Insights From Inside The Outside Lands Festival

January 1, 2009

Although he also played his signature Asher lap steel and a vintage Les Paul Special, Harper’s complete command and singular tone on the Weissenborn (seen here, top left) was the real showstopper.


At times, the sounds emanating from LaLonde’s PRS seemed like they were creeping over from some other band playing in some other key on a nearby stage. It was shocking to witness Ben Harper’s traditional mastery, and then wander over to hear LaLonde, Les Claypool, and Tim Alexander tearing tradition to shreds at the opposite end of the park. Primus still sucks!


Cline works the pedals on a table that was at his side throughout the set. Like Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood, Cline has the ability to raise Wilco’s music to an entirely different level via distinctive parts and wild effects. In fact, with Cline onboard, Wilco is kind of the Radiohead of roots music.


Whether he was wailing the solo for “You Wreck Me,” or playing the melodic line that absolutely makes the Tom Petty classic “Breakdown,” Campbell’s performance was a study in how to hit just the right number of just the right notes.

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