This weekend’s forecast initially posed a chance of rain. The Bay needs it, of course, but the thought of rain infiltrating an otherwise gorgeous day on Treasure Island was not a welcome one. Luckily that didn’t happen—it was actually quite warm and sunny on Saturday when I arrived shortly before MØ’s set.
The entrance to the festival was lined with vendors, including a big craft tent (where I made a leather bracelet for $3, obviously), many food booths and trucks of varying cuisine, and even one for the literacy non-profit/pirate store 826 Valencia.
There was plenty to do if you weren’t down with the band playing, however, it was hard to distract yourself from the music.
This year’s schedule boasted an eclectic mix of acts—both buzzy and established—making for an inclusive musical weekend for pretty much everyone. None of the stage acts overlapped (though DJs played throughout the day in a separate area), and show-goers were treated from every type of genre from the psychedelic rock of local duo Painted Palms, to the funky, bright Janelle Monae, to the electronic powerhouse Zedd—not to mention that infamous duo, Outkast, who played a high-energy 90 minute set Saturday night.
Though the festival was almost completely an incredible one, there are certain things that were both high points and low points.
The Low Points:
I like Jungle. They seem as exciting as such a normcore-clad collective can possibly be. They’re kind of funky and they made a neat record. However, their live show did not translate that excitement as well as I was hoping.
Getting off the island on Saturday night was the worst. From leaving the festival grounds to boarding a bus, we stood in line for nearly two hours. Many people missed BART, and the parking garage nearby closed at 1 am, leaving many to have to figure out a different way to get home.
The alcohol was pricey (not that that’s a surprise), and though there were two beer sizes, the bartenders defaulted to the larger size, and got angry if you asked for the smaller one.
Banks is becoming a diva in her own right. She refused to be photographed, and opted for a short, acoustic cover of her hit “Warm Water” rather than the fevered original version. It did not have the same effect.
The High Points:
MØ, the first act I came to see was exactly as she acts in her videos: she performs with a bit of quirk and a lot of swagger, tossing around her braided ponytail as she does, strutting on top of the cameraman’s platform to get a closer look at the audience. She was incredible.
Janelle Monae: whoa. Some (like me) might still have been a bit jilted by her cancelled appearance at Outside Lands a few years ago, and maybe some have seen her since, but this set more than made up for it. The singer is a force, having both boundless energy and charisma to get the audience excited as well as the balls to flawlessly take on a James Brown cover.
I didn’t have many expectations for Classixx, so I was pumped when the duo’s upbeat set proved impossible to not dance to.
Zedd’s light show was intense. He enlisted pyrotechnics, some insane visuals, and a hyper set.
Outkast played 90 minutes, and every second of it was incredible. There have been whispers about the Big Boi and Andre’s discord, but even if there’s any truth to that, you wouldn’t have known. They’re as in tandem as they’ve ever been, and they busted through full renditions of nearly all their major hits (with Sleepy Brown!).
Alt-J bathed themselves in a rich haze for their spacey, ethereal set. The dense lights made them larger than people, and their sound bigger than everything. If there were any next-level experiences at Treasure Island, this was it.
Ásgeir played a Nirvana cover, and it was beautiful.
Banks is really establishing herself as a standout pop/R&B act. She’s sultry, she’s got a wicked voice, and she’s becoming a diva in her own right.
All in all, the festival was a massive success, bringing a breadth of music to a relatively intimate space. We’re already looking forward to next year.
View the full gallery here.
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