SAN FRANCISCO — San Franciscans surprised by the honest-to-goodness summer weather that showed up this weekend finally had a chance to zip up their hoodies on the second night of the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival. But headliner
Matthews and his eponymous band played with the precision that comes from knowing how their bandmates work, which produced some impressive jams and awe-inspiring solos. Matthews provided a dose of early-millennial nostalgia with a set that focused heavily on favorites like "Jimi Thing" and "Ants Marching." Along the way, Fergie and Apl.de.Ap from the
But back at the top of the afternoon, on the Twin Peaks stage at the opposite end of the festival grounds, Street Sweeper Social Club brought an entirely different brand of grooviness and some of the weekend's few true aggro moments. Conceived by
On the way back to the main stage, the Barbary — which took place inside a tent filled with oak-framed mirrors and stained glass — offered some mid-afternoon comedy from past and present locals Sherry Sirof, Brent Weinbach and Kevin Camia, all of whom managed to offend all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time with tales of anatomy, sexual preference and 99-cent stores.
It wasn't all about the love, though, as he detoured into a cover of the Stooges "Search and Destroy," lending Iggy Pop's snarl a bit of gospel heft. He closed out the show by bringing on his first-ever choir director, who inspired him to sing as a child. With a scratchy, bluesy delivery, he backed up what Tom Jones had established on Friday night: Sometimes a little experience goes a long way.
As the middle player on Saturday's main stage,
Sporting a beard that complements the music he's making these days, Conor Oberst and his Mystic Valley Band closed down the Sutro Stage with songs that are more down-home than downtrodden. One highlight of the set was when he brought out Jenny Lewis to perform Rilo Kiley's "Portions for Foxes," though Oberst outdid himself in the end with a beautiful rendition of the sparse and gorgeous "Milk Thistle."
Back on the main stage, the Black Eyed Peas provided the day's first real communal moment with their truckload of radio hits, and calling San Francisco their "home away from home" earned the band even more points with the local crowd (though Fergie should know better than to call it "Frisco"). The world didn't become a better place during the hour-long show, though it came closer than usual. There's something about "I Gotta Feeling" that makes the promise that "Tonight's gonna be a good night" easy to believe, and the band wisely closed their set with it. That gave way for Matthews, giving the 50,000 strong in Golden Gate Park a jubilant one-two punch that sent them home euphoric.