When I heard that Outkast was reuniting this year, I fell out of my chair. Then, I heard that they were doing a festival tour, and I couldn’t be more upset. This would mean that I would have to find a festival to attend, fight the crowds, eat the bad food, and avoid the Molly rollin tweens as much as I could. I knew this would be impossible at Coachella, so once I saw that they weren’t playing at Outsidelands (still a tragedy), I knew I had to go to Bottlerock in Napa, CA.
I had never been to this festival, as I am exclusively an Outsidelands attendee every August in San Francisco, but I had heard good things. My expectations were met once I walked in to the festival at the Napa Valley Exposition. The different sections were organized pretty well, and while I had my personal struggle with fairground allergies, I liked the venue. It had its fair share of lines, but overall, not terrible. The food and drink options were good, not as extensive as Outsidelands, but that is to be expected from a smaller festival. Planning ahead, our first stop was to get something portable to eat later on that evening for dinner while we camped out a good spot to view the headlining show. We narrowed down our choices and settled on a tri tip sandwich from Tip’s Tri Tips. This will be addressed later (get excited). Next, we fueled up on a Beef Wagyu wrap from Morimoto Napa. It was handheld deliciousness and the perfect lunchtime snack. I wanted to be more impressed with the wine selection and displays, but it was a little underwhelming. There were twice as many booths selling ambiguously labeled wine out of bottles with hidden labels, as there were sponsored booths with cool swag and branding, which was disappointing. However, at a certain point, this is a festival where a majority of the attendees could care less if they are drinking a red blend or a Malbec from Argentina, so touché.
We thoroughly enjoyed performances by The Soft White Sixties, Matt and Kim, Third Eye Blind, and Weezer, but we were counting down the minutes until Outkast would grace us with their presence. They did not disappoint. The show was over an hour and half of pure awesome sauce. When I watched the Coachella live feed, their performance was lackluster and the crowd was dead. Napa knew better. The crowd knew their hits, old and new, and you could tell that Big Boi and Andre3000 knew what was up. They performed several hits from each album, including personal favorites like Aquemini, Ms. Jackson, and Crumblin’ Erb. While I am biased, I spoke with several individuals who also attended their Coachella performance, and they concurred that this one was better tenfold.
After the half hour cab ride back to our hotel in the faraway land of Benicia, we found the sandwiches we had bought so many hours earlier. Even though it was midnight, we were hungry and thought, why not? It was one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. It didn’t get soggy and the meat was delicious! Walk, don’t run to Tips Tri Tips in Nor Cal!
Overall, Bottlerock was a splendid experience. It was a nice change of pace to only attend a festival for one day, and should the lineup hold up for next year, I would definitely go back.
Keep a look out for my Outsidelands post coming up in August!