The second day of Outside Lands ended with a mighty bang last night, literally. If you were in San Francisco but not at the festival, you luckily got a free firework show. They seemed like the perfect addition to fire that was already fuming on stage during Metallica’s set, who were the closing headliners for Saturday night.
Being from Oakland themselves, there was no question that Metallica was going to do something huge. They were headlining a festival right next to their hometown, and on its 10th anniversary. The question was, what did they have in store? The band opened with “Hardwired,” and there were four flame cannons on each side of the stage that would sporadically shoot out gusts of fire, heating up the entirety of Golden Gate Parks’ The Polo Field. In particular, the fireworks complemented the high definition fire effects playing on the big screen towards the back of the stage.
They played for a steady two hours with the setlist including new favorites like “Atlas, Rise!” and “Moth Into Flame” from their most recent album Hardwired…to Self-Destruct and classics like “Harvester of Sorrow” and “One” from their 1998 album …And Justice for All. After giving recognition to talented bassist Robert Trujillo and a brief but impressive solo, James Hetfield did a little roll call in the audience. “Who’s here for their first Metallica experience?” he yelled into the mic. Thousands of new fans began cheering in response, showing their newfound appreciation for the polished metal pioneers. “Now where’s old school Metallica, have you seen us?” Hetfield shouted again and an even larger amount of people screamed back.
Then Hetfield started picking lucky fans from the crowd, and pointed out kids eight and 10 years old with green and blue hair. “You got cool parents. My parents? No way,” he joked. Right after thanking the “generations of music lovers,” he promptly screamed “Metallica gives you heavy” and fireworks came flying from the sides of the stage. After playing “Master of Puppets” and “Seek and Destroy” on a platform that extended out to the audience, Hetfield said, “36 years of kicking ass with you,” and continued to make what seemed like an exit with the rest of the band. Little did fans know the finale was yet to come.
The whole group appeared on stage again for an encore, where they played “Battery,” “Nothing Else Matters” and “Enter Sandman.” At this point the mosh pit in front was seemingly unstoppable, until the massive fireworks show went off at the end of the performance. All eyes were on Metallica on Saturday night with longtime fans and new converts provided with an experience they’ll remember for decades.
Other festival favorites and anticipated headliners, A Tribe Called Quest were rescheduled to play on Saturday night after missing their Friday show due to travel issues. Unfortunately, the legendary hip-hop group was forced to cancel at the last minute due to “unforeseen circumstances.” There is no news, as of yet, if Tribe is going to play the last day of Outside Lands, but the possibility is looking slim.
Fortunately, rap fans had an opportunity to catch hip-hip producer/DJ Kaytranada, who performed at the Twin Peaks Stage earlier in the day. The producer stood at his turntable for most of the performance, but in no way did the lack of action onstage mean it was a boring performance. As every song progressed, it seemed like Kaytranada fell harder and harder into the music, laying down each scratch with passion. Audience members got to watch a close up shot on the big screen of the man grooving to himself, while hyping up a crowd of dancing fans. He played a cover of Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky” and performed a ton of his own songs from his most recent album 99.9%, including his opener “One Too Many,” plus “Glowed Up” and “All Night.”
Indie rock duo Foxygen performed a charming and theatrical show at the Panhandle Stage Saturday evening, decorated with a picture illustrating a woman blowing the colorful winds that gust through San Francisco. Jonathan Rado walked out wearing all white makeup and with a strut that matched perfectly with their opening background music, classic Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. He opened with “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic” and Sam France came out shortly after to perform their hit song, “San Francisco,” a natural song choice for the occasion.
Wanting to skip the small talk and cliche’ musician banter, Rado joked “Hey, we’re Foxygen thanks for coming blah blah blah. You’re gonna hear songs new and old, old and new. If you didn’t know who were are, now you do. You’re cursed.” After a collective laugh from the audience, who were already in high spirits due to the beautiful atmosphere of the Bay Area and upbeat feel-good music Foxygen always seem to deliver, they started to play “Follow the Leader” from their 2017 album Hang. The crowd couldn’t help but to dance along. Other songs during the set included “On Lankershim,” “Upon a Hill,” “Trauma” and their closing track, “On Blue Mountain.”
In the beginning of the day at the Lands End stage was english rock duo Royal Blood. The two members of the band proved their skills on their instruments, taking several moments throughout the set to focus on each member. After “Hook, Line & Sinker,” lead singer Mike Kerr took a moment to scream “this is fucking sick,” before shouting out to their drummer Ben Thatcher who had been taking out 100% of his energy on the drums for the entirety of the set. The camera panned over to Thatcher standing at the drum set and he gave a big cheer to the crowd from the big screen before taking a big sip from his Red Solo cup. Other tracks included in their set were “Hole in Your Heart,” “Figure It Out,” “Loose Change,” “Ten Tonne Skeleton” and their gnarly closing song, “Out of the Black.”
American folk-rock band Dawes brought sincerity and soul to the Sutro Stage on Saturday afternoon, continuously thanking the crowd for coming during their intimate performance. They opened with their 2011 hit, “Fire Away,” and continued with “One of Us,” “Things Happen” and “Roll With the Punches.” Before their last two songs, lead singer Taylor Goldsmith took the mic and told the audience they “enjoyed [their] time immensely” and thanked them for “coming back to one of the greatest music festivals [they’d] ever been to.” After the day audience members had on Saturday, it’s safe to say Dawes’ claim was right on the money.
Photo Credit: Mauricio Alvarado