The final day of Outside Lands began like pretty much every day: scrambling to find a Lyft to the grounds, sprinting through security, and hoping to get a solid spot at Sutro for the first act of the day. In this case, that act was Claud, the bedroom pop singer-songwriter from the suburbs of Chicago who just last year signed to Phoebe Bridgers’ label, Saddest Factory. The set consisted almost entirely of songs from their debut record, 2021’s Super Monster, including the absolute banger that is “That’s Mr. Bitch To You.” Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that they also played their hit “Wish You Were Gay,” which somehow carries even more power live. Claud’s band was also on point the entire set, proving that they deserve to be considered among the bedroom pop icons of the 2020s. This fledgling decade will hopefully prove successful to them. They deserve it.

Claud

Following Claud, I went to check out Grass Lands for a little bit. Grass Lands is the designated marijuana area in the park: purchase, consumption, education on the topic… It all takes place in Grass Lands. Even though (full disclosure) I personally don’t partake very often, Grass Lands was first introduced in my first year at Outside Lands (2018), so I feel a sort of connection to the area. It started its life in Golden Gate Park the same year I did. It feels like I am forever tied to Grass Lands, which is really funny to think about given how little I consume the product for which the area is designated.

Grass Lands

After spending my little 20-minute pilgrimage inside Grass Lands, the next spot was clear: Caroline Polachek was about to take Twin Peaks, and I had to be there. She was dressed as Marie Antoinette and made several references to the French Revolution during her set, which consisted of mostly tracks from her breakout 2019 album, Pang. She did, however, include new tracks like “Bunny Is A Rider” and debuted a couple of new tracks, the most notable one being “Sunset.” Right before she started “Door,” the sun came out, and someone commented on her voice, proclaiming “It’s like the gates of heaven are opening up.” And that is not an understatement. Caroline Polachek’s voice is incredible, and I could listen to her sing a harpsichord version of “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” forever. Am I slightly disappointed that her set ended on such a subdued note? Yes. Do I really care? No. It was amazing.

Caroline Polachek

After Caroline Polachek, I swung over to Lands End to check out a little bit of Nelly. Nelly was really fun. All he had to do was play the hits to remind us of his staying power, and boy, did he deliver. The crowd was so loud during “Ride Wit Me” that it carried over to the edge of the Polo Field where I was heading back to Twin Peaks to catch all of Yves Tumor and Its Band.

Yves Tumor and Its Band was probably my favorite set of the day. The energy they brought, the sound quality, and the intensity of the sub-bass will stick with me for quite some time. The set was a healthy mix of material from The Asymptomatical World EP and Heaven To A Tortured Mind, which was one of my favorite albums of 2020. The biggest highlight came near the end when the band ripped through “Kerosene!” at full force, causing my chest and skull to vibrate and just move with the music. I cannot recommend Yves Tumor enough, and this show solidified their staying power. 

Yves Tumor

What it also did, unfortunately, was make getting back to Lands End for Brittany Howard near impossible. The crowds showed up in full force for the last day, and the trek from Twin Peaks to Lands End (normally about 5-7 minutes) ended up taking about 20 minutes. Even still, the half of Brittany Howard’s set that I did end up seeing proved why she’s becoming one of the most trusted voices in rock music. She blends genres, of course, just look at “Goat Head,” but she absolutely rips through any and all material she decides to play, be it her own or covers. I’m upset I missed most of the set due to traffic, but what I saw of it was absolutely incredible.

Brittany Howard

After Brittany Howard, I finally decided to venture deep into a crowd. I wanted to be close for Tame Impala, and that meant I was introduced to Rufus Du Sol. I had never listened to them before, but their brand of EDM is incredibly enjoyable. It was hard to take notes because I was sandwiched in a crowd, but I remember actually dancing along to the music, moving with the crowd, and making new friends along the way. It was a wonderful experience, and I’m excited to check out their latest album, Surrender.

Rufus Du Sol

Finally, to close out the day and the festival, my new friends and I were so stoked for Tame Impala. When they jokingly referred to the band canceling because of “a Squid Game incident,” I was genuinely concerned for a minute. My brain wasn’t functioning fully. Then, Kevin and the crew came out dressed as their replacement band, The Wiggles. It was a great Halloween costume, given The Wiggles’ cover of Tame Impala’s “Elephant” for triple-J, and they played the bit perfectly before ripping into material that they hadn’t covered for this tour before. They opened with Lonerism track “Endors Toi” and played Currents track “Yes I’m Changing” in the middle, closing with “The Less I Know The Better” and “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” in the encore. Do I wish we got some more new tracks for the show? Yes. Will I complain about the show we got? No. The Wiggles gag was amazing, the Henry the Octopus “Zoom call” was hilarious, and the music and visuals we got were astounding as always. Tame Impala crushed it as The Wiggles just like they crush it as themselves.

Be on the lookout for a full weekend recap, but let me know what I might have missed in my Halloween exploits! I’m always curious to know who else put on amazing shows or who I need to check out at my next opportunity.

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