Outside Lands 2011 (Day 3): Julieta Venegas

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Day 3: finally a sunny day in the Bay! I started early by getting my groove on to DJ Platurn‘s funky mash-ups and then catching the Latyrx reunion, with local legends Lyrics Born and Lateef rocking the mics with a live band and DJ.

But what we were all expecting was Julieta Venegas‘ show. Even I (a confessed non-fan of the Tijuana songstress) was excited about it, because it had been rumored backstage since Day 2 that there was a big chance of Julieta inviting her friend Ana Tijoux on stage to perform “Eres Para Mi” (the song that introduced Ana to the non-hip hop audiences across the continent).

I personally asked Ana if that was in her plans and she said she was definitely coming to see Julieta and she was open to go up on stage if she was invited, but what she really wanted was to meet Julieta’s newborn daughter Simona. Then on Sunday I got a text message from Ana’s tour manager saying “Come see Julieta” and it was obvious, it was going to happen.

Julieta’s show was the exact opposite of Ximena’s the day before. She didn’t even pronounce one word in English, not even a “thank you” and focused exclusively in the vast majority of the crowd, her Spanish-speaking fans.

I wonder what was going through the minds of the many gringos mixed in the crowd waiting to see Little Dragon scheduled after this girl with weird eyebrows dressed up like a soccer referee.

Then Ana finally came out and you could sense the excitement in the crowd, but that excitement was rapidly lost due to a sound mishap. Ana grabbed her mic and started spitting her rhymes as soon as came on stage but nobody could hear a word she was saying. Apparently the line for her mic was completely turned down and the sound engineer had just decided to take a break… so nobody was there to fix it! Talk about some anxiety-inducing moment!

She could hear herself on her headphone so, unaware of the problem, she kept going through her whole verse while fans started to get impatient and scream at the sound guy to fix it. By the time it was fixed it was also too late, we could only hear Ana do some call-and-response at the end of the track and that was it.

The rest of Julieta’s show was impeccable and her fans were pleased with a selection of all her hits. If it wasn’t for Ana’s accident and the dude standing right behind me screaming/singing along to every single word of Julieta’s songs (you’re a grown-up man for god’s sake!) I would’ve had a great time too.

I stayed to see Little Dragon after Julieta which wasn’t a wise decision, I should’ve gone to Major Lazer, but that’s the thing about festivals of this kind, for every act you get to see, you’re missing out on other four. Later I had to choose between ending the third day’s night with Arcade Fire or Deadmau5 and I went for the second option. Even though by then my legs were sore from so much dancing and walking and just standing it somehow made more sense to say good bye to the Golden Gate Park by dancing surrounded by a multitude of 17 year old kids with jumping up and down glow-sticks shaped like mouse ears.

Click on DAY 1 and DAY 2 to read what else happened during Outside Lands Music Festival.