Wine, weather, and water â€“ Up until now, these were three of the primary reasons for booking a flight to the city where Tony Bennett left his heart.
Not to say that the music’s lacking here, but as far as the average Joe is concerned, it surely hasn’t received the mass-media attention of the Governator’s â€œcome-to-Caliâ€ commercials.
Well music lovers, take heed! San Fran increased its music-destination profile on a sunny weekend in late August when Golden Gate Park filled up with 60,000 (60,001 including me) for the first Outside Lands Festival. Even the hefty $275 price tag, and a WHOLE lotta’ walking couldn’t dampen my undying love for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. What is The Outside Lands, you ask? Isn’t that what the gold diggers first called Golden Gate Park when they came out west during the gold rush?! Well pin a rose on your nose, you’re right! In the spirit of environmentalism (that runs rampant through this city) the festival was a highly eco-friendly production. There were recycle centers, trash guides â€“ you know, the people standing at a collection of 13 different colored bins directing your waste traffic – a solar powered â€œtreeâ€ to charge your reception less cell phone, and even solar powered stages! Oh and we can’t forget the GIANT all-important wine tent. People will probably debate over who the best act was â€“ I’ve been a Tom Petty fan for a LONG time and definitely came to see him â€“ but I was really blown away by Somalian born K’naan, AKA the â€œdusty footed philosopherâ€. They put him on one of the smaller stages and the informal setting made his 30-minute set that much more powerful. K’naan rapped about revolution and freedom. He banged out simple beats on a djembe; he rarely enlisted the services of his DJ. The show spoke directly to everyone listening, as if grabbing us each by the collar and demanding that we wake up and listen to the world. It was wholly interactive and unforgettable.