Best Coast offers heartwarming tribute during Outside Lands set

It may have been one of the most unexpectedly endearing moments on the first day of San Francisco’s Outside Lands.

When Los Angeles-based rock duo Best Coast descended on the Panhandle stage Friday night, much of the performance was focused on reflection. It’s been a decade since the release of “The Only Place,” and 12 years since their debut record “Crazy for You” delighted fans with its retro revival-meets-surf rock sound. Vocalist Bethany Cosentino’s cat, Snacks, made an iconic appearance on the album cover, and swiftly became the band’s unofficial mascot and one of indie rock’s most famous pets. Over the years, her pet de ella has become the subject of fans ‘tattoos, adorned Wavves’ 2010 album cover for “King of the Beach” and even got a shout-out on David Letterman.

But earlier this year, Cosentino announced the passing of her beloved 14-year-old Maine Coon.

“He meant everything to me and I’m going to miss him so much, but I know he will live on forever by way of the legacy he created simply by being himself,” she wrote in an Instagram post in February. “He loved you all so much and he knew you loved him.”

So it was fitting that on Friday night, the musician dedicated her song, “Goodbye,” to the pet she described as the band’s de facto “third member” and “merch king.”

“We see you up there, bud,” she said.

Best Coast performs at Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022.

Adam Pardee/Special to SFGATE

Despite the fog, it was hard not to fall into a sun-drenched trance as Cosentino’s dreamy, beach goth melodies fused with guitarist Bobb Bruno’s roaring, distorted riffs. On the screen behind them was a bold statement, harkening back to a brief, albeit fiery, speech made by Cosentino during the band’s performance at Chicago’s Riot Fest last year: “Abortion is healthcare, bitch.”

During the set, she reiterated her statement — sans baby Yoda — and informed fans that the band’s merch would all go toward abortion access funds.

“And that’s my speech,” she said. “Thank you for coming to my TED talk, San Francisco.”

The band is slated for another performance at Bottom of the Hill on Saturday.

Best Coast performs at Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022.

Best Coast performs at Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022.

Adam Pardee/Special to SFGATE

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