Our intrepid team of Treasure Islanders tweeted up a storm Saturday (that is, until our account, or something, broke. They’re back again for the second day of the Treasure Island music fest, clad, we hope, in ponchos and carrying those handwarmers you see people using at midwestern sporting events.
So. First of all, the transportation to the island was a little better than last year. It looks as if they hired more buses this year, which was much needed.TI is very mild compared to most festivals. It’s like an extremely miniature version of Coachella. The crowd was young (average of early twenties), and fun, but didn’t seem to party too hard. The weather was nice during the day but got windy around 4:00pm.
The first band I shot was Wallpaper, they’re a two piece band from Oakland. They’re a solid mix of Chromeo and 3oh!3. A singer/guitarist and a drummer who play funky, synth-sample laced, distorted base heavy songs about preparties and buying laptops from methadone clinics. Note the gold microphone.
Holy Fuck is a great group of musicians. Not everyone enjoys them, but they’re extremely talented and mesh together really well as a group. Die Antwoord definitely woke everyone up. They have a ridiculous amount of energy, and even though they may just be a huge joke, they’re really into it. Note stage dive photos.
Over all there was a carnival with ferris wheels, pirates and skeeball. It’s really small, but some people may like that. It got crowded really quickly, too many tickets sold. LCD Soundsystem was beautiful of course, no samples, everything played live. James Murphy is an emotional genius.
I’ve been to a lot of music festivals over the past few months, and I can definitely say that so far Treasure Island is at the top of my list for music, location, and all around atmosphere.
If you are familiar with my work, “Outside Lands Live Tweeting 2010” then you will be surprised to hear that not only was I not upset about the lack of free swag or fancy lounges at Treasure Island, I didn’t even notice!
I was too busy dancing to Wallpaper and Little Dragon, marveling at how Di Antwoord’s Yolandi manages to look like a pixie princess AND a terrifying shiny-gold-hoodie-bedecked neonazi at the same time, and trying not to get stampeded by people in furry boots during the “rave-ier” end of the night.
Music:We started off the day with Maus Haus, who we were only vaguely familiar with but loved, and Wallpaper, who we formerly disliked but grew to love (by the way, this was Hannah’s first stint as a music reviewer and while the only thing she could come up to say re: Maus Haus was, “the tambourine singer is really attractive,” she really came into her own during the next few sets).
I usually find Wallpaper pretty grating, but Eric Federic’s (I mean, Ricky Reed?) silly yet snappy and well-thought-out lyrics about everything from pre-partying to laptop thieves got me to do something I never thought I would do before: dance to electro funk at 12:30 in the afternoon with a bunch of strangers while totally sober. But I did, and had a blast!
The next few hours were kind of boring – Holy Fuck and Jamaica aren’t really my thing – but the show picked up again with Die Antwoord (So fun, but so ridiculous. So talented, but so bizarre. They HAVE to be fucking with us. Right?), !!!, and Little Dragon, who I’ve loved ever since I saw them last spring and was super excited to see again. Yukimi Nagano’s hauntingly beautiful voice is still ringing in my ears. Which really says something, since next up was DeadMau5, Mike Snow, and LCD Soundsystem (we somehow missed Fourtet. Still not sure how that happened.) All 3 bands/djs were so excellent that I was somehow able to block out the, shall we say, ecstatic people around me, even when I got hit in the head with a glowstick.
Food: Such an array! It was a good thing I only brought 20 bucks and was too cheap to spend the 4$ charge at the ATM (SERIOUSLY, 4 BUCKS??) because otherwise I would have spent the entire day eating bougie popsicles from Cranky Boots (note: at one point Andrew Dalton told me to meet him near cranky boots and I thought he was calling ME cranky boots, which was confusing), sausages, and calamari. Also they filled our wine cups to the brim, which I think we can all agree is a shocking move for a concert bar.
Atmosphere: I had never been to Treasure Island before, and thought it was a fantastic place for a concert. One of the things I hate the most about Outside Lands is that sometimes I’d rather miss a show than try and spend 20 minutes climbing over porta-potties and teenagers in “edgy” feather headdresses only to have to turn around 15 minutes later to catch the next show at the other end of the park.
At Treasure Island, there are only two stages and we were able to catch all of the shows we wanted to see (um, except Fourtet. Still not sure what happened there.)
If you are going to the show today: BRING LAYERS!! IT GETS REALLY REALLY COLD. Look for me today in the fleece leggings, 4 sweatshirts, and boots. I can’t wait to go back!
Treasure Island Theme of the Day: Humping.
Between Die Antwoord and !!!, I saw more pelvic thrusts today than I did at Folsom Street Parade. The day was great — a little chilly when used to braving the sun yearly at Coachella — and the music was greater. We had a blast.
You know how those yelp reviewers will give a restaurant 3 stars and proclaim the reason, “The wait was so long, over twenty minutes! 3 STARS!” Those yelp reviewers would have nothing to complain about on Treasure Island. The infrastructure of the festival felt well organized and relatively clean, there were two stages and no overlapping shows, and the woman who served us at the bar gave us really full glasses of red wine. Hey, thanks, woman at the bar.
We got to Maus Haus pretty late into their set, but we had fun for the last ten minutes. We danced, we clapped, we cheered; we were riled within minutes. Great job Maus Haus.
Also, way to hire the cutest tambourine player ever. Next up was Wallpaper, a band I have been known to hate on in the past. BUT. They completely changed my opinion this time around. The music was fun, funky, AND fresh. Eric Frederic commanded attention with his funky beats, ridiculously good drummer, silly lyrics, and swanky well-fitting suit. Katie and I were giggling a lot and grooving a lot. Shoutout to Duncan Wold, a friend that played in the neon drum band behind Wallpaper.
Die Antwoord is always a trip. This was the first example of humping for the day. Ninja stripped down song by song, and the whole thing ended in boxers, crowd surfing, and Yo-Landi’s crop top and gold leggings. !!! probably was watching Die Antwoord’s set, noticed the apparent perks of pelvic thrusts, and did his best to emulate. !!! confused me only because their aesthetic is so far removed from their music.DeadMau5 and LCD Soundsystem wrapped up the night with incredible sets featuring good lightshows and great music. The crowd was really feeling it, the best kind of contagion, and Katie and I got caught up with them.
Even the bus line for boarding the shuttle back to SF was pleasant — albeit, slightly cold — and efficient. But fun regardless. The best thing about San Francisco is the same feature that spreads pleasantly to the festivals it hosts. People are so friendly. We are friendly, and we are similar to one another, for the most part.
Unless someone thought Jamaica should have been in the lineup today, in which case, we are not so similar.
All photos: Hunter Mulich for the Appeal