1. STROKES

1/9

The third annual Outside Lands music festival, held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park Aug. 14-15, featured two days (and four stages) of quality music in a gorgeous setting—as well as gourmet cupcakes, interactive metal sculptures, and some random guy in a Chewbacca costume. Here are some of the highlights:

Saturday night headliners the Strokes proved just what made them great in the first place: awesome hooks, insistent melodies, and Julian Casablancas' wasted come-on of a voice. The Strokes didn't just trot out their hits; they fired them from a cannon, detonating them into an adoring crowd. The few new tunes the quintet played came fitted with harder riffs and more complicated rhythms, suggesting that, like Kanye West, the Strokes have been listening to early King Crimson. —Dan Strachota

2. STROKES

2/9

The third annual Outside Lands music festival, held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park Aug. 14-15, featured two days (and four stages) of quality music in a gorgeous setting—as well as gourmet cupcakes, interactive metal sculptures, and some random guy in a Chewbacca costume. Here are some of the highlights:

Saturday night headliners the Strokes proved just what made them great in the first place: awesome hooks, insistent melodies, and Julian Casablancas' wasted come-on of a voice. The Strokes didn't just trot out their hits; they fired them from a cannon, detonating them into an adoring crowd. The few new tunes the quintet played came fitted with harder riffs and more complicated rhythms, suggesting that, like Kanye West, the Strokes have been listening to early King Crimson. —Dan Strachota

3. AL GREEN

3/9

"Lord have mercy; the preacher can't help it," Al Green shouted at the beginning of his set. The 64-year-old legend may be a preacher, but his performance was anything but hushed and reverential. Over the course of 40 minutes, longtime soul singer tossed long-stemmed roses into the front row, offered up all sorts of sinful hip-quaking moves, covered Roy Orbison ("Pretty Woman"), and crooned some of the sexiest songs ever recorded, all while harmonizing with three of his offspring. Hopefully, young bucks like Hawthorne, Monáe, and Amos Lee were taking notes on how to work a crowd.

4. CAT POWER

4/9

Chan Marshall hasn't released an album of original material in four years, but if this unpredictable, moving performance was any indication, her forthcoming disc should be fascinating. Playing with a stripped down quartet, Marshall skittered across the stage like it was hot-wired, until she leapt down into the photographer pit (with help from the bewildered security staff). While wandering the grass in front of the audience, Marshall sang more stridently and confidently than ever, lending her southern gothic tones to her new gospel- and jazz-influenced material, as well as to covers of Jackson Browne's "These Days" and the standard "Sea of Love."

5. MY MORNING JACKET

5/9

While all the white people who like to dance were getting freaky to Bassnectar at the Sutro Stage, the white people who don't like to dance (but appreciate good weed, North Face fleece, and real estate) nodded along to My Morning Jacket and lead singer Jim James' ambitious Southern anthems.

6. JANELLE MONÁE

6/9

Janelle Monáe brought plenty of spectacle and sass to her early time slot. Walking a tightrope between modern R&B and robotic '80s funk, the Big Boi protégé showed just why she name-drops Ziggy Stardust as an influence, strutting about in full pompadour, a puffy-sleeved shirt, and black toreador pants, flanked by dancers in black cloaks and creepy long-nosed masks. Her three-piece band made up for the wind-washing of sonic detail with volume and sweat, but their set would be better suited to the dark confines of an indoor venue.

7. NAS & DAMIAN MARLEY

7/9

Nas and Damian Marley found a comfortable middle ground between hip-hop and reggae throughout their set, playing a number of tracks from their recent benefit album, Distant Relatives, as well as Marley's earlier hits, "Welcome to Jamrock" and "Road to Zion." While the lyrics were pretty downbeat (Nas admitted at one point to "going through some bad shit"), they couldn't dampen the party vibe. And when the band broke out a cover of Bob Marley's classic "Could You Be Loved," the crowd became ecstatic.

8. MAYER HAWTHORNE & THE COUNTY

8/9

The Detroit-bred soul singer started Sunday off nicely, bringing the sun out with a version of ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky." Clad in a silver tuxedo and chunky frames, Hawthorne proved that he could span time and scene, offering both a hip-hop remix of Snoop Dogg's "Gangsta Luv" (dedicated to nearby Oakland) and sweet soul numbers from his Stone's Throw debut, A Strange Arrangement. He may not be famous yet—he told a funny story about being mistaken for Michael Bublé at SF's Amoeba Records—but it shouldn't take long before he is.

9. CHROMEO

9/9

Chromeo's P-Thugg and Dave 1 are masters of big, dumb fun, and Outside Lands' late afternoon crowd responded, swaying along to the electro beats, vocoder vocals, and goofball lyrics. Chromeo is quite possibly the unlikeliest looking pop duo going—featuring a skinny Jewish guitarist and a portly Arab keyboardist—but their dorky appearance just added to the over-the-top euphoria of tunes like the new "Night By Night." Plus, Dave 1 delivered Oakland's second shout out of the day, dedicating "You're So Gangsta" to the city across the Bay.