Pharrell Williams performing with N.E.R.D at Outside Lands in San Francisco

Outside Lands – Day One Recap (SLIDESHOW)

in SF Concert Reviews by

Day one of Outside Lands has come to a close. The latest iteration of the iconic Bay Area festival came together without a glitch and with artists hitting the stage exactly on time, which is an impressive accomplishment considering the sheer size of this event. Along with some tasty food options and fancy elixirs from wineries and breweries of the area, the performances were on point.

We saw a stunning show from rising star and 16-year-old Billie Eilish, who took the stage with what looked like a broken foot. She made the best of the situation and laughed it off,  although at one point admitted to the crowd that “this is lame.”

Pharrell played a high-energy set with his original homeboys N.E.R.D.  On top of performing one of the highest-energy sets of the day, the highlight included a stunning dance display by Mette Towley, the star of their “Lemon” video.

Odesza brought their futuristic synth dream pop in full force, complete with full drum line to accompany their ethereal melodies. The backdrop consisted of captivating visuals that turned an ordinary EDM show into a full-fledged multimedia experience.

Closing out the show was The Weeknd. He opened the show with some of his bigger hits including “Starboy,” which had the crowd bouncing in unison the infectious beat of the song that made him famous. This is the best we’ve seen him sound and many in the crowd went so far as to claim that his set was a life-changing experience.

There’s more to come as this epic festival goes through the weekend with a closing set from none other than cultural icon Janet Jackson on Sunday.

Photos by: Louis Raphael


Having released albums under Digital Nations, a label founded by Steve Vai, music critic Louis Raphael has remained deeply connected to the pulse of the San Francisco music scene. Following his tenure as the San Francisco Music Examiner for and, he embarked on creating Music in SF® to authentically highlight the vibrant offerings of the city's music scene.

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