Review & Photos | Treasure Island Music Festival | Day Two

Words By: Eric Podolsky
Images By: Sterling Munksgard

Treasure Island Music Festival :: 10.20.13 :: Treasure Island :: San Francisco, CA

Check out Eric's full review after Sterling's photos!

As is usually the case with Treasure Island Music Festival, day two brought a supremely more relaxed, less crowded atmosphere than the club-party congestion of day one. The day featured a stacked lineup of a wide musical variety, and attracted a crowd that was clearly hungry for some some good live music. The diversity of the acts certainly satisfied the musical palate as the day went on — the great sets varied from the grungy, reverb-laced garage-pop of Cayucas to the delicate, futuristic, vocoder-laced bedroom-soul of James Blake and the straight explosions of punk energy from Japandroids and Sleigh Bells. And though a nasty cloud of fog brought the bitter bay winds come evening, we huddled together and danced to keep warm, until it was time again to board the buses to ship us back to the mainland. For pure musical variety and convenience of location, it's hard to beat Treasure Island Music Festival when it comes to alternative music festivals. You can bet I'll be there next year, bundled up and dancing my butt off.

Sunday Highlights

Beck – 9:35-10:55 PM – Bridge Stage

After catching a fairly uninspired downer of a set at Outside Lands last year, I came into Beck's festival-closing set with few expectations. Happily, Beck was in a great, chatty mood, and took the frigid weather in stride, delivering a feel-good, old school set that was infused with his own goofy, funky charm that made us love Beck in the first place years ago.

Beck brought equal parts fuzzed-out roots rock, quirky, electo-tinged MC skills and gorgeous ballads delivered in his trademark languid drawl. Mixing things up with songs from every era of his career, we got plenty of feel good tunes like “Black Tamborine,” “E- Pro,” and the Spanglish-laced “Hotwax” and “Qué Onda Guero.” These were great to dance to after a day of fun-yet-unfamiliar alternative bands, and Beck's catalog of well-loved tunes brought the crowd together in a way that no other band was able to do on this day. Well-executed, fluid teases of “Tainted Love” and “I Feel Love” (out of “Think I'm In Love”) kept us on our toes, and there was even a full-blown “Billie Jean” cover, complete with Beck's attempt at moonwalking. The crowd went ape-shit when he busted out the slow- burn soul falsetto gem “Debra” as an encore, at which point the show turned from a fun time to something very special. You could feel Beck connecting with the diehard crowd that stuck around till the end, and a big sing-along to “Where It's At” sent us to the buses as a fantastic bookend to the weekend.

Animal Collective – 7:40-8:30 PM – Bridge Stage

Another set where the show far surpassed my expectations of it, Animal Collective's performance was far more cohesive and crowd-pleasing than the bizarre experimental excursions that I've experienced from them before. Their weird, warped, psych-rock show was a psychedelic rave-up on the bay, complete with freaky stage props and the often unintelligible, untethered vocal delivery of Panda Bear. His habit of chanting fragmented melodic phrases over and over lent a surreal feel to the set, giving one the feeling that you were slowly losing your sanity. The band stretched out nicely into satisfyingly weird realms of experimentation. For such a progressive band that constantly pushes the envelope of what you expect from them, this night saw Animal Collective set on showing us a good time with extended polyrhythmic grooves and harmonies, albeit supremely strange and experimental ones. Their too-short set closed with a sonic and vocal freak-out of primal proportions, leaving us craving more of their satisfying, perfectly-executed weirdness.

HAIM – 3:35-4:15 PM – Tunnel Stage

This trio of young sisters were the surprise act of the day for me. With their long hair whipping in the bay wind, these girls barreled out of the gates with a rip-roaring, visceral rock set that was made by the sheer ferocity of their delivery. Their punk attitude brought real vitality to the band's excellent set of catchy pop tunes, which included the infectious “Falling” and “Don't Save Me.” Lead vocalist and guitarist Danielle Haim attacks her guitar with vigor, and has real chops to back up the attitude — a raunchy surprise cover of the original Fleetwood Mac's “Oh Well” had her shredding it up. Watching these girls head-bang in skirts and leather jackets was admittedly a blast, though this is truly a talented band — they've got the attitude, the chops and the songwriting skills needed to do big things. HAIM are clearly in it to win it, and surely won over a whole bunch of fans with this afternoon set.

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[Published on: 10/25/13]

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