A week ago, San Francisco treated us to a lovely weekend of music for Outside Lands 2010. This year though, I was blessed by Big Hassle PR’s Chris V. We got to bring the Canon to jump in the photo pits to make the visuals coincide with the verbiage. The entire weekend was great, but there were a few stand-out acts I want to share with you. Join us won’t you?

My buddy Kurt used to talk at length about the live show of Gogol Bordello, and I’m sad that I didn’t take his word for it before. This band of energetic gypsy travelers got me and the entire Land’s End crowd up and dancing early on in the weekend. Lead singer Eugene Hutz has a new place in my musical heart, with his passion for the gypsy culture emanating at every guitar strum. Gogol Bordello is something that is so off the walls, yet so familiar to our very nature. I think that’s why the band can make it so easy to get along with them. Rumor has it they played music for friends and onlookers backstage even after their set was over. True musicians.

Janelle Monae was one of the main reasons I made the 800 mile trek to the foggy city. At only 24, her list of achievements is quite impressive. Already joined by industry heavyweights Big Boi (on her single Tightrope) and being signed by Diddy, she’s just getting the party started. Her dramatic theatre training plays out perfectly on the main stage, becoming something more than just a simple musical. The android made us all dance to the notes of yesteryear, with her band being just as excited as we all were. Above being an amazing singer and dancer, this girl has a flawless look, which you’ll see in the pictures I took. The only bad part of her set was its length, as the band had travel delays that threw us all off a little.

The living legend Al Green was probably the most fun I’ve had as a concert photographer yet. He was so greatful to be in our world, and the feeling was reciprocated accordingly. He hasn’t lost his sex appeal, as the girls were moments away from throwing naughty articles of clothing in return for the roses he threw out. Reciprocation squared. He played all his greats, and even paid tribute to those before him who helped him along the way (Marvin Gaye and the Four Tops to name a couple). His band really brought the noise, and I had the chance to give em dap backstage after their set.

Paramount to the weekend though, was the discovery of Empire of the Sun. As I had already seen Kings of Leon recently, I followed the wise words of beautiful Cascade Wilhelm (a bay area photographer), and hit the Twin Peaks stage with camera ready. I had never heard of the band, but apparently they had done four sold out shows in Los Angeles just before Outside Lands. Their stage show is something to admire, with frontman Luke Steele living up to his superhero name. Dancers in wild costumes, pumping bass, and videos of starships sailing across interstellar seas flew past, with a crowd screaming “DON’T WANT TO TALK! ALL I HEARD IS NOISE!”  made me wish I was a diehard fan prior to the show.

It was the perfect way to round out the weekend, and give us enough energy to carry us back home to Los Angeles. We look forward to being a part of the festivities next year, and we hope you do the same.

I leave you with the gallery of the festival below!

Until next time my friends,

~Flak

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