Post by Emmanuel Hapsis
Photos: Wendy Goodfriend
This year’s Treasure Island Music Festival couldn’t have been more heavenly: Indian summer in full swing, out-of-control views, scantily clad hipsters, and of course hours and hours of great music. Check out photos of the scene, from the colorful crowds to the 60-foot Ferris wheel to scene-stealers St. Vincent and YACHT. It’s all here!
ARTS & CRAFTS
The wonderful people from Workshop were camped out in a D.I.Y. tent, where they taught abbreviated versions of the classes they offer at their NOPA location. Need a cozy for your beer? No problem, they’ll teach you how to make one. Want to put together a terrarium and lug it back home for 2 hours on public transport? No sweat! Other notable art was the face painting booth, where I may or may not have gotten an Adam and the Ants inspired look two days in a row. Caution: rad face paint will attract excitable drunks.
The focal point of the festival was a Bliss sculpture by Marco Cochrane that presided over the whole affair. Made of steel that weighs a whopping 7,000 pounds and consumes a space 40 feet by 30 feet, this gigantic representation of the naked female form was the perfect reminder to let go of inhibitions and feel as free as you do in your birthday suit. Another Burning Man-esque attraction was a bus that was converted into a pirate ship. One brief trip up a ladder led to the top deck, where you could get a good survey of the land while feeling as though the bus might tip over and crush you at any moment.
I thought the Silent Disco was a strange idea, until I paid a visit and saw the headphoned crowd grooving and then all freaking out at the same time to the same song unheard by non-participating spectators. Now I know what people on the street think when they look into my apartment and wonder if I’m having a seizure.
Other revelers roaming around the festival were a posse of monsters who cut a grassy rug and the liveliest bateria imaginable called the Loyd Family Players, who compelled bystanders with various dancing abilities to join the professional movers and shakers.
You can’t really expect to dance and roam for 12 hours without some sustenance. Thankfully, there were some seriously delish food vendors on deck. The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen offered up that gooey classic with tomato and fresh jalapenos for added bite. Epic Cookies provided sugar rushes galore (the chocolate cookie and coconut macaroon were tops). And there were spinach and potato knishes (what’s that you ask? a dumpling of dough stuffed with goodness), as well as to more standard favorites like wraps and hot slices of pizza that were perfect for the chilly night shows. Everything tastes better when the sun’s out and cute people with face paint are smiling in your face.
In my Treasure Island preview, I said that you would be a fool to miss St. Vincent’s live set and I’m taking this opportunity to tap myself on the back because I was infinitely right about that. From the moment Annie Clark came out on the stage, she commanded the entire festival’s attention. Her voice was immaculate, her guitar throttling was so intense that she broke a string, and her general demeanor was that of the girl you just fell perilously in love with.
The biggest surprise of the festival was British band Friendly Fires. I knew next to nothing about them, but my friend advised me that I should get ready to dance my heart out. Lead singer Ed Macfarlane is perhaps the goofiest dancer I’ve ever seen, hand placed at the back of his head and hips everywhere. His dancing with abandon was utterly infectious and had the crowd spazzing out as the sun blasted its rays into our faces. Every time the set seemed to be winding down, the band would surprise us with another conniption. Hysteria never felt so good.
Whoever orchestrated Beach House playing at sunset deserves a promotion. The golden light was the perfect glaze for the band’s euphoric sonic dreams. The usually reserved Victoria Legrand was downright playful with the crowd and the band unveiled brand new songs that prove beyond a doubt that this duo is just getting started.
With the San Francisco skyline serving as a backdrop, YACHT took to the stage and delivered a high-energy set full of positivity and coordinated dance moves. Claire L. Evans played the role of the slinky temptress as Joan Bechtolt played every instrument on the stage. “Come on over, we’re having a party for you,” they sing on “Psychic City,” and it truly felt like these two were putting on a fiesta for just us, their best friends.
The six members of The Head and the Heart met at an open mic night they all frequented in Seattle and went on to hone their sound in their practice space: a public library. That setting must have rubbed off on them because the lyrics of their harmonious folk tunes are perfectly worded and evocative. For example: “One day, we’ll all be ghosts trippin’ around in someone else’s home.” The band appeared to be having the time of their lives on stage. It’s always nice to witness people living out their dreams.
For those who want to see more of all the Treasure Island happenings and for those who just want to relive it all, check out our slideshows of all the festival’s greatness below. Only 52 weeks to go until we do it all again!