By SYLVIA BORGO
The last day of Outside Lands 2019 was stacked with veterans including Paul Simon, Mavis Staples and Kacey Musgraves, the leading lady of country music .
Judah and the Lion, Leon Bridges and others kept the audience going but Simon and his charming ways wrapped the festival in fine style.
Simon was in a jubilant mood as he stepped on stage, wearing a red jacket and black shirt and dark jeans.
He said: “I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here. Well, I just did.”
He played all of the expected hits both solo and those written and performed with Art Garfunkel, whom Simon affectionately referred to as “Artie.”
The loudest cheers were heard for, “Bride Over Troubled Water,” “You Can Call Me Al,” “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard,” and “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.”
One of the biggest cheers of the night was when Simon announced that he would be donating all his proceeds from that night to the San Francisco Parks Alliance and Friends of Urban Forests.
He urged the crowd to consider getting involved to make a positive change in today’s world, much in the same manner that Mavis Staples had urged earlier in the day during her performance. Perhaps it is up for debate, but I find great comfort in knowing that artists, both new and seasoned, urge fans to have a voice and to act for what they believe in.
The festival has grown exponentially since opening in 2008. Avid concert-goers commented that they liked many aspects of the early years; fewer crowds, more affordable food and drink, a more communal, music-loving vibe. However, the festival’s rapid success is largely due to the fact that it offers fans A-list acts (past acts have included Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Stevie Wonder, and Jack White) as well as a wide array of drink, culinary, and cannabis experiences, specialty merchandise, and VIP perks.