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Outside Lands

When: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Aug. 11-13

Where: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Admission: $149- $795

Information: sfoutsidelands.com

With the 2017 Outside Lands Music Festival opening today, you’re likely busy trying to map out your three-day musical adventure. Boasting six consecutive sold-out years and celebrating the 10-year of anniversary of San Francisco’s biggest music, food, wine, beer, art and comedy party, this year’s festival isn’t one to miss.

Running Aug. 11-13, the fest features three days’ worth of adventures at Golden Gate Park. It’s hard to pick out just which acts to catch with the immense catalog of artists on the bill. With seven different stages and 70 acts, including Metallica, The Who and Gorillaz, we picked a few must-see artists for you to catch at this year’s festival — aside from each night’s headliner that needs no introduction.

Cage the Elephant

Why you should catch them: Festivals always warn you line-ups are subject to change before you purchase tickets. Granted, that still didn’t prepare anyone for Queens of the Stone Age to drop off the bill two weeks before Outside Lands. Luckily the band wasn’t replaced by just anyone and indie-rockers Cage the Elephant are set to fill in. It almost seems like a miracle that festival organizers were able to add the group so last minute, after all, Cage the Elephant are already hitting a number of notable music festivals this summer such as New York’s Governors Ball, Chicago’s Lollapalooza and Life Is Beautiful in Downtown Vegas.

Though it’s a bummer Queens of the Stone Age won’t be making the festival, Cage the Elephant’s set won’t be one to miss.

Song you hope they play: Close your eyes and get transported to an alien planet. The song “Come a Little Closer” is best described as a day trip of hazy guitar riffs and catchy hooks, basically a good time all around.

Song you might know: If you haven’t heard the song “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” you’ve probably been hiding under a rock. Chances are you’ve heard it on the radio, or on a number of TV shows, including “The Vampire Diaries,” or maybe even over the speakers during a late night trip to Safeway.

Recommended if you like: Young The Giant, Portugal. The Man, Local Natives.

Tove Lo

Why you should catch her: Madonna pushed boundaries in the ‘80s. She was provocative and unafraid to sing about sex and promiscuity, and wore whatever the heck she wanted regardless of what people thought.

She brought something new to mainstream culture and forever changed pop music, much like Swedish singer Tove Lo is currently doing. Her first album, “Queen of the Clouds,” featured provocative catchy tunes where the singer spoke of getting high to forget her heartache and defying traditional expectations of beauty.

Her newest album, “Lady Wood.” explores darker themes and is accompanied by a short film titled “Fairy Dust.“ The video follows her through a journey of dependency on drugs, relationships with both men and women, as well as a destructive co-dependent relationship that leads to the death of a lover.

It’s for these very reasons Tove Lo will be remembered as a pop legend years from now and is a must-see at this year’s Outside Lands.

Song you hope she plays: As the opening track to Tove Lo’s second album Lady Wood, the song “Influence” has a pretty good chance of making her set list.

The track features rapper Wiz Khalifa and is fun to dance to.

Song you might know: “Habits (Stay High)” is likely Tove Lo’s best-known song. The tune is the ultimate break-up song and is catchy and relatable despite the drug references.

Recommended if you like: Madonna, Halsey, Gwen Stefani.


Why you should catch her: “Beyonce’s sister.” Those are the first two words I heard slip out of my friend’s mouth as she played me a track by Solange Knowles but after listening to the younger of the Knowles sisters, I’d say “crazy talented” would be more accurate.

While yes, there is no denying that Beyonce Knowles is one of the most talented female artists in the music industry, Solange Knowles is a fresh breath of soulful air. Starting out as a Destiny’s Child backup dancer in her teens, Solange Knowles stepped up to the forefront and captivated an audience of her own.

With her music falling some place between Ms.Lauryn Hill and the dearly departed Aaliyah, her songs are passionate, beautifully crafted works of art that you won’t want to miss at Outside Lands.

Song you hope she plays: “Don’t Let Me Down” from the 2012 album “True” is a funky synth-driven tune with catchy bass lines.

Song you might know: “Cranes in the Sky” is a beautiful ballad speaking of self-reflection. It was the first single off her latest record, “A Seat at the Table,” and earned her a Grammy at the 59th Grammy Awards.

Recommended if you like: Aaliyah, Erykah Badu, Ms. Lauryn Hill.

How To Dress Well (Tom Krell)

Why you should catch him: Experimental music is generally an umbrella term for when you’re not sure what to classify an artist.

It’s usually either brilliant because it explores a new music realm others have yet to discover, or it’s a bunch of noise that makes your head hurt. How To Dress Well (the stage name for Tom Krell’s music) most definitely falls under the former.

The first time I saw Krell perform was at the 2016 Treasure Island Music Festival. It was pouring rain, there were canceled performances and artist’s set times were pushed back significantly. Krell and his touring band took the stage despite the horrible weather and played with only six sound channels instead of the usual 36 and had to leave the stage after only playing three songs.

Despite all of this, his performance made the rain-soaked festival attendees smile and cheer for more. At times sounding like true pop songs, other times more reminiscent of R&B and dance, this is an artist you won’t want to skip.

Song you hope he plays: With upbeat synthesized beats “Can’t You Tell,” off How To Dress Well’s latest album “Care,” is the perfect soundtrack for any summer romance.

Song you might know: “& It Was U” was part of an Urban Outfitters Music Video series. The song has old-school R&B vibes.

Recommended if you like: Perfume Genius, Tea Shi, Shy Girls.

NoName (Fatimah Warner)

Why you should catch her: If poetry met hip-hop and had a love child, the child would probably sound like Fatimah Warner, better known as Noname.

The rapper first started writing poetic notes after taking a creative writing class in high school, then started to perform spoken word at open mic nights throughout Chicago.

You might recognize her voice from Chance The Rapper’s 2013 “Acid Rap” album as she appeared on the track “Lost,” or by her former stage name Noname Gypsy.

Her self-released first album “Telefone” is a brilliant and poetic record that she describes as “an introductory conversation with someone you’re interested in.”

Her rap flows are not only witty and creative but they speak of her real-life themes such as loss of loved ones and the importance of happiness versus making money.

Song you hope she plays: With creative lines about wishing to make property disappear with magic words like abracadabra and snuggles to make your monthly rent, the song “Forever” is the perfect example of how creative and colorful Noname’s lyrics are.

Song you might know: “Diddy Bop” is a relatable song about growing up in Chicago, fond memories about getting into trouble as a kid and appreciating where you come from. You might recognize the song from NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert” series.

Recommended if you like: Kamaiyah, Chance The Rapper, Snow Tha Product.

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