The time has come again where thousands of people gather in Golden Gate Park - most of them underdressed, unaware of the "San Francisco Summer" - and have a nonstop three-day dance party as the Outside Lands festival has finally announced its lineup. And well done, Ranger Dave (for those of you who don't know, Ranger Dave is the festival's mascot who manages all things OSL). You would think after seeing Radiohead and LCD Soundsystem on nearly every lineup this year, we'd get a little sick of it. But nope, it's still just as exciting to see on every lineup that drops. Other big headliners for OSL are Lionel Richie, J. Cole and Lana Del Rey (why?) followed by some exciting names like Duran Duran, Sufjan Stevens, Foals, St. Lucia, Griz, DIIV, and many, many more. You don't need us to sit here and tell you every single obvious/who-would-miss-that sets or the names we mentioned in our Lollapalooza post, but here's a list of sets that you have to catch at Outside Lands this year.
Yeah, duh. LCD Soundsystem is a band that you have to see - whether you're a fan or not - because they will reduce you to some of the happiest tears of your life. Maybe it'll be the anticipation of the everlasting intro to "All My Friends" that leads to the sweetest realization that you're surrounded by all of your (new and old) friends at a festival, dancing to a song that lasts over 7-minutes called "All My Friends." Or maybe it'll be all the endorphins that are being released as you "Dance Yrself Clean." Either way, literal tears could happen.
Grimes seems to be a goddess of an otherworldly area of pop. She's boundary pushing, experimental, and completely out of left field. She doesn't just stand there and sing into her microphone. She has back-up dancers, costume changes and acid-like, psychedelic visuals. And with the release of last year's Art Angels, it'll definitely be a show you can't miss.
Chance the Rapper
Chance the Rapper is very underrated as a hip-hop artist and as a performer. The 22-year-old is about to release his third mixtape this month and has been featured on several tracks - especially in the past year. And once you see this Chicago-native perform live, there's no doubt that you'll be a Chance the Rapper fanboy/girl. His energy and stage presence is so contagious that you end up jumping around - borderline mosh pit-style - throughout the whole set.
If you haven't jumped on the dream-pop bandwagon that is Beach House, now's your chance. They released two studio albums in 2015, Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars and they are filled with the feathery vocals of France-born vocalist, Victoria LeGrand, and a plethora of keys and guitar chords from her bandmate, Alex Scally. Take a break from all the jumping and daydream a little during this hypnotizing set.
Miguel's release of Wildheart in 2015 brought the new-wave R&B artist into the limelight a little more after he switched record labels and went M.I.A. for a couple years. In February, he released an EP, Rogue Waves, which is five different versions of his Wildheart track "Waves" with collaborations from Travis $cott, RAC, Kasey Musgraves and Tame Impala. He's performed the different versions on a few TV talk shows and he's showcased some pretty killer dance moves. Will he play all five versions during his set at OSL? We see a possible surprise artist possibility during this set.
Ra Ra Riot
Ra Ra Riot is an indie-rock group consisting of four members and some pretty damn fun dance songs. They've just released their fourth studio album, Need Your Light, in February and it might be their best yet. Think Vampire Weekend, Freelance Whales, and Miniature Tigers...but add an incredible violinist and frontman/vocalist, Wes Miles, and his capability to hit one hell of a high note and you have an indie-rock band that sets themselves apart from the others.
This British piano-pop singer was on our list for "10 Powerhouse Vocalists to Watch in 2016" and for a very good reason. The 19-year-old released two EPs in 2015, Let It Out and Grow, which display her slightly folky vocals as she woos you with her piano skills. She connected with Sam Smith's management team and sounds a bit like Ellie Goulding so we'd say this is one set that's worth checking out.
If you're into Dawes, The Head and The Heart, and Bahamas...you have to check out Lord Huron at Outsidelands. They're an indie-folk band based in Los Angeles and they're fairly new to the game. They released their debut album in 2012, Lonesome Dreams, and just last year, they dropped their sophomore album, Strange Trails, and they're both guitar-heavy with hazy vocals and harmonies.
A French-Cuban musical duo of twin sisters that sing in both English and Yoruba should be all I have to say for you to be curious about this set. Their music is jazz-infused with several instruments and heavy beats that produce a sound that you rarely hear. Their hit track, "River" is a beat-heavy song paired with powerful vocals and keys. Ibeyi could be the most unique set of Outsidelands.
Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals
Anderson .Paak already has several studio albums and EPs since he debuted in 2010 and he's currently killin' it. He's gained a lot of respect and recognition with his January release of his studio album, Malibu, and it features Schoolboy Q, The Game, Rapsody, and Talib Kweli so we'd say a guest performance from one of the above is highly likely. He'll be joined onstage with his band, The Free Nationals, as he fuses R&B and hip-hop and will absolutely be displaying the most hip outfits out there.