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14 Acts To Catch At Outside Lands 2015

BY EVAN MOLINEUX

Facebook Outside Lands 2015

On August 7th, one of the country’s best and most unique music festivals will return for another year. Taking place across San Francisco’s beautiful Golden Gate Park, Outside Lands has made its mark as a standout among the nation’s many music festivals. As a result of its highlighting local restaurants, wineries, breweries, and bringing together a fresh and varied lineup, it has become a favorite for music lovers around the world.

SEE ALSO: John Stamos In San Francisco: “Youngsters Have 0.0 Idea What They’re Missing”

The acts playing at Outside Lands are as varied as the food vendors, which have everything from spicy Japanese tator tots (Nojo) and smoked coconut sugar brisket (Michael Mina’s Tailgate) to ice cream tacos (Rocko’s Ice Cream Tacos) and Maine lobster rolls (Woodhouse Fish Co.).

Unlike many festivals, which have been heavily commercialized, Outside Lands has been able to avoid having a bland and predictable lineup full of monotonous EDM or boring indie music darlings. The following is a list of fourteen must see acts playing at this year’s festival from across all genres.

1. Hurray for the Riff Raf

Kicking off Saturday’s Sutro stage is New Orleans based bluesy folk band Hurray for the Riff Raf. Their 2014 release was praised as one of the year’s best albums and I have been excited to see them since the lineup was announced. The perfect way to ease into the day two hangovers. Sit on the grass, grab an early afternoon beer, and enjoy the clever lyricism of the best festival’s best folk act outside of Wilco.

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2. Chet Faker

The act that I am most anticipated to see the first day of the festival. He has unfortunately been given a time slot next to Wilco and The Drums, which is nonsense, but understandable as a means of spreading out the crowd. I still expect the Melbourne singer/producer’s stage to be packed. He has slowly been taking over the world, receiving rave reviews for his performances at every major festival over the past year.

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3. Broods

Currently the hottest act coming out of New Zealand. The brother, sister pop duo has been touring the world and garnering a massive international fan base. Despite playing at such an early time slot, I expect they will force plenty of festivalgoers to come in early.

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4. SZA

R&B artist Solane Rowe has an impressive record of collaborations. Her debut album has tracks featuring verses from both Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar. The problem of featuring artists like this on a debut is the potential to be overshadowed, however, the honest soulful quality of her voice, combined with her modern lyricism allows Solane to be the controlling force on her tracks. Expect a powerful live show, from one of festival’s best up and coming artists.

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5. Paul and the Broken Bones

Like SZA, St. Paul and the Broken Bones are about to bring a whole lot of soul to the festival. However, rather than bringing a darker R&B vibe, they are coming in hot with the kind of music that is going to force you to get up and dance. With a lead singer that sounds like Otis Redding, a killer horns section, and a vibrant live show, they are guaranteed to be one of the most infectious acts of the weekend.

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6. Benjamin Booker

Outside Lands has a history of getting excellent guitar driven bands. The Black Keys are probably the big act to shred and melt some faces this year, but further down the lineup is Benjamin Booker. A man whose band is going to lay down an amazing show. One of the highlights of Sasquatch this year, Benjamin Booker is quickly gaining a big reputation not only for the quality of his songs and ability to play the guitar, but for his hectic live shows. Just the fact that his music has been described as “blues-punk” and “punkabilly” should be enough for you to want to see his show.

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7. Elton John

Not much needs to be said about Elton John other than the fact that this summer he has been breaking out all of his hits at festivals. Expect two glorious hours of one of the world’s greatest sing a longs. This year’s must see headliner.

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8. Sky Ferreria

From a very young age Sky Ferreria has been one of the biggest names in music. She signed a major record deal and had some huge connections by the time she was 15. Since signing this deal, she has become an actress, a major figure in the world of fashion, and completed a world tour with Miley Cyrus. She definitely has an impressive CV. However, the best part about her is her music. The best pop star on the bill this year.

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9. Fantastic Negrito

One of the Bay Area natives playing this year. Fantastic Negrito is a man that has been through a lot and reflects his storied past in his music. Black roots music that tells a passionate story of a man that was given a million dollar record deal, nearly killed in a car accident, and now left with a maimed hand and plenty of incredible songs.

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10. Angus & Julia Stone

Another brother, sister act at this year’s festival. They have just released their third, self-titled album, which is in my opinion their best work. It’s an album that contains all the soft emotion found on their early releases like hit songs “Big Jet Plane” and “Just A Boy”, but this time they have an added, indefinable quality in the production. Many have called it added maturity to the songwriting. Whatever it is, it sounds incredible and should translate to an incredible live show.

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11. Giraffage

My favorite dj on the bill this year. Hometown native Charlie Yin creates ambient electronic pop music the likes of big names such as Tycho and Boards of Canada. I definitely recommend catching part of his set on your way to see Tame Impala.

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12. Tame Impala

Another guitar driven act with incredible new material. If you haven’t seen their show before, it’s a definite must see at this year’s festival. Along side Amon Tobin: ISAM 2.0 this Australian band is guaranteed to be one of the most visually psychedelic shows of the weekend.

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13. Tig Notaro

One of the festival’s many gems is the Barbary. A tent providing comedy acts throughout the day. A few massive acts grace the stage every year and this year one of the biggest acts in all of comedy is headlining the last two shows on Friday. Included on Business Insiders list of “50 Women Who Are Changing the World”, similar to Elton John, this is another act that doesn’t need much of an introduction.

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14. Misterwives

Another act that is guaranteed to force you to get up and dance. Their debut album has hints of folk, grunge, and blues, but is full of pop. They landed a huge hit with their song Reflections; luckily their entire album is just as good. I am not usually a big fan of their brand of indie pop, but I was really surprised with how much I love their debut album. They are opening the main stage on Saturday, which in some ways is a good thing, since that way there will be plenty of room to dance.

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Are you going to Outside Lands? Who are you excited to see? Let us know in the comments.

Evan Molineux contributor profile

 

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