Outside Lands day three: my legs are cramping, I can’t feel my feet, my face is sunburned and Hall and Oates are about to come on. Suddenly, I’m feeling good.
Daryl Hall has noticeably aged looks-wise, but his voice is just as fresh as ever. The most notable songs before their encore were “Maneater” and “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” which included a long and satisfactory guitar breakdown by John Oates.
Although their songs are mostly mellow, their energy on stage was captivating. At their encore “Rich Girl” sounded just like the 1977 album version. As Oates started playing the chords of the oh-so-familiar “You Make My Dreams Come True,” a smile came over his face that was infectious and made the delightful song an even more pleasant experience.
And speaking of pleasant experience, Vampire Weekend’s upbeat and light-hearted songs were up next. The lead singer, Ezra Koenig, came out looking like a hipster girl’s dream- wearing a horizontally black and white striped sweater with a flippy haircut.
Songs like “A-Punk” and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” sounded just like the album and Koenig was able to hit the high notes effortlessly. The mood was similar to a casual concert you would see at a college dorm, and even the rest of the band looked like deadbeat university students with expensive instruments. “Campus” sounded good and transferred straight to “Oxford Comma” offering an unexpected transition that worked.
Let’s talk about Kascade. I was actually looking forward to Kascade. I had heard great things. When I listened live, though, I was pretty underwhelmed.
Kascade’s songs sounded more like a bass being smashed against an amp than anything. That mixed with irritating lights made the experience rather unpleasant. That’s not to say that there were not good parts about the set. The computer graphics in the background were nice, sometimes flashing the lyrics to songs or matching the words (for example, a giant blue eye blinking during “Look Into My Eyes”.) I don’t know what happened, but overall Kascade was not bringing it to the table like his reputation would suggest.
Lastly, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. These guys know how to perform. In the middle of hit songs would be ridiculously long bass and drum solos that only the most skilled musicians could pull off. Songs like “Californiacation and “Otherside” were accompanied by graphics that made the whole sky light up purple. It was a great way to end three days in San Fransico.