I took a bunch of photos with my puny little digital camera at the Outside Lands Festival yesterday in Golden Gate Park, but this one captured the essence of the evening for me. Throngs of humanity trampling barriers and blazing trail through Eucalyptus groves to get to Radiohead. Anxiety got the best of the crowd during Beck as thousands of people realized they had to haul ass across the park to get a seat for Radiohead. And no one had the patience to be herded through the narrow walkways set up by festival organizers.
We all got there in the end, but it was a squash. Much more so than the All Points West show in New York two weeks ago. But that in part was due to the festival capacity. There were reportedly 60,000 people at Outside Lands vs. 30,000 at All Points West. Even with the bigger crowds, however, Outside Lands was a much better organized event. I didn’t feel like I missed half of the festival waiting in lines. And not having to consume alcohol in a designated Beer Garden was a plus.
The technical difficulties we experienced during Radiohead was quite a let down. The sound cut out twice for substantial periods during the performance. But once the crowd settled down and people stopped shoving to get to their destination, we all had a fantastic time. I’ve always had great Radiohead experiences. And while this performance wouldn’t rank to the top of my Radiohead show list, it certainly didn’t disappoint. They are always exceptional to see live. Each performance is just a different degree of greatness.