Day two of Outside Lands brought the biggest crowd of the weekend, and with that it gave a platform to a heavier genre, once thought to be a fad of the early 2000’s. From top to bottom, the day’s bill was packed with pop-punk artists new, old, and some bridging the gap in between, proving once and for all, pop punk’s not dead.
Starting the afternoon off on the Lands End stage, recent pop punk breakthrough artist Kennyhoopla gave his first of two sets of the day on the biggest stage in Golden Gate Park. He opened with one of his earlier hits, “lost cause//” but quickly brought the energy up with his second song “survivors guilt//” and kept the tempo up from there. Commanding the big stage throughout his show, he was quick to run around the stage playing every hit from “hollywood sucks//” to “turn back time//.” Toward the end of his set he expressed his gratitude to the audience claiming “This is my last festival of the summer. I’m glad I could be here.” He finished the set with one of the singles that helped him rise to fame and rejuvenate his genre over the past few years “estella//.” In a display of incredible work ethic and love for his craft, the artist also performed a second time that day as the sun began to set over the park on the Honda stage, this time to perform an hour-long set behind a DJ booth, but grabbing the microphone for one final song from his typical style of performance, “estella//” to close his second show the same way he did his first.
Borrowing from the belief the pop-punk is the genre we all need right now, the Emo Night collective sent a group to perform to the Panhandle stage Saturday afternoon. The group has become a staple amongst fans of the genre over the past few years, starting with a few musicians covering the music of the bands that frequented the likes of the Vans Warped Tour across the bars of Los Angeles to a Nationwide experiment giving shows on some of the biggest stages in music. The representatives from the group in attendance that day alternated between instruments and vocals depending on the songs covered which ranged from every Emo band imaginable from Paramore to Fall Out Boy. Walking off the stage giving some support to the artists on the day’s bill who inspired them, one member announced loudly into the microphone “We’ll see you at Green Day.”
North Shield’s UK breakthrough artist of the year Sam Fender gave a performance that left the crowd wondering if he might become the Bruce Springsteen of his generation, opening with “Will We Talk?” Playing that day not just for the first time at the Outside Lands festival, but his first time in San Francisco, he delivered a unique classic rock sound with a personal twist. The singer and guitarist was stranger to the peculiar name he was given at birth, claiming at one point “I know it sounds like a shit stage name, but my Dad was Alan Fender, my grandad’s name was Don Fender.” He gave a glimpse into some of his rawer and thrasher music while he played his recent hit “Howdon Aldi Death Queue” claiming half-joking before he began the piece “I wrote this song in five minutes and it’s completely fucking stupid. It’s about going to the grocery store during the pandemic.” He reigned in his angst by the end of the set, finishing his performance with an anthem with a tone befitting today’s music festival ambiance “Seventeen Going Under.”
The day ended much how it began, with a heavy representation from the pop-punk community on the Lands End stage. Headlining band Green Day capped off day, giving an absolutely flooring performance. There could hardly be a better headliner for the Outside Lands festival than Green Day. One of the greatest bands to come out of the Bay Area who’s music has spoken to audiences across generations, the Oakland legends drew a crowd that reminded them that they were in fact home. Starting their set early, Billy Joe Armstrong and company began their set with “American Idiot” and the crowd was theirs to command from there. Armstrong reminisced on his early days as a musician in the Bay Area, recalling a time they tried to play a show in San Francisco’s Dolores Park, but were denied by the police, before playing “Welcome to Paradise” which was ironically written about the East Bay. Their setlist throughout remained immaculate, playing a full catalog of songs published over the past four decades including “Brain Stew,” “Minority,” and “21 Guns” while paying homage along the way to some of their influences by covering Operation Ivy’s “Knowlege” and San Francisco legends Journey’s “Lights.” The penultimate song of their set, the band played all five movements of their nine-minute opus “Jesus of Suburbia” before Armstrong picked up an acoustic guitar to end the set with a song that has been played at every graduation since 1997, “Good Riddance (Time of your Life.)”