Elton John, Sam Smith, And Me In The Woods

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I entered the woods at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, carrying lip balm, cash, a down jacket, and a wristband to attend Outside Lands Music Festival. I was given a map to various woody locations labeled Choco Lands, Bacon Land (next to Gastro Magic), Digital Detox, solar-powered Beer Camp, and The House of Heineken. I managed to hook myself up with some smoked-coconut sugar brisket, hummus, cookies, and a glass of Pinot from Michael Mina’s Tailgate in the VIP section, and I was ready to meet my music. IMG_1512

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Over the course of the three day festival, I danced and clapped my way through several bands that were new to me. The stand outs were Django, Django (dance) on the Twin Peaks Stage in Hellman Hollow, The Allah-Las (vintage surf music vibe) on the Sutra in Lindley Meadow, and First Aid Kit at the Lands End stage on the polo field.

Django Django

Django Django
Django Django


The Black Keys

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By sunset, the headliners began to play. When Hot Chip covered Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark” the crowd went ballistic, as did I! Sam Smith had just recuperated from vocal cord surgery, and his voice sounded superb. The Black Keys had the whole polo field rocking to “Gold On The Ceiling,” among their many other rock hits. Sir Elton John closed out the festival, in his sparkly blue Captain Fantastic suit. He told us the “Your Song” was now OUR song, and every body in the crowd truly felt that it was. He thanked the fans for providing him such a beautiful life.

Sir Elton John



James Bay
Hot Chip
Sam Smith
Mumford & Sons

As I walked through the pine forest back into the city of San Francisco, I had Sam and Elton with me, They had touched my heart in a special way and we had had a moment in the woods.


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