By August 18, 2015 Read More →

We Loved Outsidelands 2015

We loved OutsideLands 2015
By Chris Murphy
Photos by Michael J Mangano & Chris Murphy, Mike Callizo

End of Day Three

If you could sum up the musical performances of 2015 SF Outsidelands in two words, it would be Billy Idol. Billy Idol is the school of rock. If you have a band, want to be in a band, want to perform, you would watch Billy Idol. No lights or effects, just Billy Idol. He is thankful to his audience, he is a bold showman, plays with his music for mood and tailors his set to the local crowd. Every band, no matter whether it is an ambient shoe gazer to an up and coming hip-hopper needs to know these golden rules for performing. Suffice it to say, there were some bands that phoned it in like Tame Impala (a band I LOVE to listen to) but Billy Idol is the school. There were incredible music treats at every stage from the newly electric sound of Mumford and Sons, the eclectic energy of St Vincent or even the hilarious Mac Sabbath performing as “Ronald” McDonald with a cast of McCartoon characters on the GastroMagic stage, James Bay lit up Sutro and Lindsay Sterling is beyond charming and talented.

To be sure there were some amazing surprises, Elton John was fun and chatty and truly loved being in San Francisco and the audience was treated to solid gold gems from the legendary Goodbye Yellow Brick Road like All the Young Girls Love Alice, and Your Sister Can’t Twist (but she can rock and roll). Standout highlights were the fully packed Lindley Meadow Sutro Stage for Milky Chance and the “secret acoustic Milky Chance show at the Toyota Stage. The Twin Peaks stage was packed constantly and it was nearly impossible to even get close for DJ Mustard and Kendrick Lamar. Sunday morning, Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead made a surprise appearance and played drums with Alex Bleeker & The Freaks @ 12:00 Noon set at The Panhandle.

Magic moments were the thousands in the Lands End field all dancing to the Black Keys Lonely Boy. The huge crowds of Milky Chance, the fun and games at Gastro Magic, especially Mac Sabbath and Ritchie Nakano, the top flight food everywhere, donut cheeseburgers, cheesesteaks, tots, cookies, the drink creations, charging stations, and couches for relaxing in the VIP, Everyone was all connected and feeling the OSL vibe. The crowd was loving every bit of it. ‘

Everywhere you looked there were treats, tastes and something new. We loved the donut cheesburgers, the amazing Peach Tree Distillery at the Grasto Magic stage and saw our Modesto friend Erin from Tacolicious, drank sparkling bubbly with our Modesto friends from Barefoot Wines and visited our other Modesto friends Harmony Tye Dye. We danced in the Heineken dome, ate decadent chocolates in Chocoland and did some Rockabilly in Flotsam’s Hell’s Hollow. As we left Outsidelands 2015 Sunday evening, we walked through the 70,000 people and danced to Saturday Night’s Alright for Fightin’ as we head out to our shuttle bus to take us home.

WineLands was moved to where the Barbary used to be by the entrance. Fortunately, there was a new route change that let you short cut to Hellman / Twin Peaks stage, but it was out of place as having it centrally located for frequent visits was key for repeat wine drinking. We had trouble activating some of our wristbands and as it was cashless, were unable to purchase. The location change was also hard on the Barbary. I love the Barbary and the comedy is top flight. But now it was up and behind the polo field and was a tough detour unless you caught it coming in or going out. I missed the comedians from Comedy central. Too many good things happening in too many different places. Hard to pick.

I really relied on my trusty paper map ( I love real maps) as well as my OSL Phone Ap. Checked it nearly all the time and kept our eyes open for new tweets and alerts. There were a couple of times when I got sidetracked by something fun, that the Ap reminded me of someone I really wanted to see.

Bottom line:  Excellent festival this year.  Pluses were new short cuts to Twin Peaks stage from entrance, way more cool food, and easy shuttle to Bill Graham Civic, iOS ap was way better with an excellent schedule planner and the sound mix at each stage was top notch.   Things that could be better – VIP Viewing at Sutro, shortcuts for media to get to stages quicker to cover more sets.

Outsidelands 2015 was amazing and thanks to our super bartender Arron at the Media tent who kept us powered up all weekend long. We can’t wait until tix go onsale next year.

Remember, tag your pics #modestoview and #outsidelands and we will be sharing to everyone. We will be waiting to get our tickets next year.



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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.