The Best, Worst and Most WTF Moments of the 2010 Treasure Island Music Festival
The Treasure Island Music Festival has officially wrapped up its
3rdÂ 4th year of music, dancing, activities, and food packed into two days. The event, put on by Noise Pop and Another Planet Entertainment, kicks off every year with a day of electronic dance/DJ/hip-hop music and closes with a day of indie rock. The lineup is a perfect blend of big ticket acts and rising stars, giving the event a large festival feel in a tiny package. With past headliners like the Flaming Lips and Justice, TIMF 3Â 4 had a lot to live up, to but this year’s powerhouse lineup definitely brought the fun and excitement we have come to expect.
After listening to all the bands, tasting all the food and dancing till our booties would shake no more, The Owl Mag is taking a look back at some of the highlights and handing out some TIMF honors.
Best Warming Up of a Frozen Crowd – Belle and Sebastian
What is there to say about Belle and Sebastian? Their live shows are whimsical. No matter what your musical taste it’s impossible not to be won over by the band’s sweet sounds. Only a band as wonderful as Belle and Sebastian could warm up a frozen, rain-drenched crowd standing in the oceanside breeze at 9PM.
Best In Show – Deadmau5
Deadmau5 rocked it, pounding the crowd with heavy beats, an overwhelming light show and his patented mouse helmet complete with LED lights.
Most Disappointing Crowd Reaction to an Amazing Show – LCD Soundsystem
Maybe it was the cold or perhaps everyone was danced out, but LCD Soundsystem did not get the hero’s welcome they deserved. Granted, they did come out with one of their slowest jams, putting a damper on the over all performance–but they rocked the rest of the set, although you wouldn’t be able to tell from the almost motionless crowd.
Best Local Act – Maus Haus & Wallpaper
This was a tie between synth rock locals Maus Haus and disco glam duo Wallpaper. Yes, they were the only two local acts, but they are the only two hailing from the Bay Area that could hang with the likes of Deadmau5 and LCD Soundsystem. Both bands drew a large crowd considering they were the first two acts of a two-day festival.
Most Adorable – She & Him
Okay, so Zooey Deschanel is adorable, but so is the rest of the band and their music. Not many people could pull off an oldies revival sound like that but Deschanel and M. Ward do just that. It’s nice to see them transition from novelty act to a legitimate band.
Most Insane Fans – Die Antwoord
Die Antwoord is insane, so naturally, their fans are insane as well. The combination of screaming, writhing, tattered-clothes-wearing fans with gold-grill sporting, profanity-spewing, super ninja Die Antwoord, is a match made in some awesome alternate dimension.
Most Enthusiastic – !!!
!!! lead singer Nic Offer is an animal on stage, dancing around like a kid who’s just realizing he loves music. It made the fans scream and boogie right along with the funky, disco, dance rockers.
Most Likely to Succeed – Phantogram
There were some big names at the festival, but walking around listening to people chatter, the buzz was all about Phantogram. Festival goers really dug the once-duo now-trio’s brooding, electronic shoegazing. We will definitely be hearing more from them in the future.
Most Out of Place – Holy Fuck
Holy Fuck is not a festival band. Their sound is amazing and mesmerising; they are aggressive and chaotic. It’s an incredible experience to see them live inside a venue, but the chaos is diluted when played in a big outdoor festival setting. If you weren’t standing right by the stage the noise emanating sounded awkward. Those who were not already fans were not beckoned to the stage but rather milled about seeing what else the festival had to offer.
Best Advice – !!! and Die Antwoord
Nic Offer of !!!: “You should join a band, it’s a lot of fun.”
Die Antwoord: “Be happy.”
Best Battle of the Swedes – Little Dragon and Miike Snow
So apparently Sweden is filled with costume-wearing, shadow-lurking, space-age dance rockers. At least that’s what could be gathered from the last two acts to appear on the Treasure Island second stage. Little Dragon wooed the crowd with their spacey synth pop while lead singer Yukimi Nagano drew more people in with her dancing, swaying, jumping and siren voice. Miike Snow put on an equally trippy show filled with driving beats, hypnotic vocals and theatrics. The band entered the stage in darkness and smoke, all wearing expressionless masks. Their sound is a meticulous patchwork of sounds from electro synth to DJ beats to punk and disco.
Most WTF? – Monotonix
Any band that says “fuck the stage, we are playing in the crowd” is going to have a memorable performance. Monotonix threw their gear into the crowd and used those who weren’t scared away as the stage. Literally, the lead singer sat on a drum stool that was held up by the audience. There’s no way to really describe their sound–it’s loud, frightening and awesome.
Most Lackluster Stage Presence But With Killer Beats – Four Tet
Poking at a laptop doesn’t make for the best stage performance. Luckily Four Tet pumps out some killer music so stage presence can easily take a backseat.
Best Food – Unagi Burrito
BBQ Kalbi serves up a killer unagi burrito.
Best Sponsored Promotion – Vitaminwater’s Silent Disco
In a move of sheer genius, Vitaminwater set up a Silent Disco, a designated area tucked in a corner of Treasure Island where people were dancing in silence, or at least that’s what it seemed from the outside. In reality people were wearing wireless headphones listing to fantastic DJs spinning dancy remixes and beats.
Best Unlisted Performance – The Ferocious Few
The Ferocious Few set up an impromptu stage in a small corner of the festival and played a killer set sans stage, as their fans have grown accustomed to.
Most Appropriate Band Theme – The Mumlers
San Francisco’s The Mumlers took the stage with a pirate theme, perfectly matching the overall pirate theme of the festival. They even play a brand of rock that is dark yet danceable, something a pirate could definitely jig to.
Most Energy – Superchuck
You would never guess that the members of Superchunk are in their 40s. Especially not after watching them jump and run around the stage at Treasure Island. They had more energy than any of their younger festival partners.
Newest Fashion Trend – Animal Hats
These aren’t the furry hats with ears that everyone is used to seeing. These are hats with animals on them. Maybe it’s a shark or a lion or a chicken but now there’s no more looking like an animal, people are just straight up wearing animals.
Best Recovery – Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene came out on stage looking like they hadn’t slept in months and that’s because they hadn’t. They were at the end of their tour, looking tired, getting frustrated, and at one point a malfuntioning guitar was thrown to the ground. After some hearty crowd love the band powered through and got a second wind closing out the show with Drew jumping into the crowd because, as he put it, “I’m going to crowd surf now because I want to be close to you.”
Best Classic Indie Rock – The Sea and Cake
The Sea and Cake have been around for some time, before the indie explosion of the 21st century. They have played consistently pleasant, soulful understated indie rock since the mid-’90s and that’s exactly what they brought to Treasure Island.
Most Exciting Newcomers – Surfer Blood
With a single album under their belt, Surfer Blood is burning up the indie rock scene and gaining some serious notoriety. They play fuzzed-out, island-inspired grunge pop. They put on a raucous set that drew in many old and new fans.
The Worst – RAIN
How did San Francisco go from 90 degrees to rain in a week? More importantly why did it happen during Treasure Island? The festival definitely seized a bad opportunity and made it worse by not allowing umbrellas and then selling shitty plastic ponchos for $5 each. Unfortunately it was worth the inflated prices as the rain didn’t let up until later in the afternoon.
San Francisco is rapidly becoming a popular festival destination for music fans around the world. With Outside Lands, Noise Pop, Treasure Island, Stern Grove, Hardly Strictly and most recently, the All Shook Down Festival, it’s a wonder why the city by the bay isn’t more recognized for its festivals. Let’s keep it that way! Any more ravenous, dancing, music loving fans on Treasure Island might sink the damn thing.