See our team’s overview and slideshow from Saturday here.
The weather on Sunday morning was not very pleasant, but it matched the mood of the day. The second day is filled with mellower indie bands, compared to the electro feel of Saturday. There were definitely fewer people, and a whole different demographic in general. A lot of Patagonia and North Face fleece.
Even the bands themselves were older and mellower, with a few exceptions. Superchunk looked like they were straight out of the 90′s, and apparently to them, the crowd looked like they belonged at 1972 Buffalo Bills game. The Sea and Cake were melancholy and barely had any facial expression, but played powerfully.
She & Him were doo woppy and reminiscent of simpler times that I never got to
experience. (Photos from their performance couldn’t be published because of contracting rights with Zooey Deschanel’s acting career.)
Monotonix is a force of punk rock past. The three heavily bearded thrashers ignored the stage and performed smack dab in the center of the field. Mosh pits were started, people were thrown, drum sets were smashed. This was the most people moved all day and the moment was largely unexpected.
Surfer Blood was a fun show, and I’m pretty sure they were wasted during the set. I ran in to them about 20 minutes after they ended and their drummer was definitely in the mood to have some heart to heart conversations. The National are just such a cool group of older guys that you can’t help but like them, the fact that they sound like a more mature version of The Strokes doesn’t hurt either. Watching the band is like watching a GQ advertisement, they reek class.
Belle and Sebastian were great, especially for a closing set. They were spunky, cozy, and honestly looked like they were all having a great time. To be honest I had never really listened to them before, even though I was aware of their iconic status. And to be fair, they rightfully deserve it.
The first half of Sunday:
It may have been hard to notice, but beneath the swarms of unshaven mugs and intentionally lopsided haircuts, hidden behind a massive rotating skull covered in glitter and only dimly lit by glowstick balloon arches and a carnival wheel, Treasure Island Music Festival was as neat and organized as the nearly-symmetrical land mass on which it’s hosted.
As if in tribute to the island’s Naval history, nothing at the festival went unplanned or uncompartmentalized. Performers took to the two stages like clockwork, starting each set within seconds of the opposite stage’s final drumstick hurl. Staffers supervised as guests separated their waste neatly into compost, recycling and landfill bins. And on Sunday morning, as the rain came down in slow stride, the Festival’s staff came down harder, forcefully replacing everyone’s potentially dangerous and view-obstructing umbrellas with clear plastic garbage bags (we were told that guests could pick up their umbrellas as they exited the park, but even the staff seemed dubious).
To its credit, Treasure Island Music Festival’s orderly ways led to a two-day lineup neatly divided so that guests could take part in a Die Antwoord, !!! and Holy Fuck-soundtracked ruckus on Saturday and return again on Sunday to have their recovery eased along by Belle and Sebastian and The Sea and Cake.
Except it got cold, and on Sunday everyone bundled up and huddled around each stage and got maybe too cozy. When the now grown-up 90′s alt band Superchunk tried their best to prove they can still rock out, the North-Face clad crowd before them could only nod quietly in reply.
Enter Monotonix, three dudes from Tel Aviv who look like old hippies in neon hotpants and who are supposedly banned from half the venues in Israel. They played in the crowd and on top of the crowd and all over the crowd and suddenly Treasure Island Music Festival was fucking awesome.
The lead singer had us wrapped around his tanned wrinkly finger and in a trance we followed him and his two bandmates wherever they picked up and migrated next.Within 20 minutes they had moved back to the sound booth and when the lead singer climbed up on it and announced he was going to throw the contents of a nearby trashcan on everyone, they all replied with a welcoming cheer and showered in it.
I admittedly did not, but I appreciate the idea of it from afar.
The Second half of Sunday
I lost Serena during Monotonix, because it is very hard to keep track of anyone when you are in a moshpit with both amped concert-goers and insane shirtless Israeli hippies throwing plastic and cymbals into the crowd while also playing while moshing in the crowd.
After awhile, I decided to head over to the Bridge Stage and get good seats for Broken Social Scene, one of my favorite bands of all time (well, at least when I was in high school, and I’d never seen them live!). I ended up running into a friend who works for their label and had VIP passes. “Um, you think I could borrow that for a sec?” I asked nonchalantly.
He said yes and before I knew it I was being whisked away through the primary VIP area (where VIPs watch shows, buy expensive pulled pork sandwiches and long island iced teas, and take photobooth pics) and into the SECONDARY VIP area (where the artists hang out, and there’s free booze and food!).
I still had about 10 minutes before BSS went onstage, so I decided to make the most of my VIP experience. First stop was the Mission Minis cupcake cart. I was underwhelmed by the dry lemon raspberry cupcakes but sat down on a picnic bench anyway with my snack and a carton of milk when LO AND BEHOLD Zooey Deschanel walked by!
I refrained from writing about She & Him because they were incredibly dull. In my opinion, She & Him should really be called, “Zooey Can Jump Around With A Trampoline For As Long As She Wants Because She’s Cute And Why Is M. Ward Doing This Exactly?” Zooey’s adorable, and I think she’s an OK actress, but she has no stage presence when she’s singing; her eyes are blank and she just jumps around a lot. But I won’t lie, I was super excited to see her.
She was TINY, about as tall as I am (5’2”) and wearing a ton of makeup. She was also wearing a very nice coat. I was about an inch away from her and I was going to say something but I couldn’t think of anything to say other than, “Why didn’t you want to date Joseph Gordon-Levitt, are you insane?” so I got up and went into the next tent to eat free
I really enjoyed Broken Social Scene; they played all of their old hits, which was great for me since it was my first time seeing them live, and were perfect for the cloudy, cozy atmosphere. During the show, my friend said “If this was seven years ago, I’d be crying right now,” and that’s pretty much how I felt also. Kevin Drew lamented that there was “no foreplay” at Treasure Island, and I wasn’t really sure what he meant but I’m sure it was something deep and meaningful, with a twinge of nostalgia and loss, like every single one of their songs.
The National dedicated most of their songs to various groups: those getting married, those already married, Democrats. They were ok; I’m usually a fan, but they just sounded like your run-of-the-mill stereotypical indie band live.
Conversely, Surfer Blood was surprisingly awesome live. After the two bands played, Serena and I needed a break. We decided to get hot chocolates and go on the ferris wheel, which was totally worth the five dollars.
Then we went into the Vitamin Water sponsored “Silent Disco,” which was definitely the coolest corporate-sponsored lounge I’ve ever been in. You got headphones when you walked into the twinkly-lit, sycamore-tree-shaded dance floor, which was surrounded by cozy beanbag chairs. You could either put on the headphones and dance to a DJ or take the headphones off and talk quietly. Serena and I accidentally took a nap.
We caught a few moments of Belle and Sebastian (“It’s nice to know they sound the same live as they do on their albums,” Serena said) and then took off. I wish I could have stayed a little longer, but I was all concert-ed out.
I agree with Serena; I get why they split the days into “crazy rave electronica” music and more chill tunes, but I would have had way more energy if more bands like the Mototonix played on Sunday. The weather + music = nap time. I still had a blast, though. I’ll definitely be back next year.