Outside Lands August 2014 – San Francisco CA
By Andy Goldfinger
Yes, we finally were able to attend the Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park (thank you Mike & Marcie Campbell). The main attraction for us Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. They are on a mini tour in support of their Hypnotic Eye Album. Having not been to a festival in well over 20 years I was not all that keen, but I was happily surprised at the way they did Outside Lands. First of all, if you have not been to Golden Gate Park, it is humungous, I mean ginormous. There were stages and booths everywhere, but the sound was amazingly restricted to the areas where the stages actually were. There was very little bleed over, and this also dissipated the crowds as well, which for a veteran such as myself was a welcome feature.
Now the music, I’ll start with the heartbreakers. It’s funny how the fan’s perception is vastly different that those of the actual musicians. I though their performance at Outside Lands was superb, and yet there are those in the band who did not have the same enthusiasm for the performance as I, and the many thousands of fans saw. I am extremely fortunate to be friendly with a few members of the band, and I emcee an event in Ls Angels at the Troubadour where some of the Heartbreakers perform for this charity gala, and I was talking with Scott Thurston about the show at Outside Lands. He was not nearly as impressed as I was with their performance. I got to see the Heartbreakers a week later, but that’s another post from the road.
Back to Outside lands. The music was just incredible Deathcab for Cutie whipped the crowd into a frenzy before the Heartbreakers came on. I stumbled into tents where there were jazz trios and bluegrass pickers going at it. Off of the main stages were incredible acts like the Jon Butler Trio who just blew away a small meadow, Arctic Monkeys, Ray LaMontagne, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and so many more. It was an unbelievable event, and the best part of the whole thing was seeing all the kids singing along to every Tom Petty song.