Another year, another adventure at Outside Lands awaits. Of the three years that I’ve been in San Francisco for this magical festival, this year’s lineup is arguably the most impressive. The headliners are about as diverse as they come: Elton John (to please the old school crowd), Mumford & Sons (to please the nostalgic crowd), The Black Keys (to please the rocker crowd), Sam Smith (to please the emotional crowd), and Kendrick Lamar (to please the hip-hop crowd). And yet there’s something appealing to the general music fan in all of these artist. Suffice it to say, they nailed it this year.
And that’s not just because of the big name headliners they’re bringing in. There is an amazing amount of rising stars in the smaller print names coming to the festival this year. To make sure you get the most out of your Outside Lands experience this year, we’ve picked 10 must-see acts who fall in the non-headliner category. And for fun, we’ve also put together an Outside Lands playlist to get you excited for the fun next weekend. Hit the jump to continue reading.
Broods (12:45 – 1:30)
Sibling duo Broods came in hot in 2014, claiming hearts with their hit single “Bridges” that features Georgia Nott’s soft vocals over a backdrop of synths and piano lines. They’ve toured with the likes of Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith; if they continue at their current pace, it won’t be long before they’re on the world’s biggest stages.
Leon Bridges (2:25 – 3:15)
When people ask me who the next big thing is, Leon Bridges is always one of the contenders. The gospel soul singer from Fort Worth, Texas is making music that sounds like it’s straight out of a different 1950’s or 60’s. His story is just as unique as his music; while trying to gain traction in the music world, he made money on the side by washing dishes. It’s safe to say Leon won’t need to go back to that line of work, as he’s since been picked up by Columbia and his hit song “Coming Home” has been played nearly 10 million times on Spotify.
George Ezra (3:45 – 4:35)
Speaking of playcount on Spotify, fancy this: George Ezra’s song “Budapest” has been streamed almost 180 million times. Consider one more thing: this guy is only 22 years old. Check out this rising youngster and his addictive bluesy sound and baritone voice on Friday afternoon.
Glass Animals (5:05 – 5:55)
If you’re a fan of psychadelic music, you need to check out t. I got hooked on their song “Gooey,” which admittedly is a really weird song, but “you just wanna know those peanut butter vibes” is just such a good line. These guys take the stage just after 5:00 on a Friday – go get weird with them.
MisterWives (1:00 – 1:50)
We’ve been writing about Misterwives for a couple years around here, so it’s awesome to see that they’ve been included in the Outside Lands lineup, and featured on a Saturday nonetheless. These guys have a ton of energy – go get your day started with a fun band who’s likely to perform some great covers in addition to highlights from their 2014 album.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra (2:05 – 2:55)
It’s no surprise that these guys have been gaining serious traction; they’ve been receiving critical acclaim since they released their first song in 2010. Fast forward 5 years: “Multi-Love” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra is one of my favorite songs of 2015.
Fantastic Negrito (2:55 – 3:35)
Hop over to the Panhandle stage to hear the incredible voice of Oakland native Fantastic Negrito, who’s making music that tells stories of the rough ride he’s had in life. Faced with a couple near-death experiences, Fantastic Negrito thought he had lost it all and turned away from music. But when his son was born, he felt compelled to created blues music and is quickly making a name for himself as a rising star.
Milky Chance (5:40 – 6:30)
Milky Chance is a FUN group to see live. They pull out all the stops to bring the party. With a plethora of hit songs, you’re sure to have a blast watching these guys. It’ll be interesting to see how their sound changes in an outdoor space, as they love to really crank the bass in an indoor venue, but I don’t doubt they’ll still find a way to make the ground shake a bit. It wont be long before they’re headlining big festivals – be sure to catch them now.
G-Eazy (6:55 – 7:55)
Get ready for Kendrick’s headlining performance by getting into the hip-hop groove with G-Eazy, who’s also a Bay Area native. We’ve been following Young Gerald for years and have seen him grow from a relatively small-name white rapper creating a unique sound of his own to a pretty big name who’s collaborating with the likes of E-40 and A$AP Ferg. This isn’t a small name rapper anymore – get familiar.
James Bay (2:05 – 2:50)
Start your Sunday with some James Bay, whose voice is one of those things you don’t stumble across every day. For fans of Hozier, Ed Sheeran, and Vance Joy, James Bay is your new best friend.
Outside Lands 2015 Playlist