This weekend, Outside Lands 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the much-celebrated San Francisco music festival, which takes place at Golden Gate Park. The lineup this year is topped by a trio of rock juggernauts — the Gorillaz headline Friday, Metallica headlines Saturday, and The Who close things out as the Sunday legacy headliner.
But there’s always a ton of substance in the undercard, and Outside Lands 2017 is no different. I’m as excited for the bands once I plow through the gates around noon each day as I am for who is playing later at night. I’m taking my 7-year-old niece to the festival on Saturday, and I couldn’t have picked a better lineup for her first music festival experience.
Here I’ve outlined nine different Outside Lands 2017 acts that you won’t want to miss. Make sure you get through the gates early enough to check them all out!
12:45 to 1:35 PM at Lands End Stage
The otherworldly soundscapes crafted by Hundred Waters and colored by the voice of Nicole Miglis are too incredible to miss, so plan ahead to get into the gates early on day one. They’re kicking things off on the main stage in a slot that has been kind to past Outside Lands performers. With the festival wrapping up on the early side each night, early-day performers tend to draw solid crowds — and Hundred Waters will earn every person’s adoration. Their new album will drop next month, so we should be getting a solid sneak preview Friday.
2:55 to 3:35 PM at Panhandle Stage
There’s nothing Grace Mitchell can’t do. She writes catchy pop songs. She can rock like no other. She can even make a song like “White Iverson” completely her own. She’s hit the festival circuit hard this year and she has consistently made “best of” lists at the end of each of them. I bumped into her at a show at Resident a few weeks ago and she was as cool as you’d expect. I’m only bummed she isn’t playing Saturday because I’d love for my niece to see her perform, kicking ass and taking names.
3:40 to 4:30 PM at Twin Peaks Stage
You’re going to have to sprint from the end of Grace Mitchell at the Panhandle Stage over to catch Electric Guest at Twin Peaks — but the exercise will be worth it. After a lengthy hiatus, Electric Guest emerged last year with new tunes — dropping their sophomore effort Plural this February. It’s an extremely strong record — and lead singer Asa Taccone’s pitch-perfect falsetto is a beautiful match to their funky bass lines and mesmerizing synths. I’m super stoked to finally catch them on the festival circuit.
1:25 to 2:05 PM at Panhandle Stage
The Philly-bred, Los Angeles based Mondo Cozmo penned what I consider the Weed Anthem of 2017 — “Shine”. What better place to perform it than in the heart of San Francisco? Few acts wowed me on the festival circuit as regularly as Mondo Cozmo. From his hilarious stage banter to the “Bittersweet Symphony” cover, I saw him perform a handful of times this spring and never got tired of it. He’s perfected this “first or second set of the day” festival slot and knows how to get the day started off in the right direction.
The Japanese House
2:10 to 3:00 PM at Twin Peaks Stage
Remember Imogen Heap? Want to experience the evolution of that vocoder sound? Amber Bain aka The Japanese House is what you are seeking. Her dreamy synth sounds and mesmerizing vocals wash over you like a warm bath. Her music puts you all the way in your feels, and without apology. I first discovered her music at Shaky Knees last year and have been in love ever since. Her set should be the perfect complement as the sun begins to chill out a bit Saturday afternoon, don’t miss it.
3:10 to 4:00 PM at Lands End Stage
As of this writing, it’s been exactly a month since I wrapped up a whirlwind spring festival circuit that included seven performances from Warpaint, which I wrote about in detail on this very blog. What can I say that I haven’t already said? I’m excited to see them mix up their setlist a bit from what they were touring with a few months ago. They’ve been playing long-ago gem “Stars” for the first time since 2014 (courtesy: setlist.fm) — which bass player Jenny Lee Lindberg alluded to when I interviewed her for that piece. There are few bands that are as on top of their live performance game as these four women. They employ what I consider the best rhythm section actively touring between Lindberg and drummer Stella Mozgawa, and the guitar and vocal prowess of Theresa Wayman and Emily Kokal cannot be overlooked.
Swet Shop Boys
12:40 to 1:20 PM at Twin Peaks Stage
One of my biggest surprise favorites of Coachella 2017 was Riz Ahmed (yeah, that one) aka Riz MC and Heems bring the head in an early-day tent slot this year. They brought a ton of energy, and their intellectual rap is of the highest quality. More than a handful of times during their show, I found myself laughing out loud as I unraveled their hilarious metaphors. This is a perfect fit for Golden Gate Park and a great way to kick off the festival’s final day.
2:00 to 2:40 PM at Twin Peaks Stage
Kamaiyah truly arrived last year when she saved a weather-wrecked Treasure Island festival last October on her home court in the Bay Area. After putting together a strong set early in the day, she stepped in to perform a second time later in the day when another artists’s gear was ruined by the rain. Consider Outside Lands 2017 her much-deserved victory lap as the young rapper has brought back “hyphy music” in a big way. Yay Area? More like ‘Yah Area.
3:30 to 4:20 PM at Twin Peaks Stage
When I first went into watching SOFI TUKKER at Coachella this year, I had no clue what I was about to experience. Were they DJs? The sound of their big hit “Drinkee” didn’t tip me off at all to what I got to see. The duo, comprised of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, play a variety of instruments to create their thriving brand of jungle pop. They play a variety of Brazilian-leaning instruments and know how to hype a crowd. I am also expecting a collaboration with Maggie Rogers, the way the two performed together at Firefly 2017 a few months ago.
Look below for a Spotify playlist of all these acts! Give it a listen and add them to your schedules!