The location of the hostel in San Francisco is amazing. It’s next to the swanky Pacific Heights district, with a view of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge from the garden. Nearby is a swish marina where joggers, bike riders and dog walkers like to spend their Sundays.

Line-up-wise, today was the worst day of festival with only two acts I was interested in seeing; Ryan Adams and Lana del Ray. The main stage headliner tonight was Lionel Ritchie, which from a personal point of view was a bit disappointing. Usually at least one of the headliners of Outside Lands is a classic act. They’ve had pretty much everyone play there recently. Neil Young, Tom Petty, Stevie Wonder,as well as acts who’ve become a parody of themselves such as Paul McCartney and Elton John. So I was a bit gutted when Lionel was announced. I had the chance to see him a couple of years ago on one of those bills after the horse racing where traditionally any washed up act plays. On that occasion Lionel was sick which meant we got our money back, a right bonus as I never fancied seeing him anyway. He seems to have been playing festivals recently and has gone down a storm and appears to have a new lease of life. I should have soft spot for Lionel as he was number one on the hit parade when I was born. However I just can’t warm to his cheesy, boring and largely turgid songs.

A Ryan Adams show (not to be confused with the Groover from Vancouver, Bryan) is a bit like his records. There are some good tunes and a few that are a frankly a bit boring. Ryan has a bit of a reputation for being wasted on stage, famously ending up in the Royal Liverpool Hospital after falling off the stage after barely starting a show at the Royal Court. Today he seemed reasonably lucid and in a good mood. Nobody shouted for Summer Of 69 either!

While walking to see Lana del Rey, I heard two Lionel Ritchie songs. One of those is the only one I like, Easy. Lionel duly managed to murder it. Poor timing and talking over the lyrics, saying stuff like “you’re sounding good” and “you got it” between each line. If you don’t believe how bad it was, it’s probably on Youtube. Lana del Rey seems very popular with the teenagers and essentially anyone else wanting to escape Lionel Ritchie. Lana was great. However the worst type of concert etiquette was out in force tonight. Why people would want to pay an arm and a leg to see some great live music then talk throughout it is beyond me. I had to move about half a dozen times to avoid someone rabbiting on behind me, drowning out the music. It wasn’t just here though, people were doing it at the festival in Porto and at most other places I’ve been to recently. Without sounding like an old fart the kids today seem to have no sort of attention span!

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View from the hostel garden
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Alcatraz

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