Afrobeats Artist Ayoinmotion's Journey To ESSENCE Fest: "Hard Work Pays"


Photo: Daniel Mendoza/Recording Academy


Afrobeats Artist Ayoinmotion's Journey To ESSENCE Fest: "Hard Work Pays"

The infectiously energetic entertainer tells us how he got connected with the festival and what fans can expect from his heart-racing live show

GRAMMYs/Jul 8, 2019 - 04:42 am

Ayoinmotion has a vibe and a passion for music that is true to his name. The Afrobeats artist, who puts on a live perfromance that dares you to stay still, brought his music and energy to the 25th ESSENCE Festival. 

"I got to ESSENCE Fest through a lot of work. And hard work pays," he said.  "As an artist sometimes you work in your own space. and you feel like 'no one's hearing me, no one's hearing me.' Trust me people are listening."

So what can you expect from an Ayoinmotion set? "It's a vibe," he says, describing his mission to get everyone on their feet and moving with each performance.

"My sound is super, super energentic," he added. "I want you to dance. I want you to figure out tomorrow morning, you may not even need to go to the gym because you've worked out so much."

His latest release, S.O.V.A. (Sounds & Vibes From Ayoinmotion), is out now and has amassed over 80k plays digitally. 

Rapsody Reveals The Influential Black Women Behind Her New Album 'Eve' At ESSENCE Fest

Outside Lands 2022: Green Day Makes The Bay Proud With Fiery Saturday Headlining Set
Billie Joe Armstrong at Outside Lands 2022.

Photo: Daniel Mendoza


Outside Lands 2022: Green Day Makes The Bay Proud With Fiery Saturday Headlining Set

For their first performance at Outside Lands, legendary Bay Area punk act Green Day paid tribute to their hometown and local heroes, while giving the sold-out crowd what they wanted: to rock and roll all night.

GRAMMYs/Aug 7, 2022 - 07:40 pm

Green Day finally got the chance to play Outside Lands on the San Francisco festival’s 15th annual spin around Golden Gate Park, headlining Saturday’s lineup with a bombastic set filled with rock star pyro, explosives and endearing stories about being a real band from the Bay Area — Contra Costa County in the East Bay, to be precise.

A few minutes before they came out, a text message from the festival app warned of intense lights and loud sound effects to come. Queen’s "Bohemian Rhapsody" then prompted a singalong of thousands, and a person in a fluffy bunny rabbit costume with a demented face hyped the crowd while the Ramones’ "Blitzkrieg Bop" roared. A custom-made intro mash-up of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ "I Love Rock & Roll," "We Will Rock You" and "Also Sprach Zarathustra," a classical tone poem from 1896, ushered the band — singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool (with additional guitar support from Jason White, who largely remained side stage and off screen) — on stage, beginning with the still-relevant "American Idiot."

The multi-GRAMMY winners understood the hugeness of the moment, taking the opportunity to structure a playful show that paid homage to artists who came before them — as when they teased a quick riff of "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath before playing their own song "Hitchin’ a Ride." One of the great surprises of the set was a high energy cover of KISS’ 1975 anthem "Rock and Roll All Nite," which was accompanied with '70s-style floodlights and the Green Day logo reimagined in KISS' jagged font. 

These three have been together since high school, and you can see and feel their love for each other, their music and where they grew up. At times, Armstrong and Dirnt played their guitars back to back and nestled their heads on each other’s shoulders. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the last Green Day show in Golden Gate Park — an illegal set with some hardcore bands in 1991 — resulted in their arrest, so this was a clear upgrade. Armstrong also talked about a failed attempt to play at San Francisco’s much-smaller Dolores Park back in the day, which also ended with police.

"I’m so happy right now!" Armstrong exclaimed, as "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" fired up. He asked everyone to flash their phone lights ("Just about the only thing those phones are good for," he added) and turned the stage lights off creating a powerful sparkling effect from the thousands-strong crowd. 

green day outside lands body photo

 Green Day at the Lands End stage on Saturday night. | Photo: Daniel Mendoza

Different tunes got individual visual treatments that were quite engaging, with pulsating views of the band bathed in color or black and white. The light show extended all the way around Golden Gate Park’s tree-lined Polo Field, with strobes and other effects bouncing off of the greenery in time with the music.

After inviting a female fan up to sing and get a hug, Armstrong looked out into the crowd and said he needed someone to come up and play guitar with them. 

"You’re 10-years-old and you can play?" he asked a boy who raised both his hands in the air. "Do you swear you can play?"

His name is Montgomery, which Armstrong shortened to Monty for the crowd to chant. And he can play, as everyone quickly learned when he contributed power chords to "Knowledge," a song from the Berkeley punk act Operation Ivy that was released in 1989.

The band would go on to perform even more unexpected covers, including "Shout," the Isley Brothers classic from 1959, and a snippet of Journey’s "Lights," a song that got extra love in the Bay Area through an old radio station commercial for KFRC. The latter felt like a quick nod to the 40 and 50-somethings in the crowd who grew up on the station.

At one point, Armstrong acted like a mad conductor and waved his arms up and down ferociously to get the crowd to cheer in different sections. When he was done, he said, "You’re all suckers, except the ones from Oakland!"

"This is f—ing beautiful," he said in seriousness. "We’re all here together."

green day outside lands body photo 2

Billie Joe in a moment of eleation. | Photo: Daniel Mendoza

The only slightly unplanned moment that was detected was when a guitar string broke on "Basket Case" that momentarily deconstructed the huge and strong wall of sound that was the set’s hallmark. But that was actually a treat, like getting to hear isolated parts of a song you’ve only heard one way your whole life.

That standard moment towards the end of a concert when a lead singer introduces their band was much more fun in the hands of Armstrong. He jokingly introduced his sax player, who played a mean riff of "Careless Whisper" by George Michael, as Henry Winkler a.k.a. "Fonzie from ‘Happy Days,’" then introduced himself as "Dewey."

Green Day packed so many of their hits into the 22-song performance that we briefly wondered what could be left for the last number, since the band had already done biggies like "Welcome to Paradise," "When I Come Around" and "Wake Me Up When September Ends." But, of course, Green Day has no more perfect song to conclude with than "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)," which Armstrong performed alone on acoustic guitar as fireworks shot over the stage and into the night sky.

Outside Lands 2022: Phoebe Bridgers Realizes Her Dream To Play The SF Fest

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Outside Lands 2022: SZA Takes Control & Makes Waves In Nostalgic, Dance-Filled Performance
SZA performs on Day 1 of Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival in San Francisco.

Photo: Steve Jennings/WireImage


Outside Lands 2022: SZA Takes Control & Makes Waves In Nostalgic, Dance-Filled Performance

SZA closed the first night of the three-day festival with songs from her discography, leaning into the beloved songs of her debut 'Ctrl.'

GRAMMYs/Aug 6, 2022 - 05:08 pm

As the fog rolled in, mist engulfed the seas of bundled festival goers pouring onto the western lawns of Golden Gate Park. A lighthouse structure beckoned at the Lands End stage and marine projections appeared on the stage's backdrop readying the crowd for Outside Lands 2022's Friday headliner, SZA

The GRAMMY-winning artist born Solána Rowe closed the first night of the three-day festival with songs from throughout her discography, redesigning the way acclaimed works like Ctrl are perceived with every performance. SZA opened her solo set with the Black Panther epic track "All The Stars," sharing verses from her Kendrick Lamar collab under cityscape constellations.  

Turning the clock back to 2017, SZA returned to her debut album Ctrl, which provided an escapist score for carefree summer days. Ctrl received five GRAMMY nominations and attendees were reliving the glory days of Ctrl all together in the frigid San Francisco air. SZA sang "Miles," "Love Galore (Alt Version),"  and her unreleased single "Shirt" as fans sang their choruses back in unison.  

A deluxe version of Ctrl was released on the five-year anniversary of the project this June, its nostalgic value contributing to why Ctrl has persisted as a beloved musical phenomenon since its debut.  

SZA also revealed more sides of her performer persona, showcasing her experience in dance with group dance sequences to "The Weekend" and "Go Gina." At 32 years old, the genre-defiant poet known for her lyrical proficiency is becoming more comfortable in her skin and has become more confident in her moves.  

With no guests appearing on stage, SZA’s attuned vocals and remarkable whistletones set the calming scene for the audience. With every verse, the crowd would recite words back, showcasing the weight of Ctrl

As SZA monologued about the state of the world after wrapping up a gushing pop rendition of "Prom," she began "Normal Girl" by expressing how abnormal times feel and reminding the audience to take a break to settle with the tide.  

The final moments of Outside Lands' first day concluded with SZA seated on a platform full of blooming sunflowers, swaying her legs back and forth as she sang "Good Days." She also nodded to Doja Cat, performing their 2021 track "Kiss Me More." Her starry-eyed fans banded together, swaying and reciting every optimistic lyric.  

SZA ended her set by thanking the audience for carrying the legacy of Ctrl to where it is today. With firework projections glowing behind her, she then climbed up the lighthouse and plunged into the turquoise waters, resulting in a luminescent slosh of seawater. While audiences wait for SZA’s next album, SZA's Outside Lands performance should be an indicator that whatever she does next will undoubtedly make a splash. 

Essence Fest 2022: Why Nicki Minaj's Explosive Performance Was Worth The Wait

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Inside Imagine Dragons' Biggest Hits: Dan Reynolds Details How "Believer," "Radioactive" & More Came To Be
Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons performs at the NOS Alive festival in Lisbon, Portugal, in July 2022.

Photo: Pedro Gomes/Redferns


Inside Imagine Dragons' Biggest Hits: Dan Reynolds Details How "Believer," "Radioactive" & More Came To Be

On the heels of Imagine Dragons' sixth album, 'Mercury - Act 1 & 2,' frontman Dan Reynolds reveals the backstories behind smash songs like "Thunder," and "Enemy."

GRAMMYs/Aug 5, 2022 - 05:35 pm

Since Imagine Dragons debuted 10 years ago, billion has become their default number. Four of the hitmaking group's singles — "Radioactive," "Believer," "Demons," and "Thunder" — each have more than a billion views on YouTube and a billion streams on Spotify.

Clearly those aren't the only songs that have made Imagine Dragons one of the most commercially successful rock bands of the 2010s. Combined, the group's streams top 100 billion, thanks to other hits like "Whatever It Takes" and "Enemy." The latter track is part of the group's sixth LP (and first compilation album), Mercury - Acts 1 & 2, and became their latest top 5 single on the Billboard Hot 100 — proving that they're not done making hits.

Behind each one of Imagine Dragons' songs is frontman Dan Reynolds, the group's principal songwriter. While the band has only been active in the mainstream for a decade, 35-year-old Reynolds is going on 25 years of making music.

"I started writing when I was 12, and I have recorded a song almost every day since then," Reynolds tells "I have thousands and thousands of recorded songs with lyrics and melody that never saw the light of day."

Luckily for Imagine Dragons and their fans, plenty of songs have emerged from Reynolds' daily songwriting — and it's taken him and his band around the world. The group kicked off their 72-date Mercury World Tour in Miami in February, and they return to North America on Aug. 5 after a stretch of shows in Europe. (They had to cancel shows in Ukraine and Russia due to the countries' ongoing conflict, but Imagine Dragons showed their support for Ukraine by becoming ambassadors for United24, the organization launched by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that collects charitable donations for his country.)  

During a brief break from performing, Reynolds reminisced with about some of his group's most recognizable hits to date.

"It's Time" — Night Visions, 2012

The major-label debut single from Imagine Dragons cracked the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, also finding its way onto multiple screens thanks to Gossip Girl, Perks of Being a Wallflower and Glee.

Ten years later, it's still the song with which Imagine Dragons open the majority of their live shows. For Reynolds, "It's Time" serves as perhaps the most full-circle song in their catalog. "I wrote 'It's Time' in my dorm room the week I was dropping out of college to pursue music," he recalls. "The stomp clap is me hitting my desk."

After moving back to his hometown of Las Vegas, Reynolds recorded the song with the rest of the band at The Studio at the Palms. "We added the group's stomps and claps, but we kept the slaps and claps I had done in the dorm room," he says. "There is something about the youthfulness of that song. It took us from obscurity into alternative radio. It paved the way for 'Radioactive' and is still, to this day, one of my favorite songs."

"Radioactive" — Night Visions, 2012

Imagine Dragons' highest-charting single on the Hot 100, the No. 3-peaking "Radioactive" was the band's first top 5 single. It also gave Imagine Dragons another big first: their first GRAMMY.  "Radioactive" won Best Rock Performance at the 56th GRAMMYs, where it was also nominated for Record Of The Year (and where the group performed the song with Kendrick Lamar).

"My first memories of 'Radioactive' are me living in a studio apartment at the Villa Carlotta in L.A. with my wife and first child," recalls Reynolds. "My wife and I were both struggling musicians. She was the singer of a band called Nico Vega who were signed to MySpace. Imagine Dragons was unsigned. We played at the Viper Room and Alex da Kid's assistant attended our show, bought our EP and gave it to Alex. [Alex] emailed saying 'I like your songwriting. Would you like to come in and do some songwriting sessions?'"

"Radioactive" was one of the first songs they wrote, with Reynolds writing the lyrics and melodies and Alex da Kid creating the dubstep beat. With the addition of Wayne Sermon's guitar parts, Ben McKee's bass and Daniel Platzman's drums, the song became, "More and more strange," laughs Reynolds. "Combining EDM and dubstep and five rock instruments was weird. But we wanted to keep listening to it. That was promising."

But when they brought "Radioactive" to their newly minted team at Interscope — their label home since 2011 — Reynolds remembers being told "This can never play on Top 40 radio." Nonetheless, "It forced its way on the radio," he asserts. "It was a monster. One of those songs that just wanted a life of its own and took on a life of its own."

"Demons" — Night Visions, 2012

Imagine Dragons' second Top 10 single "Demons" was "written in two hours," says Reynolds, during those same early songwriting sessions with Alex da Kid. Reynolds would write from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day, and present what he had to Alex da Kid at the end of the day.

"Alex is usually very reserved and not reactive," says Reynolds. "I remember specifically when I played 'Demons' he was like, 'This is really special,' which is a lot for him. When we brought in the band, it took even more life. Same as 'Radioactive,' where adding real instrumentation took something that was electronic and brought more live emotion to it, it made the song feel magical.

"We were an unsigned band at this time," Reynolds continues. "Even though these songs feel special, we had no understanding or idea that they would go on to be massive. In a perfect world, we wanted to maybe get enough fans to be able to do a club tour around America and play in front of 150 people in every city. The dream was to be able to sustain ourselves as indie artists. We had no understanding of what the songs would actually end up doing."

Last year, "Demons" was Diamond-certified, making Imagine Dragons the first band to have three Diamond-certified singles at the time; "Thunder" hit that milestone certification this July, adding to their record-breaking RIAA legacy.

"Believer" — Evolve, 2017

"Believer" marked the start of Reynolds working with Swedish songwriting/production duo Mattman & Robin, as well as hit-making songwriter Justin Tranter — collaborators who Reynolds says helped Imagine Dragons get back on track.

"We self-produced our second record, Smoke & Mirrors, which is one of my favorite records that we've done," says Reynolds. "But its biggest weakness is, it was way over-produced. When it's four people producing, it's easy to overthink and keep adding, so it's a huge wall of sound on every song." 

With that in mind, Reynolds says the band took "a really minimalistic view" when approaching Evolve. "Mattman and Robin, that's what they do: very few sounds, but really intelligent and well thought out. We were in a room with [Tranter] and 'Believer' came really quick. It was one of those songs that was waiting to be written."

"Believer" spent 29 weeks topping the Hot Rock & Alternative chart — their longest run on the tally to date. Additionally, "Believer" is the only song in Imagine Dragons' catalog to have more than 2 billion streams on Spotify and 2 billion views on YouTube. 

"Thunder" — Evolve, 2017

Imagine Dragons' fourth Diamond-certified single was nominated for Best Pop/Duo/Group Performance at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The song spent 24 weeks in the No. 1 position on the Hot Rock and Alternative Songs chart and seven weeks at No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

"It was recorded at my computer in my front entry room," recalls Reynolds. "If you listen really closely, you can hear a couple of my kids screaming in the background. There was nothing professional about it. It wasn't in a studio. It's not recorded in a vocal booth. I recorded it in one evening, sent it back to Alex, he said, 'I love this, let's get the band on it.'"

"Whatever It Takes" — Evolve, 2017

"Whatever It Takes" is Imagine Dragons' unintentional sports anthem. The third Hot Rock & Alternative Songs No. 1 — in a row — from Evolve was the official theme song for WWE's Battleground 2017 as well as featured on Madden NFL 18.

"We lived with that song for months," remembers Reynolds. "We kept feeling like the chorus sounded too familiar. Nobody could put their finger on it. We finally realized it sounded too close to Gary Glitter's 'Rock 'n' Roll.' It wasn't the same melody, but it was close enough that it made you think of it. We got rid of the chorus. I rewrote and re-recorded the chorus at my house in the same front lobby that I recorded 'Thunder.' I wanted that kind of redemptive chorus and I tried to stay in that zone when I was creating it."

Says Reynolds of the GRAMMY-nominated Evolve, "It's a big record for us, which is crazy because we felt Night Visions was one of those things that we were never going to replicate and that it was all downhill from there."

"Natural" — Origins, 2018

Also an unintentional sports anthem, "Natural" was the hype song for ESPN's 2018 college football season. Reynolds wrote "Natural" during the same sessions as "Believer," but held on to the song for a strategic reason.

"When you put out an album, you're lucky in this day and age, if maybe you get two big singles," he says. "You don't get three or four singles. It just doesn't happen that way. We knew 'Natural' was going to be a big song, but we didn't want to put it on Evolve, because it would get buried with 'Thunder' and 'Whatever It Takes' and 'Believer.'"

So, they put it on Origins, which Reynolds calls "the sister album" to Evolve. "I'm really glad we did that, because I don't think it would have ever been released as a single or seen the light of day otherwise."

"Enemy (with JID)" — Mercury - Act 1/Arcane League of Legends Soundtrack, 2021

When the video game company Riot Games presented Arcane: League of Legends to Imagine Dragons to tap them for a theme song, Reynolds felt "Enemy" was a good fit for the Netflix animated series.

"We had the whole song complete," remembers Reynolds. "But we thought it'd be cool to have a guest appearance on it. We took out my vocals on the bridge. I really love JID and suggested him. What he added to it really brought it up a level."

It was four years from the time "Enemy" was written to when it was released with Arcane. But it was worth the wait for Imagine Dragons: "Enemy" earned them their first top 5 hit on the Hot 100 in five years.

"Bones" — Mercury - Acts 1&2, 2022

The lead single from Mercury - Act 2, "Bones," earned Imagine Dragons their 22nd Top 10 hit on the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart. Reynolds says his writing for Mercury - Acts 1&2 revolved around the concept of finality — and "Bones" exemplifies that idea.

"I was really hyper focused on death," says Reynolds. "That sounds so morbid, but that was the theme of the record. My goal was to write a song about death that was not sad. It's the first time we've ever made a dance song. When we play 'Bones' live, everybody's dancing. It's not typical for Imagine Dragons. That's not the rhythm that we go for. It's usually more angsty.

"'Bones' is supposed to be self-aware and a little bit ironic. But also, it was part of my lifelong obsession about, 'What is life? Why are we here? Where are we going? What happens when we die?' And also about not wanting to recognize death because it's such a scary thing to talk about. Why not just sing about it and make light of it?"

As "Bones" continues to rack up the streams and views and Imagine Dragons hit the road again, one thing remains clear: They're showing no signs of stepping down from their place as one of the biggest rock bands of their generation. 

Remembering Chester Bennington, Five Years Later: How The Linkin Park Singer Influenced Rock & A Generation Of Artists

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GRAMMY Rewind: Jay-Z Gets A "Gold Sippy Cup" For His Daughter After Winning A GRAMMY For Best Rap/Sung Collaboration In 2014
Jay-Z at the 2014 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Kevin Winter


GRAMMY Rewind: Jay-Z Gets A "Gold Sippy Cup" For His Daughter After Winning A GRAMMY For Best Rap/Sung Collaboration In 2014

When Jay-Z's and Justin Timberlake's song "Holy Grail" was named Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 2014 GRAMMYs, the rapper accepted the trophy with a sweet message for Blue Ivy.

GRAMMYs/Aug 5, 2022 - 05:02 pm

The 56th GRAMMY Awards marked a big night for Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake, both separately and together. Jay-Z walked into the ceremony with nine nominations, while Timberlake had seven nods. Moreover, they were nominated four times together: Twice for the Jay-led "Holy Grail" and twice for "Suit & Tie," helmed by Timberlake.

Both songs wound up getting some love on the GRAMMY stage that evening. "Suit & Tie" won Best Music Video, and "Holy Grail" took home the trophy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, revisit the short-and-sweet acceptance speech Jay-Z gave as he received his trophy for "Holy Grail." The rapper offered his thanks to his co-writers, producers and every one who worked on the song with him — including Timberlake, who wasn't in attendance — and made special mention of his wife, Beyoncé, who watched proudly from the front row.

"I wanna thank God, I mean, a little bit for this award, but mostly for that, and all the universe conspiring and putting that beautiful light of a young lady in my life," Jay-Z said, gesturing toward Beyoncé.

He continued to keep his thoughts close to home as he wrapped up his speech, with a message for his daughter Blue Ivy, who had celebrated her 2nd birthday three weeks before the Jan. 26 show. "I wanna tell Blue that, 'Look, Daddy got a gold sippy cup for you,'" Jay-Z said with a smile before departing the stage. 

Jay-Z's two 2014 GRAMMY wins brought his total to 19. To date, Jay-Z has won 24 GRAMMYs and has received 83 nominations overall — the most GRAMMY nominations of all time. (Timberlake's GRAMMY tally is impressive, too: Justin Timberlake has won 10 GRAMMYs and has received 39 nominations overall.)

Press play on the video above to revisit this special moment in GRAMMY Awards history, and check back to every Friday for more episodes of GRAMMY Rewind. 

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Outside Lands 2022: Phoebe Bridgers Realizes Her Dream To Play The SF Fest
Phoebe Bridgers performs during the 2022 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco.

Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images


Outside Lands 2022: Phoebe Bridgers Realizes Her Dream To Play The SF Fest

Phoebe Bridgers spent a lot of her childhood in the Bay Area and attended many festivals in Golden Gate Park. Her headlining Outside Lands set Friday night was filled with emotion, anger and a whole lot of love.

GRAMMYs/Aug 5, 2022 - 04:32 pm

Though Phoebe Bridgers grew up in Southern California, she spent a lot of her childhood in the Bay Area while visiting her grandfather, and she attended Outside Lands in San Francisco several times. She dreamed of performing at the music festival in Golden Gate Park one day.

The four-time GRAMMY nominee, 27, got her wish on Friday as she made her Outside Lands debut. She walked on stage with her beloved Danelectro 56 Baritone guitar to the sound of Disturbed’s "Down With The Sickness" as projections of pyro and other heavy metal conventions rose up behind her. Bridgers' logo, which evokes the genre, is emblazoned on the drums.

Fans packed in close to see Bridgers, but they gave each other space, with lots of couples hugging, swaying and singing along. In between songs, Bridgers' self-deprecating sense of humor emerged that brought laughs into an otherwise serious set. 

"Who has the sniffles right now?" she asked, raising her hand. "Who has a complex relationship with their dad?" The crowd roared. "That’s cool," she replied, launching into "Kyoto," a nominee for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards, which touches on how she feels about her father.

"This next song is an enormous bummer!" she warned with a smile before playing "Funeral," a song about a close friend’s heroin overdose.

After "Funeral," she took a moment to comment on the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, noting how strange it was to come back to the United States to the news after performing overseas.

"I hate this f—ing s—hole," she said. "Yeah, I don’t know, I feel like America is so romanticized, it’s insane. It’s nice to have a good time while we watch the world burn around us." She directed anyone "with some dough" to donate to the Mariposa Fund in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which provides reproductive health services for undocumented women.

Phoebe Bridgers Outside Lands

As she reminisced about coming to Golden Gate Park for Outside Lands over the years (and introduced her grandfather, who was watching in the audience), she recalled a time that she was very happy about her all-black outfit and thought she looked cute — until a flying can of Red Bull hit her in the head and ruined her clothes and self-esteem.

Bridgers has called "Scott Street" a song about loneliness, but when she performed it, she came out to the crowd to let them sing it for her, handing the microphone to a teary woman who couldn’t wait to hug Bridgers after screaming the lyrics, "Anyway, don’t leave a stranger!"

GRAMMY-winner SZA performed at the opposite end of the large festival at the same time, which prompted Bridgers to say that she was bummed to miss her, and suggested that they were collaborating when Bridgers took a moment to go acoustic and noise from SZA’s show could be heard in the background. The competing set times compelled some to watch half of each, a strategy that was overheard throughout the day leading up to their headlining.

Concluding appropriately with "I Know The End," she thanked the crowd and shouted out her agent, Dave Rowan, who she first met at Outside Lands several years ago during four-time GRAMMY winner Jason Isbell’s performance, for scoring this meaningful gig. 

"It was a dream come true, thank you!" 

Outside Lands 2022: SZA Takes Control & Makes Waves In Nostalgic, Dance-Filled Performance

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