Music News

Outside Lands Festival Dubs Beasties, Pearl Jam Worthy Headliners

As we all eagerly await the set times to be announced for this weekend's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, San Francisco's Outside Lands Festival announced its initial lineup. The headliners for the second edition of the festival, set to take place August 28-30, are the Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam, and some schlub named Dave Matthews, who apparently leads some sort of band. The Beasties continue their reign of terror over 2009's festival circuit, adding to their spot as headliners at this year's Lollapalooza festival. Pearl Jam is another worthy addition, sure to pack in the fans eager to catch a truly legendary live band. And then Dave Matthews Band will unceremoniously perform. Hopefully they won't dump shit on San Francisco tourists, but it is yet to be seen whether many of these same tourists will attend their set. Check out the full initial lineup after the jump.

Some of the top billing makes the festival seem a bit out of place in 2009, but the lineup, so far, is pretty solid. Incubus, Jason Mraz and Ween all seem as though they would have made for a pretty solid 1999 festival, yet they are on the bill for 2009's version. M.I.A., Modest Mouse and TV on the Radio help give the festival some indie cred, but my mind can't get over the fact the promoters also got the Black Eyed Peas to perform. But for every big name like them, there is a nice, smaller act to balance out the festival. Take for instance Tucson's own Calexico, a worthy addition that is sure to bring a lot of their atmosphere from their recent performance at Heritage Square.

The lineup stays tried and true to the young festival's overall goal, which is to book bands that both give great live performances (Radiohead, Pearl Jam, TV on the Radio) and bands that simply draw fans, thus selling boatloads of tickets (DMB, Jack Johnson, Ben Harper). The latter group's live sets are debatable in their overall rock concert appeal, but you can't have your cake and eat it, too with these outdoor music festivals. Sure, acoustic guitars and songs about marching ants and toes made of bubbles aren't the most rocking good time, but dammit, people want to hear these bands play and those same people will pay top dollar to make it happen. I went to Coachella last year and Jack Johnson was Friday night's headliner. Some of my money for that day's ticket inevitably went his way and there is nothing I can do about it. Such is the conundrum for these music festivals, especially for music snobs like me that have their heads firmly planted in their own asses.

Outside Lands (the original name given to the area, Golden Gate Park, where the concert is held) is making their own noise in the music festival circuit, rivaling Seattle's Bumbershoot, a similar style festival held around the same time. When music festivals compete as such, fans are the ultimate winners. Both lineups are impressive and both are worthy of serious consideration.

Tickets for Outside Lands Festival go on presale April 15-18 at the official website,

And now, the official, initial lineup:

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Michael Lopez