Sunday. The sabbath. And, of course, I believe in the church of rock n roll. And I believe that I kept the day as holy as could be. Of course, since Hall & Oates showed up, it really couldn’t happen any other way.
Bring The Rock
Bring The Rock is one of my favorite nightclub shows. It is the brainchild of Greg Behrendt, popular writer, comedian, and guitar player for LA surf punkers The Reigning Monarchs. He brought out The Reigning Monarchs as his back up band for the loudest comedy show ever. They came out to a rollicking version of their surf instrumental “Murder Your Summer,” before Behrendt introduced the show. He explained that 12 pm is a terrible time for a show called Bring The Rock, and told a great story about his ill conceived use of “Ace Of Spades” by Motorhead on mix tapes he used to make for ladies. Thus bringing us to the first song of the early afternoon, a delightful, semi acoustic ballad version of “Ace Of Spades.” He wanted a version of the song that women will swoon over, and he felt this was it.
The rest of the show followed suit: Nick Thune told a great story about Scott Weiland losing his credit card on a plane, and singing a version of “Interstate Love Song” in the style Townes van Zandt. Matt Braunger did Social Distortion’s “Bad Luck.” Local guitar wizard Thao Nguyen told a story of the friend in college that was a raving drunk as well as a major influence on her guitar playing, and then sang Lucinda Williams’ “Drunken Angel.” Dave Hill talked about finding The Replacements and performing in a prison before playing “I Will Dare” by The Replacements. Kid In The Hall Bruce McCulloch talked about wanting to beat up his Dad while playing “The Real Me” by The Who. (He didn’t beat up his Dad. They ended up bonding over the record)
After 25 years in the business, it feels like Fishbone are still underdogs. Despite being the only band that to have clips featured on Headbanger’s Ball, Soul Train, and 120 Minutes, they never really cemented a major crossover hit. However, their main stage appearance at Outside Lands may have been the thing to help them become stars. Lead singer Angelo Moore is still amazingly limber. He was running all over the stage, doing flips, and singing while getting passed through the crowd. He is one of the most charismatic performers on Earth, and the songs still hold up nicely. They managed to get the first monster circle pit of the fest, opening up to nearly the length of the area between the stage and the soundboard during a cover of Sublime’s “Date Rape.” It was one amazing set, and one can be certain that the next time they come to town, the show will sell out, so buy tickets right away.
Deap Vally are a blues influenced punk band from Los Angeles, CA. I didn’t want to lose the momentum from Fishbone, so I wanted to check out the most blistering set next. Happily, Deap Vally filled that role nicely. Drummer Julie Edwards is a heavy player- she pounds out solid, chugging beats that you can feel in your chest. Vocalist/guitarist Lindsey Troy plays like love child of Jack White and J Mascis, with the kind of perfect rock n roll rasp of Courtney Love. She even does the Courtney Love voice crack when she gets especially passionate while singing. It happened 4 or 5 times during the set, and whenever it happened, it continued to hit me as hard as the first time.
Hall & Oates
When the line up for Outside Lands was announced, it wasn’t any of the three big headliners that people were talking about. It wasn’t any of the hip, edgy young bands. It wasn’t even the spectacular come back appearance of D’angelo that didn’t happen. It was Hall & Oates. Everyone’s guilty pleasure was booked. This is the group that everyone loves, but the bulk of the people attending claimed that they aren’t likely to buy a Hall & Oates ticket. This set almost definitely insured that people will buy an actual Hall & Oates ticket. They sounded phenomenal, and looked great. Darryl Hall sounds like his voice hasn’t changed since the 80’s, and still looks great, too! Oates handled the lead guitar and harmonies nicely, and my only problem with the set was that it was way too short. Every song was a massive audience sing along, and when the set ended, there was a combination of happiness and sadness, because it was two short. Hopefully they come back sooner rather than later so we can get “Adult Education,” “Kiss On My List,” or any of the myriad of songs that they didn’t have time for.
Out Of Touch
Say It Isn’t So
I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)
You Make My Dreams (Come True)
Vampire Weekend get a really bad rap. Is it because they are a bunch of white guys from an upperclass background? Is it because their music is quite optimistic? Maybe it’s because people begrudge early success. Either way, any naysayer was quickly hushed by this set. They played a high energy set, and sounded amazing. Their new single, “Diane Young,” filled the giant field with a pure, happy energy with the refrain of “Baby, baby, baby- Baby, baby, baby, baby” putting a huge Cheshire cat grin on my face.
Singin’ & Pingin’: DJ Purple + American Tripps Present Berlin-Style Ping Pong + Dance Karaoke Party
I really wanted to see Willie Nelson. The guy is a living legend. However, I also really like karaoke. After seeing nothing but other people perform for three days straight, I decided that it was time for me to take the stage. I walked into The Barbary to see a KJ setting up while two ping pong tables were set up. I’m not entirely sure how the game was being played- it looked like people dancing around a table while hitting a ball if it came to them. It looked like fun, but I really couldn’t figure it out. The karaoke, however, was excellent. We only had 90 minutes, and the KJ, DJ Purple, did a great job of making sure that everyone that wanted to got to sing a song. He also cross fades each song into the next, so you really need to be on top of it when your song comes on. It was a lot of fun, and it was full of surprises. Including Cole Stratton, one of the organizers of SF Sketchfest, doing Kings Of Leon’s tale of herpes, “Sex On Fire.” However, the biggest surprise was Craig Robinson of The Office doing “Time Is Running Out” by Muse. There was probably around 50 people in the room, however the excitement in the crowd from this performance made it feel like a room of 10,000. The pogo on the dance floor made the room feel like it was shaking. It was a fun way to close up one of the best weekends of my life. It’s shame that I have to go to work tomorrow.