No ways I would miss a chance to roam another music festival this summer….
I took a quickie flight up north to hit the last day of this SF Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival for Wilco on the last show (this leg) of their tour. The arrived at the airport 8 hours too early to meet up with Nels who’s traveling on the Wilco bus. I staked out a corner at SFO to sleep and wait for the sun to rise. By dawn, I hauled my butt over toward the festival ground. This proved to be an unexpected adventure. By 10am, I did quite a few miles of walking back and forth around the outside of the festival gate looking for the right entrance to get in. The festival set up was ridiculously long in distance from one end to the other. Luckily I didn’t mind the mellow morning walk in the amazing San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, even with my 75 lbs on my back full of camera gear. But soon after that, my feet were done. I didn’t explore the festival itself too much due to my inappropriate shoes. I didn’t allow myself enough time to THINK ahead as I barely made it to my flight out.
Once there, and once all the fussy access issues were dealt with, I pretty much tailgated Nels Cline the entire day. The weather was warm’ish overcast. This festival was.. huge. The sea of happy people walking, dancing, laying around everywhere like ants. Good times were evidenced everywhere. I watched only a few bands; Toots & Maytals, Broken Social Science, and the one that impressed me – Bon Iver.
Then it was time for Wilco to go on. Their stage was on the opposing side of the festival where all the tour buses parked. Everyone had to get shuttled over to stage and later back. Once I hopped on the side of the stage, seeing the sea of crowd was mind blowing. This actually prompted me to soon give up on looking for my local SF resident friend Dave – who’s amongst the crowd of 60 thousands somewhere to the … west …
After Wilco finished playing, we were in a mad hurry to get out of the festival. I supposed being that it was their last show of the tour, and the day before Jeff Tweedy’s birthday, it was about wrapping it up and go chill in the City. I missed my chance to see Jack Johnson. I only heard him beginning his set from the distance as the bus leaves. I was a little bit bummed since I was looking forward to see him perform. Maybe next time, somewhere.
Off to the hotel in San Francisco, a few of us had some drinks to cap off the night. Again, due to the fixed work schedule, I had to catch a 6am flight back to be at work by 9am. Another exhilarating event, checked.