5 Must-See Bay Area Artists at Outside Lands

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24KGoldn performs at Logitech Celebrates Creators at Hubble Studio on March 13, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.  (Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Logitech)

With headlining sets from Lizzo, The Strokes and Tame Impala, Outside Lands is making its long-awaited comeback on Halloween weekend after a year off because of COVID. The festival’s curation features a savvy mix of mainstream stars (reggaeton’s J Balvin, rap trendsetter Tyler, the Creator and indie rock favorites Vampire Weekend) and artists on the rise, many of whom are local.

Between the three main stages, a new club-like Soma Tent, the GastroMagic culinary programming and the Grass Lands cannabis expo, choosing what to see and do can feel overwhelming. So to help you with your planning, we have a short list of five must-see Bay Area artists to catch this year.


Salami Rose Joe Louis
Friday, Oct. 29
Panhandle Stage, 1:25pm
Grass Lands, 6pm

Instead of singing about worldly matters, Salami Rose Joe Louis brings an extraterrestrial perspective. The Oakland vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and composer’s albums play like sci-fi novels where alien beings and human characters undertake interdimensional odysseys. Her recent Zdenka album series conceals a prescient commentary on class, climate change and the state of the environment. Salami Rose sometimes performs alone with a menagerie of keyboards, and other times with her jazz ensemble Science Band, but either way her live shows always spark the imagination.

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Zhu
Saturday, Oct. 30
Twin Peaks Stage, 8:35pm

Zhu’s take on EDM is sleek like the engine of a sports car, with sophisticated, low-end-heavy beats that radiate a dark aura. The San Francisco native used to keep his face and identity hidden, and managed to captivate international dance floors on the strength of his sound alone. With his latest album, DREAMLAND 2021, Zhu reaches for a crossover pop appeal with features from Yuna and Channel Tres. The tracks celebrate the urge to dance and create that unites all people, so expect his Outside Lands performance to turn Golden Gate Park into a rave.

24kGoldn
Saturday, Oct. 30
Twin Peaks Stage, 6:55pm

24kGoldn bypassed the typical Bay Area rapper trajectory of playing small, local clubs and working his way up. Instead, in true Gen Z fashion, the 20-year-old San Francisco artist went viral on TikTok in his freshman year as a USC business major. Online fame catapulted him into a major-label deal, and he’s now an in-demand hitmaker working with the likes of Justin Beiber, Quavo and Jack Harlow. Equally comfortable swag-rapping over trap beats and singing to post-rock melodies (more in the vein of The Killers than Xanned-out emo), Goldn embraces a genreless, borderless style that’s earning him mainstream acclaim.

Brijean
Saturday, Oct. 30
Panhandle Stage, 3pm

Brijean makes percussion-forward disco- and house-pop, but not the glossy, overproduced variety you might hear on the radio. Instead, the duo (comprised of Brijean Murphy and Doug Stuart) specializes in fat grooves with a retro tinge and iridescent layers of instrumental complexity. At the center of it all is Murphy’s nimble conga playing, guiding Brijean’s hypnotic songs from dream space to dance floor. After years of playing the congas for artists like Poolside and Toro y Moi, here Murphy lets her drumming shine as the star of the show—not just the auxiliary percussion.

Cam
Sunday, Oct. 31
Sutro Stage, 1:55pm

Cam’s emotionally rich country-pop took her from playing cafes in Oakland to penning hits for Miley Cyrus and Sam Smith. Once a psychology researcher at Stanford by day, she pivoted into a successful solo music career in Nashville, eventually signing with RCA and collaborating with pop hitmakers like Jack Antonoff and Diplo. With her big, expressive voice and delicate guitar playing, she tells vulnerable stories of love and loss, unafraid to speak truth to power and connect with listeners on a soul level.