping around, accidentally breaking tables, all the things you can think of. Green Day brought the house down for the Bay, and the Bay loved them for it.
We’re sad to say we only have one more day, but we’re going to make it a great one! That’s always easy at Outside Lands.