Photos by: Juliana Bernstein (Get Tiny Photography)
Review by: Jon Norris
Treasure Island Music Festival is the biggest fall party in Northern California. Dead set in between the Bay Bridge connecting the east bay with San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge; Treasure Island truly feels like an escape from the moment you take the exit towards the festival.
Walking in on day one felt like a classic California famers market. Artists and artisans showed off their crafts (including impromptu poetry, silk screening, jewelry, graffiti art, food and anything else you might want) in an attempt to draw in onlookers to their particular booth among the hundred other options available.
The festival was set up with two big stages aptly named ‘Bridge’ and ‘Tunnel’ set up in close proximity. The set times were designed not to overlap so that every act on either main stage was the only one performing at that time. This design also created the phenomenon of mass migration every time a set would end at one stage. All of a sudden thousands of people desire the same limited space near the active stage creating a tsunami of scantily clad festivalgoers journeying the few hundred yards only to crash on what minutes before was an empty stage.
Classixx was the first group to really draw in the full girth of the festival and hold interest for its whole set. They came out with energy, crowd participation and a lot to enjoy for anybody who likes bass, heavy synth and dynamic live performance.
The skyline of San Francisco was prominently featured as a backdrop to the weekend and only enhanced the getaway feel of the festival as the city felt at once far removed yet still easily accessible. The sunset created the perfect mood for artists like Ryan Hemsworth to come out and ease everyone into the evening. Mixing in everything from gangsta rap to Blink 182 he kept the crowd on their toes and grooving as day one of the festival transitioned from bright skies to bright lights.
One of the hidden gems of the festival was the “Silent Frisco” where DJs like Motion Potion were spinning highly danceable beats through a sea of headphones and bodies in motion. The disco was tucked away in the back of the festival grounds and offered a refuge for many during a diverse group of headlining acts on the main stages. For the duration of the festival the silent disco steadily remained the perfect spot to relax let it all out on the dance floor.
Well after dark on night one Zedd came out in a huge puff of smoke and images that suggested a break from the regularly scheduled program, and he certainly delivered. Zedd played a great set that felt larger and more polished as a performance than most other artists at the festival. Zedd’s set came fully equipped with giant carefully designed visuals, pyrotechnics and hard drops on popular songs that had everyone at the festival singing along and moving/womping.
Day two came with a different feel than the first with many more people attending the festival the second day. The sets were tight on day two, with many acts coming out and praising other artists at the festival that they have enjoyed previously or giving props to some of the lesser-known artists on the bill.
Chet Faker took over the late afternoon spot at the perfect time and weather for a San Francisco Sunday. Playing one of the most personal and intimate sets of the festival, Chet took us from his distant musical past in Philadelphia with ‘No Diggity’ to his more recent successes and collaborations as a world famous performer.
Massive Attack closed out the festival and this show was their last in a string of dates on the legend’s world tour. The group couldn’t have selected a better place for a culmination than Treasure Island. They came on and gave a solid and at times subdued performance highlighting their songwriting and musical experimentation while keeping the crowd engaged for the duration of the set. Playing hits like ‘Teardrop’ while still showcasing their diverse catalog, Massive Attack was the perfect closer for an eclectic weekend that left everyone feeling as if they got what they came for.
The functionality you are trying to use is for members only. Would you like to sign in?