Outside Lands (Day 3) Goes Out on a High Note with Tame Impala, Brittany Howard, Nelly (FESTIVAL RECAP/PHOTOS)

All of a sudden, Day 3 of Outside Lands arrived to close out the weekend’s festivities. Tons of artists and fans rocked creative costumes in celebration of Halloween. (Hello, Caroline Polachek as Marie Antoinette and Tame Impala as The Wiggles!) Another huge crowd turned out early and held strong on the main stage all the way till the end of the evening. Here are four sets that stood out from Day 3:  

Caroline Polachek

Caroline Polachek showed off her impressive vocal range throughout her performance, especially on “Sunset” and an electrifying cover of the Corrs’ classic hit “Breathless.” Guitarist/bassist Matthew Horton’s work also stood out, as he unleashed massive riffs on cuts like “Caroline Shut Up.” 


Nelly turned out to be a fantastic pick for a mid-afternoon main stage set. The St. Louis rapper reminded the massive audience just how deep his well of hit singles runs from his 20+ year career, mixing in “E.I.,” “Where the Party At” and “Ride Wit Me” in the early phase of the set. Even more surprisingly, Nelly leaned into his cross-genre interests, rolling through his two collaborations (“Cruise” and “Lil Bit”) with country stalwarts Florida Georgia Line. And he brought things full circle by also playing “Over and Over,” his throwback hit with Tim McGraw. 

Throughout the set, Nelly showcased his strong mastery of his flow and delivery, often rapping with no instrumental backing on tracks like “Lil Bit” and “Get Like Me.” The set closed with huge singalongs for “Hot in Herre,” “Dilemma” and “Just a Dream” — getting plenty of support from “the folks in California that been rocking with Nelly since day one.” 

Brittany Howard

Brittany Howard impressed with her powerhouse vocals throughout her set, whether on down-tempo jams (“Baby”) or soaring cuts (“Georgia”). Her guitar work, alongside her extraordinary backing band, also excelled with rollicking, bluesy riffs on tracks like “Hit It and Quit It” and “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher.” The set closed on a powerful note with her spoken word stylings within “13th Century Metal” and a soulful rendition of Nina Simone’s “Revolution.” 

Tame Impala

Tame Impala fully leaned into the tricks and treats of Halloween for a brain-melting headlining set. The show began with a faux pharmaceutical ad, complete with a doctor hawking “Rushium,” a drug promising “large time collapses staged within memory and the effective present.” As the doctor droned on, her voice and image became slowly distorted until becoming an abstract psychedelic design. Suddenly, the stage lights cut out, and the PA announced that in fact Tame Impala would not be performing (wink, wink), but instead would be replaced by none other than The Wiggles. 

Kevin Parker and co., each rocking The Wiggles-emblazoned sweaters, emerged onstage and opened the set with “Endors Toi.” The show was carried by the band’s incredible visuals, lighting, smoke, and lasers, which were all in strong effect on their hit “Elephant.” “Go crazy, San Francisco,” Parker implored the crowd, which bounced to the track’s chunky guitar riff and bassline. 

Up next came “Yes I’m Changing” — getting its tour debut and first play since 2019 — which showcased Parker’s voice as he strode across the stage to engage the crowd from all sides. “Apocalypse Dreams” followed and showed the full power of their custom lighting rig. The giant circular contraption above the stage slowly descended to the stage like a UFO, emitting smoke and flashing lights as the band slowed the track’s instrumentation down to a crawl. 

Parker got the crowd moving again when it was time for “Anything Can Happen” and “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards.” “I wanna see everyone going crazy,” he urged the audience during the pulsing, mid-set synth breakdown of the former. 

After departing the stage, the band returned for a two-song encore. (“We heard there was a Wiggles chant,” Parker quipped.) Tame Impala closed out the 2021 edition of Outside Lands with sprawling renditions of “The Less I Know the Better” and “New Person, Same Old Mistakes.” The hit of Rushium may have made everyone in the audience “feel like a brand new person” after all.

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