The new and old vanguards of punk bookended day two of Golden Gate Park’s Outside Lands Music Festival, headlined by Bay Area-born rock band Green Day and sprinkled with sets by Mac DeMarco, LA’s sensuous Empress Of, and punk rock protégés, The Linda Lindas.
Amidst a sea of group costumes—from Power Rangers to Woody and Buzz Lightyear pairings to the requisite banana or two—there were also some legitimate celebs, among them local VIP, Mayor London Breed.
Youth punk rock quartet The Linda Lindas brought their raw energy and sheer precocity to their midday performance. Their noon set on Saturday was a good indication that the 2021 phenom group that went viral after an LA library performance may actually have quite a long career ahead of them. They have a strong sense of style, scream hard and play with passion. This is the new punk. Are you listening, Pussy Riot?
The Standard’s team also caught up with Mayor Breed as she was being golf-carted toward whichever section of VIP hosts sitting mayors. And while she confessed that she hadn’t consulted the schedule, she told us she was excited about Jack Harlow and “all the big rockers and fun people to watch.” (Jack Harlow?! Not Larry June?)
@sfstandard San Francisco Mayor London Breed made it to Outside Lands Day 2 – here’s who she’s excited to see! #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #outsidelands #bayarea #sanfrancisco #osl #osl2022 #sftok #sftiktok ♬ original sound – The San Francisco Standard
We also ran into Phil Rosenthal of Somebody Feed Phil-Netflix fame as he was milling about, clearly content from a burrito he’d had from Il Canto’s Ferry Building location earlier. Later, from the GastroMagic stage, Rosenthal and his daughter Lily teamed up with local TikToker Salt Hank to toss some lemons into the crowd while preparing a chicken parm with vodka sauce.
@sfstandard Phil Rosenthal, creator and host of “Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix, stopped to talk about his show at Outside Lands 2022 and his favorite things in San Francisco. #osl #osl2022 #outsidelands #sftok #sftiktok #somebodyfeedphil #food #festival #sanfrancisco #fyp #foryou #foryoupage ♬ Funk It Up – Official Sound Studio
Channeling big Shakira energy in a zippered top and giant cross, LA’s Empress Of mounted the most sensual set of the weekend so far. With the Sutro stage stripped down to its elements, she and her DJ—wearing a bikini and a “Will Travel for Disco” hat and nothing else—channeled the Queen of Wands, the Moon and the other tarot cards with a connection to the divine feminine. “I don’t want to live in a man’s world anymore,” she sang. Judging by the composition of her audience, she wasn’t alone there.
Mac DeMarco, possibly the strangest Canadian of all time who could also be cast simultaneously as the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat, cruised laconically through his Lands End set—his warbling psychedelic guitar effects perfect for mid-afternoon but with an energy level perhaps better suited for a more intimate venue. A detour through the well-lit SOMA tent for the youthful Berliner, Joplyn, was a necessary tonic from what would otherwise have been a pretty guitar-heavy afternoon, which culminated with Bay Area-bred rockers and day two headliners, Green Day.
Opening with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Blitzkrieg Bop” and a few snatches of “We Will Rock You,” the genuine hometown heroes united the entire park. A scratchy-sounding Billie Joe Armstrong launched into “American Idiot” and “Holiday” in what was unquestionably the highest-energy moment of days one or two as strobe effects beamed on the trees encircling Golden Gate Park’s Polo Field for the first time in the festival’s history.
Is Green Day a legacy act? It’s debatable. “I haven’t listened to them since middle school, but they’re still killing it” was pretty much the consensus across the board from festivalgoers. You could be a Gen Z blastocyst or a geriatric millennial and come to the same conclusion.
Peter-Astrid Kane can be reached at [email protected]