The Outside Lands festivities continued on Saturday. Based on the enormous crowd that gathered for Dr. Dog’s late afternoon’s set at the smaller Sutro Stage — the audience stretched pretty much all the way back to the main walkway that leads to the main area — the day seemed to have an even greater turnout than Friday.
Elsewhere, the news of the day brought two lineup changes: Young Thug and Marc Rebillet would no longer play; they were replaced by Aminé and Reggie Watts, respectively. (Marc Rebillet sustained an injury; no reason was given for Young Thug’s absence yet.) Nevertheless, the later evening one-two punch of Vampire Weekend and Lizzo proved they had enough “Juice” to sustain another energetic crowd. Here are four sets that stood out from Day 2:
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
Andrew McMahon showed off some of the most dynamic stage presence at the festival so far. Whether he was leaping off his piano, high fiving fans in the crowd or strafing the stage, he kept the crowd engaged throughout his set. When McMahon led into the iconic piano opening from “Dark Blue,” his Jack’s Mannequin era smash hit, the crowd went wild, helping out with a fervent singalong. One of the most memorable moments came at the end of the set, though. McMahon recalled his battle with cancer and then finished with “Cecilia and the Satellite,” with his daughter Cecilia (whom he dedicated the song to) assisting on vocals.
The crowd must’ve gotten the memo that Dr. Dog are soon retiring from playing live shows, because the massive audience gathered to see their set on the smaller Sutro Stage stretched as far as the eye could see. Their psych-rock meets jam band stylings were perfect for chill afternoon listening. The back half of opener “Ain’t It Strange” opened into an expansive instrumental breakdown, and “Heart It Races” featured some excellent, skittering guitar riffs.
Vampire Weekend’s intro music was Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” and the band confidently delivered on that assertion. The packed crowd witnessed the band’s only gig of 2021, which featured a solid mix of their entire discography. (The fans cheered especially loud for the name-dropping of San Francisco in “Step.”) The band’s live renditions often opened up into expansive instrumentation, which was fitting for the Bay Area’s rich history with jam bands.
Throughout the set, guitarist Brian Robert Jones proved to be an absolute virtuoso, delivering a screaming solo on “Sunflower” and adding some squiggly riffs “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.” Koenig also showed off his vocal chops, whether it was using a talk box for the warbled sounds of “2021” or delivering the soaring finish to “Diane Young.”
The band really hit their stride with their closing bunch of songs, leaning on their self-titled debut album — with “A-Punk,” “Campus,” “Oxford Comma” and “Walcott” — which kept the crowd jumping and singing along till the very end.
Lizzo gets the costume contest award for Outside Lands Day 2. After a brief interlude, she reemerged as the “Squid Game” doll, with background dancers in matching jumpers. This energetic dance break featured quick cuts between DMX’s “Party Up (Up in Here)”, Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” Lil Wayne’s “Uproar” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” (And yes, they even did the iconic dance on the latter.) Lizzo seemed to be having some of the most fun of all the acts at Outside Lands, going for the knockout from the get-go with a flurry of hits (“Rumors,” “Tempo,” “Good As Hell”). Lizzo’s live band also deserves serious kudos for taking her live performance to the next level, especially in the guitar department on “Rumors” and “Soulmate.”
Of course, Lizzo’s powerful vocal range was on full display as well, hitting long sustained notes on “Good As Hell” and “Cuz I Love You” — the latter drawing a huge chant of “Lizzo! Lizzo! Lizzo!” from the crowd. For “Jerome,” Lizzo implored the crowd to shine their phones: “This light is for the love you have for yourself.” She was greeted by a sea of lights, swaying to her voice.
After briefly departing the stage, she returned for an encore, playing her smash hit “Juice.” She even showed her musical versatility by playing the flute here. “San Francisco has always shown me love for nearly a decade,” Lizzo commented earlier in the set. It seems like the Bay Area will have Lizzo’s back for the next decade and beyond, as well.