The 2016 Outside Lands Festival saw several much-anticipated returns from long-absent artists: Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, Peaches.
But Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, the Muppets’ house band, gave a performance worthy of Statler and Waldorf Sunday afternoon at the main Lands End stage.
Perched on a raised platform for its live debut, the band launched into “Can You Picture That?” from 1976’s “The Muppet Movie.” Dr. Teeth, Janice, Animal, Floyd Pepper and Zoot then jammed through covers such as the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From my Friends” (with a little help from the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir) and Mowgli’s “San Francisco.”
It was a homecoming show for the flower-powered band, which was founded in the Haight. Or Chinatown. Or maybe Kansas City — the memories are fuzzy, as shown in taped segments shown during the hard-working puppets’ breaks.
Still, “San Francisco is never far from our minds,” said hepcat bassist Pepper, “partly because of the intense, and unexpected, flashbacks.”
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Mexican pop-rock singer Natalia Lafourcade kicked off festivities at the Twin Peaks stage in great voice with a tight band boasting flugelhorn.
On the Sutro stage, Southern influences were present through the evening and afternoon, from Texas folk rockers The Oh Hellos to classy Muscle Shoals singer-songwriter Jason Isbell, playing thoughtful country tunes from his 2015 release “Something More Than Free.” (Throughout the day, the Sutro audience was markedly older and listening more closely than the younger folks partying at the other stages.)
Also on the Sutro, alt-country and folk rocker Brandi Carlile, along with twins Tim and Phil Hanseroth (it was their birthday), barreled through a great set, punctuated by a few quiet tunes, including the funny and tender “The Mother,” about her 2-year-old daughter Evangeline. After mentioning her wife, Carlile thanked San Francisco for supporting same sex-marriage and the festival crowd for “tolerating an acoustic solo.”
Closing the evening at the Sutro, Ryan Adams and The Shining performed one the purest rock-and-roll sets of the weekend, including tunes off Adams’ 2000 solo album “Heartbreaker” such as “Oh My Sweet Carolina” and “To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High).”
Playing at the same time as the Major Lazer, who was in the Polo Field, he quipped, “Someone had their laptop turned up all the way at the main stage.”
Between songs, Adams couldn’t stop joking about much of anything. At one point he called out a man who looked too comfortable lying on the hill and, at another, he came up with an impromptu song to say goodbye to two balloons that disappeared from the crowd; the song said more about his songwriting talent than the balloons.
Back on the main stage, Third Eye Blind provided for a nostalgic afternoon, playing first-album hits “Jumper” and “Semi-Charmed Life.”
Vocalist Stephan Jenkins, wearing fat sneakers and a loose beanie, told the crowd that the San Francisco-spawned band rode their bikes from the Mission. The set became a bit ridiculous when Jenkins greeted crowd members who had never seen them before: “We love the virgins. Virgins welcome.”
Toward the end, the band played underwhelming David Bowie covers (“Young Americans,” “Heroes,” “Modern Love” and a short transition into “Ziggy Stardust”) as Jenkins stood in front of a 30-voice choir and dozen-piece orchestra.
Next, lively Chicago hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper had an upbeat message, interestingly mixing religious messages and plenty of f-bombs.
Major Lazer — the electronic act with Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire — really fired up the crowd, which packed the Polo Field and obligingly acted on Walshy Fire’s repeated commands to jump “and take your shirt off and throw it in the air.”
Backed by a light show and endlessly gyrating dancers, the producers (who changed into Golden State Warriors shirts) seemed to be putting on more of a workout session than concert, but the audience loved it, as did “narrator” Walshy Fire, who called Outside Lands the best festival because it represents so many people of so many nationalities.
The crowd thinned out for 1980s chart-topper Lionel Richie, who fantastically filled 90 minutes with big hits, from “Running With the Night” to “All Night Long” and Commodores’ classics from “Easy” to “Brick House.”
Lana Del Rey closed out Sunday night at the packed Twin Peaks stage with her particular brand of downcast baroque pop.
Shivering in a floaty yellow sundress with her hair done beauty-queen style, Del Rey laid her femme fatale shtick on as thick as her eyeliner on songs like her 2012 hit “Summertime Sadness.”
Crammed uncomfortably tight in Hellman Hollow, the crowd huddled, swayed and sang along to lyrics like “Got my bad baby by my heavenly side … oh if I go, I’ll die happy tonight.”
Michael Barba, Giselle Velazquez and Leslie Katz contributed to this report.