Photograph of The xx by Darryl Kirchner
While competing with the Nike Woman’s Marathon, two pivotal home sport games, and several other events in the city, Treasure Island Music Festival (TI) seemed to have boasted a larger turnout than the day before. Thousands came to celebrate things that San Francisco natives are truly passionate about- great music, food, local art/businesses, and beautiful weather; which, anyone in San Francisco will tell you can’t come often enough. Day two of TI’s line up was carefully composed of bands that either brought you to your feet, or soothed your soul as you relaxed on either of the two stages of the event. As we mentioned in our day one review of Treasure Island Festival, the unique stage set-up allowed fans to see each and every performance. With TI’s more cozy layout, a quick turn of the head would of sufficed to see the next band. Or, if you wanted to keep the party going, the odd yet fun experience of the silent disco was available throughout the day.
Photograph of Los Campesinos!
Opening the event was the local San Francisco based pop group Imperial Teen, which most people may remember from their string of hit songs in the late 90’s. But the band is back with their 5th studio album Feel the Sound, filling in the voids of boy/girl harmonies that fans were missing from the show. Another early highlight was Wild Belle, who kept everyone swaying with their great blend of horns, tight bass lines and jazz influenced percussion.
Anyone nursing a hangover or their tired feet from the night prior’s dance party were probably pleased by the harmonious sounds of Joanna Newsom. Her performance included delicate piano playing and a stunning harp that she still managed to pluck as the winds were picking up. Nonetheless, her voice and stage presence were intoxicating, along with her unique approach to storytelling. The largest band of the day was Los Campesinos!, who liberated the smaller stage right after Joanna, with their seven-piece group. All hands were on deck, as the crowd danced and smiled along with lead singer Gareth David. “This is the easiest stage to perform on. When you’ve got a backdrop like that, (SF skyline) you feed off of it. It is truly a very nice place to be,” said Gareth with a smile. And indeed it was. By dusk, a large crowd of people were all congregating towards the edge of the island to witness one of the most epic sunsets the city has ever seen, a definite instagram moment. (#ti2012)
Photograph of Joanna Newsom
While everyone else was mesmerized by the sights, Best Coast brought the California dreaming to the main stage with their charming and laid back tunes. Guitarist Bethany Consentino took front center and reminded everyone that summer should never end. Her soft voice accompanied the talented Bobb Bruno, as the duo displayed true instrumental talent. Divine Fits followed with a set that couldn’t be ignored, as the three members of the band played tracks from their debut album, A Thing Called Divine Fits. Most of the crowd in attendance weren’t familiar with the band (even though it includes several notable members), but their thumping sound and on-stage chemistry seemed to please everyone.
Photograph of Best Coast
M83 thrilled the entire island, and brought electronic music back into the program. As the day fully transitioned into night, the extensive reverb effects and light show had everyone feeling like they were on another galaxy. Soft vocals, set over heart thumping instrumentals, made for a danceable and unearthly experience. The only drawback was that their sound seemed to diminish a bit towards the end, as the winds picked-up, and their much-awaited hit track, “Midnight City” came on. Thankfully the saxophonist played an unforgettable solo, which saved the song and ended the set beautifully.
Photograph of M83
Beth Ditto, of the outspoken band Gossip, stole the show with her spunky presence and playful personality. The band brought in the largest crowd of the smaller stages, and had everyone dancing with their very real energy. But the real treat of the evening was yet to come.
We all know there are some bands that sound even more amazing live: using their unique sound and glowing visuals, the highly anticipated, The XX, did not disappoint. Their angelic and haunting tone emitted through the main stage, as the band played most of their songs from their second album Coexist. Fog machines billowed clouds throughout their performance, which blurred the definition of the fog slowly making its way across the bay. The exchange between lead singers, Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim was simply elegant. Their energy and cohesiveness left everyone with a sense of awe and romaticiscm, which seemed to emanate from the front of the stage, to the back of the crowd. If you are even just a casual fan, watching them live is a must.
Photograph of Romy Madley Craft
Smiles of content mixed with the woes of people anxious to get home after a long and amazing weekend, were seen throughout the lines forming towards the shuttle services that the festival provided. Although people came for the music, Treasure Island is a festival that should be admired for its well-organized staff, sponsors, and cooperation with the city of San Francisco. It’s a fine recommendation for any music lover, who wants to be immersed in good company and positive vibes. Until then, see you next year.
Written by Manny Pagkalinawan. Photographs and Media by Darryl Kirchner.
Check out our photo gallery from Treasure Island Day Two here.