Do you love food, wine, art, and awesome music? San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music Festival is just the ticket for a can’t-miss summer experience in the Bay Area. With the 2014 festival coming up August 8-10, here are five acts you can’t miss in this year’s lineup:
If you’re tired of the Top 40 pop princesses of today, Irish-born Imelda May’s rockabilly sound may be just the spice you need to refresh your spirit and get your feet moving. Her 1950s-esque style might seem a bit retro in 2014, but her live show is anything but a cabaret act.
Probably best known for her 2010 hit “Mayhem“, Imelda has also given some classics like “Tainted Love” her signature upbeat rockabilly treatment. She and her band (with her husband on lead guitar) aren’t slowing down at all, with suitably wild tracks on this year’s new album. Catch her at Outside Lands on Sunday.
Night Terrors of 1927
While the name may seem unfamiliar to you, a first listen of Night Terrors of 1927’s synth-pop single “Dust and Bones” proves these up-and-comers deserve a place on stage at this year’s Outside Lands Festival. Both members of the duo have already put in time with bands like Rilo Kiley and The Honorary Title, so it’s no surprise that the rest of their debut EP is just as fully-formed as that first track. Night Terrors of 1927 will likely deliver a Friday set that’s worthy of their high-drama, synth-driven rockstar ambitions.
Paolo Nutini has seemed poised for major success for a long time now. The Scottish singer-songwriter’s signature ethereal, yet powerful tone caught critics’ ears during his Abbey Road performance of “Iron Sky”, even drawing praise from Adele.
Paolo kept his fans waiting five years for his latest album, Caustic Love, a layoff supposedly owing to a painful breakup with his childhood sweetheart. The album starts off with a track that’s nothing short of timeless and just keeps getting better. Catch him at Outside Lands on Sunday.
The Flaming Lips
Is there any band more tailor-made to the atmosphere of a summer festival than The Flaming Lips? Oklahoma City’s most famous musical export has long been one of those under-appreciated bands that only seems to fit with massive crowds and elaborate stages as part of a festival line-up; layered, psychedelic arrangements with space rock elements don’t always translate to mainstream audiences.
Charismatic frontman Wayne Coyne is nothing if not inventive – unlike some other 53-year-olds who might go quietly into the night of cult fame, Coyne recruited Miley Cyrus as a fan and struck up a social media friendship with the star who, to hear them tell it, wasn’t such an incongruous collaborator when they did “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” live at the Billboard Awards.
Miley (probably) won’t join Coyle onstage at the Outside Lands Festival on Sunday, but you can bet his signature human hamster ball method of crowd surfing will make an appearance.
True hip-hop fans know it’s not all about the songs you hear on Top 40 radio stations or dance club sound systems. Case in point: Minneapolis-based Atmosphere, consisting of rapper Slug (Sean Daley) and DJ/producer Ant (Anthony Davis). Since 1989, Atmosphere has drawn in fans with their talented storytelling, with each song introducing an episode in a vivid character’s life and metaphorical lyrics that stand head and shoulders above most mainstream rappers. Catch Atmosphere’s set on Saturday.
If these acts don’t get you excited, the Outside Lands Festival is also playing host to Chvrches, Warpaint, and Lykke Li, all of whom have already received enthusiastic recommendations elsewhere on this very blog. Have fun at this year’s festival, and let us know who you enjoyed the most!