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.
To see the full Radiohead set list, go to 58Hours, a great Radiohead concert database. My highlight for the evening? Paranoid Android.
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Radiohead rocked. I got there late-ish for a variety of reasons and didn’t get any closer than the right side handicap area/sound tower. After being in a crush-ish way for all of one full song and sniffing the giant portapotty and not being able to see anything and not even having good sound at all, I decided the perfect place for me was directly behind the sound tower in front of those speaker where there was beaucoup space and folks that were simply there for the music alone. Good times.
Tom Petty REALLY rocked. I got to the concert(s) earlier and walked right on past one of my favorite bands (Primus, who still, by the way, completely suck) so I could jostle early for Tom Petty seats. I got within 75′ of the stage, maybe closer, and was well rewarded. Stevie Winwood with Tom Petty? Niiiiice.