The Next Day: Reflections on the Outside Lands 2017 Lineup

by Dakin Hardwick on April 5, 2017

But how do you really feel about the 10th Outside Lands lineup?

Yesterday brought us the news that every music nerd has been eagerly awaiting in the Bay Area—the lineup for the 10th edition of the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival. High hopes were raised for this one, and I had a bit of a chat with the staff afterward to learn what we all thought of it.

If you don’t wish to read about our thoughts, and just want to know how to buy tickets, they go on sale Thursday, April 6, at 10 am. You know, the day BEFORE payday. 🙁

Let’s talk about the top line, as the headliners generally set the theme for the weekend.

First and foremost, I love Metallica live. I think they have perfected the art of the stadium rock show, without ever going too far over the top. Few bands know how to turn a space like AT&T Park and make it feel like it’s a sweaty rock club. I think their new record, Hardwired… To Self Destruct is the comeback record that people really wanted Death Magnetic to be. I, personally, can’t wait to see them back in the park.

However, staff writer Oliver Brinks felt otherwise: JUST STOP ALREADY. Okay, I get it, a lot of people really liked their recent album so much as to compare it to pre-Black Album Metallica, but fer fuck’s sake, I don’t know how much more of James Hetfield’s elongated growl vowels I can take.

The next slot gives us The Who. So far, I’ve only gotten to see The Who play a short acoustic set at Bridge School a number of years ago. It was a solid set, and I’m grateful to have gotten to see “Boris The Spider” with John Entwistle on vocals. With such an amazing canon of music, and with the many CSIs in syndication, I’m hard pressed to believe anyone won’t find something to enjoy in this set. However, I’m having a hard time shaking the nonsense that Roger Daltrey has been spouting to the press about Brexit and Trump being “good” things. It’s enough to make me secretly wish this was a Pete Townshend solo set. (The idea of hearing “Let My Love Open the Door” would be another reason for this wish.)

Oliver Brinks’s thoughts: I love this band. I’ll always be a fan. I can’t help but wonder at how vital they are at this point. The Endless Wire was much better than I expected it to be, but I don’t know how much that’s saying, considering the lukewarm reception. Also, Jesus, that was 11 years ago!! Do festival kids even KNOW what they’re getting with them on a lineup?

The final “main stage” closer looks to be Gorillaz. At this point, this is the only US show for them—and one of only two North American dates. Considering how much Damon Albarn seems to hate coming to the US, I don’t expect to see many more dates pop up. The last Blur tour consisted of two shows on the continent, and his tour for his amazing solo album never made it west of Texas. Considering the rumor is that all of the guests on the new record will be appearing, this is going to be a big one. Also, with Del the Funky Homosapien being back on good terms with Albarn–and Dr. Octagon also performing–one can’t help but anticipate some Handsome Boy Modeling School or Deltron 3030 action getting pulled into the mix. Who can forget this 2014 legendary performance of “Clint Eastwood” in Austin by a band billed as “Damon Albarn & Friends”:

So, although I’m really excited to finally see Gorillaz, Lorde is who I’m most interested in on the top line. Her first record was practically perfect, and she never really played a venue suitable for her popularity on the tour for that first record, so getting tickets was simply not a possibility without getting a loan on the secondary market. So there are a large number of people who are going to be seeing Lorde for the first time, and have been waiting since 2013 for this to finally happen. I expect this to be the fiercest audience of the whole weekend.

Rounding out the top line is the triumphant return to the stage of A Tribe Called Quest. They haven’t played any full shows since the passing of Phife Dawg, but that last album is nearly perfect. Excited to see what the day on the big stage, especially considering the last time they played here was a long time ago at Berkeley Community Theater.

So, that’s the top line. And there is a TON of good stuff well below that. And a bunch of weird stuff. (Berklee School Of Music? So, there will be like a lecture on proper sousaphone breathing?) Anyways, expect more in depth coverage as we get closer to the festival and throughout the event!

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