Treasure Island fest a treat for electronic, indie music fanatics 

Two days of vastly different music blared from the middle of San Francisco Bay over the weekend, as The City’s “other” big festival delighted the sun-soaked crowds — even if getting to and from the venue proved a bit of a challenge.

For more pictures from the Treasure Island Music Festival, click on the photo to the right.

This year’s lineup for the fifth annual Treasure Island Music Festival was short on big names, but lived up to its reputation as a more eclectic musical experience than Outside Lands.

The only complaint patrons seemed to have was regarding shuttle buses. One unlucky group said they had a detour to the Financial District on Saturday night, when a driver got lost and missed a turn on the way back to AT&T Park — where the shuttles picked up and dropped off patrons — while another driver nearly missed the turnoff to the festival, scaring passengers with a severe last-minute turn.

The festival continued in splitting its days by genre — electronic music and dancier fare Saturday and indie rock Sunday — which gives the lineups two distinct flavors.

Early highlights Saturday included Yacht from Portland, Ore. Their blend of electro-pop is similar to LCD Soundsystem, but with female vocals at times. The Naked and Famous continued that feel on the Bridge Stage, but with a heavier hand, delivering rave-up breaks with a rock-group pitch.

Back on the smaller Tunnel Stage, it was the bombastic Battles that ruled the day. Despite losing founding member and frontman of sorts Tyondai Baxter, the group sounded like they actually added members.

Of the bigger acts Saturday night, Death From Above 1979 were a head-scratcher. The duo’s blend of high-energy metallic punk, while awesome and fun, might have been better suited for Sunday’s bill.

Empire of the Sun were the Saturday’s headliners, and they delivered. Their sonic, psychedelic sound was matched by stunning visuals. Neon-drenched costumes on leader Luke Steele and his synchronized dancers flew across the stage to the modern glam sounds of deep electro-funk. The background projections with lasers and fog elicited an alien-mothership-landing feel.

On Sunday, Beach House were by far the most popular act, making devotees swoon over throaty vocals and warm, bass-heavy atmospherics as the sun went down.

If the festival could be compared to a rave, Sunday would be the decompression — with the exception of the opening band, San Francisco’s own Thee Oh Sees, who threw down a messy, fast rock set full of rich, warm, Cramps-esque guitar that gave rise to a noontime mosh pit. Led by guitarist and singer John Dwyer, the psych-rock outfit have added another drummer to their lineup, giving the songs an even more thumping march.

Sunday also had no shortage of sultry female vocalists, starting off with the polyphonic all-female Warpaint. St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, drew a large crowd with her quirky avant-pop, making full use of her vocal range, from the deep and throaty to a higher pitch, with animalistic howls inbetween.

Bay Area pop-gazers Weekend delivered a set of lush noise, but the loud group of songs failed to hold the early crowd.

Visually, the trio defined the art of shoegazing and looked more like a group of dudes playing their first middle school battle of the bands than a group rocking out a premier music festival.

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Lauren Gallagher

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Jason Silverio

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Tuesday, Oct 13, 2015


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