Monday, October 17, 2011

Outside Lands 2011



Back in late spring, early summer I started bugging Justin about going to see the band Muse at one of their concerts over the summer.  I knew several other people going to the Indianapolis show, and begged and pleaded to get tickets.  I even offered to bake Justin an apple pie!  (This was after dropping Lolapalooza hints that went pretty much unnoticed.)  He finally asked, "Do you really want to go?"  "YES!" "Well, ok.  Set it up, and I'll get the plane tickets with my sky miles."  I had a hard time with the ticket purchase.  I was on the third attempt when Justin called back.  "Have you bought tickets, yet?"  "Umm...no.  I've been having problems with the ticket vender."  He says, "I'm not really interested in going to Indianapolis.  Hey, isn't Muse playing in San Francisco?"  Me, "Yes."  He says, "Well, I'd much rather go there than Indy."  "Sounds good!  I'll get tickets for Outside Lands, then!  And we'll get to see Craig and Amy" (good friends from high school/college.)


So, we got the tickets in the mail and waited for August to roll around.  A week or so before the festival, Justin found out he was going to be let go from his job at the end of the month.  We decided to go ahead and go to San Francisco and take the much needed break.  We flew into San Francisco, and a few hours later, we walked onto the grounds of Golden Gate State Park, hearing the band MGMT blasting nearby.  We got some grub and headed over to see  Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and do a little people watching.



Apparently, music festivals are great for people watching.  There were a whole lotta people wearing these weird animal hats.  I mean, everywhere.  It was cold, so it made sense to keep warm, but the animal hats (or Spirit Hoods, as we came to find out), were more than just headgear. 



They were personality changers.  Once you slip on the Hood, you are the animal.  Or maybe just a douchebag.




One good thing about dressing up in a crowd of sixty thousand people is that you might actually find your friends.  If you're all dressed in blue button down shirts, you might blend in too well.  You need beany hats to really stick out!



I'm surprised this picture of Phish isn't blurred, because I know my body was shivering and my teeth were chattering from the cold.  I was completely unprepared, with only a lightweight jacket and skort.  So, we ended up leaving a little early and getting some hot chocolate.  I was bummed, because I was enjoying it.


On Saturday we met up with our friends and had some good playground time and lunch



Note Benjamin's classic sliding position.




And the handsome, Louis!

After some epic bowling (well, by Craig) and an excellent lunch at the mall (mall court food in San Fran is really good!), we headed back over to the festival.




.It was much warmer on the second day until the sun went down.  We didn't do as much people watching, because we were camped out at the main stage (called the Land's End stage) for most of the day.




We got spots next to the sound desk for OkGo.  This is the group that got Duncan into Rube Goldberg machines earlier this year.  Had loads of fun, and especially enjoyed :


Without the treadmills, unfortunately!




The Sunflower Guys!

I'm pretty sure a short, chubby woman with mountains for boobs was pointing at Justin and me and laughing during the Arctic Monkeys performance.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe our nerdy appearance.  Or the sunburned faces (in spite of sunscreen!)  So, after that we decided to get some hats and dinner, hoping to watch The Black Keys when we returned.  My stone oven baked pizza took forever, and by the time we'd got our hats, and eaten, The Black Keys were finishing up.  I was pretty disappointed.  Because I really wanted to see this live:






I don't even know what this is supposed to be!

We walked through the masses to get back to Lands End stage for Myoooooooze!


This is the one and only picture I took.  I didn't want to bother, since I only had my phone, and wanted to enjoy the music.  And did I enjoy it?  Yes, yes, I did.  Two songs I hadn't heard before: Butterflies & Hurricanes and Citizen Erased got this Southern girl jumping like a crazy person, and no longer complaining of the chill in the air.

Citizen Erased (although, I don't remember that echo)

And Lasers!  hehe!

After the concert, we waded to the front against the crowd, and met up with the brave souls who had been crushed to the barrier at the front all day.  Apparently, it was a pretty rough crowd, with lots of people pushing their way up front.  Pushing and shoving are pretty expected when you're in the pit, but not being able to lift your arms?  I think I would have bailed.  I'm much too claustrophobic.  Besides, where we ended up I was able to jump to my heart's content.  And, oh boy, did I.  Got a good workout that night.  Somehow, I didn't manage to get any pictures of friends! 


The third day was really laid back. We didn't have specific plans to see any particular group, so we went from stage to stage checking out as many bands as we could.


The guy on stilts!  Right next to the Trash/Recycling and Compost bins.  It was amazing how many things were compostable: the plates, cups, utensils and all the food.  Pretty cool.




Choco Lands, also known as "Creepy Candy Land."  This was a small area with all your dessert eateries.  Outside Lands had a nice array of good food and drink.  Choco Lands had a little place called Epic Cookies.  I got a Snickerdoodle.  It was totally epic.  Seriously.  I also got a hot chocolate from whatever the hot chocolate place was called. 



Every once in a while there would be a volunteer manning the compost/recycling/trash cans.  Generally, they were helpful if anyone had a question about where an item should go.  This guy in the above picture was a bit of a compost natzi, though.  He'd yell at people if they got it in the wrong bin.




Me!





One of the surprise hits for us was the Infamous Stringdusters.  They played on a small stage tucked in near some food stalls and other stuff.  They were fantastic!  They started off with about a hundred people watching, and ended up with a couple thousand.




We saw "Grizzly Adams" a few times during the festival.  Wearing the same outfit and exhibiting really, really hairy arms and back.  And bare feet.  Here he grabbed a poor, innocent girl and got her dancing.  Good times!



Yoda made a special appearance at Outside Lands this year.  He wasn't telling this girl to "Try not," he was mostly just hanging out.

We caught Arcade Fire at the very end of the fest, and headed back to the hotel.  Talked to my mom on the phone and found out Duncan had gotten something in his eye.  But seemed ok.  The next day we tooled around San Fran and ended up watching Harry Potter 7 part 2.  I turned my phone back on after the movie to see that Mom had called.  I called back.  Duncan's school called, his eyes were running and he was crying.  She took him to the doctor, and he had an eye infection.  Poor thing!  So, we managed to get an earlier flight back the next day, so we'd get home in the afternoon instead of the middle of the night.  We had an epic time (cookies and all!), but it was good to be home, and be able to hug my runny eyed little boy and my, thankfully, not so runny eyed daughter!

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