Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Outside Lands

Last week provided another opportunity to polish my packing skills as I was challenged to pack for both sweltering 100 degree temperatures in Los Angeles and foggy San Francisco days in the 50s. I'm proud to say I came out on top! It's as if I'd been competing against myself in a lifelong pursuit of acing the sport of packing and finally earned the golden suitcase trophy.

I'd been looking forward to San Francisco's three-day music festival, Outside Lands, all summer and it didn't disappoint. It provided the perfect canvas to meet with LA friends and an eclectic assortment of music, all of it amazing.

Unfortunately, the weather was less than amazing. Each day began with the promise of sunshine in the Pacific Heights neighborhood where I was staying, which inevitably dimmed as we bussed into foggy Golden Gate Park. You could literally feel it dropping five additional degrees upon penetrating the park on foot.

The first day I naively wore a white sundress with a hippie sensibility I thought fit the atmosphere. Cut to me shivering through a 30-minute hot chocolate line later that night. As I chattered through Neil Young's set and mourned the last sip of said hot chocolate, I vowed to layer up for the rest of the weekend. So the rest of the days, I forgo-ed (forwent?) fashion for functional layering. I also gave up my intentions to fishtail braid my hair, opting to wear my hair down as a quasi-scarf.

Here's a cheat sheet for the weekend:

Sexiest band: Portugal. The Man. Each band member was sexier than the last! Hubba hubba.

Most sardined moments: 1) Squeezing onto the jam-packed bus at the end of each night. 2) Being funneled through the exit as part of a molasses-moving crowd that erupted into "Build Me Up Buttercup."

Most hilariously long guitar solo: Neil Young. It wasn't so much a guitar solo as an 8-minute outro that consisted of one note played repeatedly. The legend dragged it out (albeit passionately) until it reached an unbelievable, comic height.

Best of the weekend: Stevie Wonder. His voice just as clear and beautiful as ever, Stevie's two-hour set was a feel-good session packed with hits. He's just so good.

Most badass chick: Alison Mosshart of The Kills. With a black and white striped blouse, platinum-to-red ombre hair, and skinny black jeans and boots, she evoked a sexy rock & roll Tim Burton character.

Things I'm definitely bringing next time: hand sanitizer, gloves, a flag to make it easier to meet up with friends. "Meet me by the windmills" or "in between the churro stand and the speaker" just doesn't cut it.

Geeking out with my ticket before entering on the first day.

Me and the beautiful Stephanie. She was way tougher when it came to the cold.

Neil Young. He grimaced through most of his set, which made his smiles all the sweeter.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

Alison Mosshart of The Kills.

Dr. Dog, or as we renamed him, Kanine M.D.

Hangin' on in the jam-packed bus!

Wine Lands.

Who says you can't eat healthfully at a music festival?

Corn dogs and chile cheese fries? As if! This is San Francisco!

Healthy eating has its limits though, hence Choco Lands!

Michelle fashioned this flower crown herself. She's one crafty lady.

Passion Pit.

Lights and music are on my mind.

Stevie. His hairline is receding but he's committed to those dreads. I respect that.

Despite two dead phones and a vague meeting place, I still met up with Michelle! Whew. Sister sister!

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