Outside Lands Journal: Day 2, 8/12/17

by Dakin Hardwick on August 17, 2017

METALLICA! And nothing else matters…

Photo by Ben Irwin

Day 2 of any festival is a little rough. Your energy is a little bit zapped from the day before. You can’t seem to drink enough water or coffee. Your legs are sore. So when you finally get there, you need something to kick yourself into gear. And I managed to stumble across that band at 12:00 on the dot.


As I was walking through the park, I noticed some solid funk grooves were pumping. This was from NYC’s Lawrence. Fronted by brother and sister vocalists Clyde and Gracie Lawrence, this was exactly what I needed to get my blood pumping. Gracie is the kind of passionate singer that can melt your heart with a single note. And the band was tighter than the knot your earbuds form in your pocket. Very few bands cross that line and become accessible to all, while still being adventurous. Lawrence did that perfectly.

Guy Branum’s Talk Show Game Show

After this, I walked over to the new Barbary to register for tickets to see Jeff Goldblum play. While I was there, I checked to see how the new Barbary had changed. Well, it’s bigger and way more comfortable than years past. It’s also surprising to get to walk right into any set there! We checked out Guy Branum’s Talk Show Game Show and caught former Obama speechwriter John Lovett being challenged on his “talk show guest” capabilities. He was sharp and battled well with the host. However, he lost to Sketchfest founder and all-around talent Janet Varney. Of course.

“Kimchi 3030” with Roy Choi, Del The Funky Homosapien, and Dan The Automator

Next, we moved to the Gastromagic stage to see something called “Kimchi 3030,” which really was just Del the Funky Homosapien making Korean BBQ ribs, while Dan the Automator and celebrity chef Roy Choi made kimchi. Del shared; Dan did not—but mostly because kimchi needs time to ferment. Then we were treated to a couple of live Del solo songs.

Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra

Next was one of the most highly anticipated sets of the festival: Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra! This was mostly jazz standards performed by Jeff Goldblum on piano with seasoned veterans backing him. Goldblum was definitely having fun, telling goofy dad jokes between songs and occasionally hosting movie trivia with the audience. And, as expected, there were many people in the room who answered “Jurassic Park” to every question.

The Lemon Twigs

Photo by Ben Irwin

My next goal was to see Thundercat after grabbing a quick lunch. While I was enjoying my chicken curry nachos, we took in a set of psych infused glam rock by Lemon Twigs. Calling to mind Wolfmother and the late, great Foxy Shazam, rather than T Rex or Bowie, they proved to be a pretty fun band to enjoy lunch to.


Off to the Twin Peaks stage, to get cozy for a bit, because last night’s A Tribe Called Quest set was due to happen here, and the app had 22,000 people scheduled to watch them, so I knew we needed to hang for a bit to get a good spot. If you haven’t been listening to Thundercat’s album, Drunk, obsessively this year, then you need to reevaluate your life’s decisions. He sailed through a set of spaced out yacht rock jams that felt like the long missing Sun Ra/Michael MacDonald record that we all know should have happened.


Things were going good. We had a nice spot and knew that we only had to endure whatever Kaytranada was before Tribe. Well, endure that and one of the worst concert behaviors on record, right before their set: Two people grabbed a spot up close and ended up bringing, I kid you not, 15 of their closest 6-foot-tall friends to the front. Better yet, those friends had the audacity to complain about how crowded it was. It all was fine when the music started, as they went from being terrible people to fun folks to dance with. Kaytranada’s roller disco-inspired DJ set came complete with excellent videos of actual roller skating.

Nikki Glaser

And now we waited. And waited. And kept waiting. Five minutes before Tribe were due to take the stage, we were told that Tribe weren’t playing. Not sure what happened, and they still haven’t released a reason. So we walked back to the Barbary to laugh our sorrows away with a great set of dry, conversational comedy with Nikki Glaser. My favorite thing about her is that she’s so unapologetically female focused in her material, even when the audience is split evenly between men and women, as was the case here. What made it better was that the men were laughing as hard as the ladies.


Closing up the day was the mighty Metallica. I know that’s their tagline, but they more than owned up to it. Taking the stage five minutes early, which is unheard of, we were treated to over two hours of precision metal, complete with pyro, lasers, and all the bombast you need. The setlist covered everything you needed, with plenty of soaring epics from their ‘90s period, lotsa old school thrash, plenty of their surprising new album Hardwired, and even the first ever performance of (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth since Cliff Burton passed away in 1986. A solid way to close out Day 2.

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