Words and Photos by Pedro Paredes-Haz
There are a lot of things that set Treasure Island Music Festival apart from the other festivals we see in Northern California. First we have the beautiful setting, you really can’t beat being in the middle of the Bay during the Indian Summer. Secondly is the alternating format where every act is just a minute’s walk away, eliminating the FOMO experienced at other festivals. But perhaps the thing that sets the festival furthest apart from the competition is loading Saturday with the dance acts and Sunday with buzzed about indie rock acts. This isn’t a hard set rule and there are dance acts on Sunday and indie acts on Saturday, but the vibes are definitely very different.
This year we were treated to an absolutely stellar set of acts on Sunday. The action started early with acts like Viet Cong, Mikhail Cronin and Ex Hex and continued all the way through closing act The National. Check out our gallery for some great shots of all the acts. I’ll focus on some of my favorite acts for the review.
There are few things that say lazy Sunday afternoon more perfectly than José González. The Swedish folk singer filled the breezy afternoon with a mixture of original songs, covers and songs by members of his accompanying band. He gave the crowd what they were waiting for on the last song, playing his cover of “Heartbeats” by The Knife solo as the band and audience looked on. It’s hard to say a cover is better than an original, especially in this case because the original is so good, but in this case it might be true.
Even while watching him create music live, I often can’t figure out how Panda Bear AKA Noah Lennox weaves such complex beats and melodies together. A one man music machine, Lennox looks so unassuming, but the way he composes music and mixes his own voice is genius.
For me the best moment was hearing “Boys Latin” off the new album Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper live. The beat is a deep industrial shoe gaze and Lennox’s vocals are almost gregorian. You will never hear vowels the same again. Read More