Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival Day Two at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA

Day two of Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival went as planned with large crowds supporting the largest independently owned music festival in the US. 

Despite day two being arguably the weakest lineup, the crowds showed up in support of the main stage headliner Green Day. Many anticipated the appearance of the local band that had never played their hometown festival before. Prior to their appearance that night, some of the other well-known names making appearances were jazz/hip-hop artists Robert Glasper, Mac DeMarco, and Jack Harlow.

Robert Glasper made his appearance on the Sutra stage on Saturday afternoon. Touring in promotion of his Black Radio album, the mega influential, Grammy award-winning artist has a list of collaborations that reads like a who’s who of the most current and popular hip hop, r&b, and jazz. The pianist brought his three-piece jazz trio for a 50-minute set that seemed to pass in the blink of an eye. The educated crowd in attendance was hanging on every note played by the three master musicians on stage, even giving the traditional jazz cool “applause” of the finger snaps. The jazz improv filled the 50 minutes with what seemed like only three songs. Melding hip hop, r&b, jazz, and funk into a fusion, one moment ran into the next, akin to a jam band-style set, until it was over with notes still seeming to hang in the air. For sure, one of the hidden gems of the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival.

Mac DeMarco the Canadian singer-songwriter took the Lands End main stage. His indie rock, poppy, low key, regular guy, wanna have a beer with, and goofy personality and positive approach winning the crowd over. Many attendees were fans who knew his music well enough to sing along. His indie rock style was probably just what was needed at this time of the day, as many fans had been in the crush of GA most of the day waiting for the evening’s headliner. DeMarco ran through his 16-song one-hour set flawlessly with the positive vibes of his music leaving many in the audience surprised by the musical gift they were presented by the dude in the bucket hat who looked as if he could have just as easily rolled out of a minivan with two kids in tow.   

Jack Harlow was the follow-up to Mac DeMarco. Harlow has some of the biggest hits of the last two years. He ran through his songs including his two signature songs “What’s Poppin” and “Industry Baby,” his collaboration with one of the hottest artists of 2022, Lil’ Nas X. Harlow is one of the hottest young stars today. Jack Harlow is another artist with a collaborations list that is a hip-hop and the pop industry’s who’s who. Harlow appeared on stage in what looked like pajamas, not what you would expect from an artist with a meteoric rise as his. It was more Lil’ Dickey’s style than a contender to the white rapper throne. Otherwise, Harlow’s performance was good. In between songs, he spoke of his first appearance at Outside Lands on the Panhandle stage a few years ago with only a tiny audience watching, and now he was on the Lands End main stage. Harlow’s performance hit all the notes you would expect playing to his young fans. A positive for Jack Harlow is that in a time when many artists prefer to perform to live recordings, Harlow performed his set backed by a three-piece band, The Band of Brothers. Harlow is young and building towards what looks to be a stellar career. Opening for Green Day, anyone’s performance could have been easily taken for granted or overshadowed by the huge shade that headliners cast on the festival. But Harlow held his own in front of a mixed crowd of his fans and those mostly waiting to rage with Green Day on deck.

Saturday night, day two drew to a close with the much-anticipated arrival of the headlining band Green Day. In the many years of Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival has been in existence, Green Day, an East Bay area (Oakland) local band, has never played the festival.

One of the great American rock bands, a band like Green Day comes with a lot of expectations from fans and can make it difficult to make all fans in attendance at a show happy with their purchase. Green Day came ready to rock and roll to their home crowd. Green Day’s set delivered in spades and met most, if not exceeded, those expectations. 

How many shows can you go to and honestly say every song in the setlist is familiar and so ingrained in your memory that you know the words whether you realize it or not? Lyrics to songs so familiar, the words just roll out. Music so familiar that you know them within the first few notes of the first bar of the song. Green Day crushed their entire 1 hour 45 minute set with familiar song after familiar song. Even their walk-up songs rang familiar – Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and more appropriately the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Pop.” Green Day has mastered the style pioneered by the Ramones’ three minutes of hard rock with a pop sensibility. Even paying tribute to other rock giants by covering their tunes such as KISS’ “Rock n Roll All Night” and Journey’s “Lights.” Then putting a Green Day touch on George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” and the Isley Brothers’ “Shout.” They finished the evening with Billie Joe Armstrong on acoustic guitar playing out the evening with “Good Riddance.”

A fireworks show from the top of Lands End stage followed to wrap up what is going to be long be remembered as one of the best performances to grace the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival main stage.

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About George Ortiz 56 Articles
George is Southern California and Big Sky, Montana-based photographer. He grew up in Los Angeles and began shooting professionally in the mid 80s. His words and photos have appeared in local & national publications.