Treasure Island Music Festival is ahead of the curve. With its well curated lineup, it sums up the best of the festival year, and also gives a nod to who is just getting started. Every year they seduce legendary headliners to take the stage, but underneath the behemoth acts, they lay a foundation of some of the strongest new names in music from every genre and style.
Taking pride in the fact that they are not a big festival, and also taking more pride that there is no possibility of missing out on any act due to set time conflicts, Treasure Island Music Festival has the ideal set up for music lovers. With only two stages that sit perfectly picturesque against an amazing backdrop facing the city of San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge, all you really do is move from one set to the next. The TIMF festival goer has the unique opportunity to take in the top talent that one generally might be forced to compromise on due to set times or gargantuan festival layouts.
Another amazing quality of the festival is the actual crowd itself. Everyone is into the experience, no one is going too hard, and good vibes were the collective priority. All smiles and beautiful human beings flocked from Bridge Stage to Tunnel Stage, new friendships were forged, and old friendships were made stronger. We think even one of our group may have found his future wife... Stay tuned for more updates on that.
All in all, this was my third year going to Treasure Island Music Festival, and each year I fall more in love with it for its stress free quality, ideal festival experience, impressively well curated lineup and breathtaking vistas. Treasure Island Music Festival is a place where some of the best memories are made, so don't fight it, next year come join the fun and make some memories of your own.
Now! On with the breakdown day by day of the amazing acts that we experienced! Really, I could list them all, but we have to focus and really show you who excelled above the rest in my humble opinion.
Style, grace, the best sunset set you'll never forget! This was the second time that I basked in the wonderful timeless glow that is the live Classixx show, and it was so much stronger than the first. My group and I made the bold choice of getting front and center, and we had no idea the sublime nirvana we were going into. The sun was setting, and Classixx started strong, and then their on stage television turned on... The show got real, and when their remix of YACHT's psychic city started to play and YACHT's female lead singer took to the screen with psychedelic effects all around her as she sang, it got very, very real... You can't put a price on a sunset, and you certainly can't put a price on a Classixx sunset set with all of San Francisco burning bright in the background. It is hard to put it into words, but I am very thankful that we went all in and got right up there to see what Classixx was really all about. They are all about great music, and by god, I'll never be the same thanks to them.
2015, you better watch it, Jungle is taking over. There is not much cooler nor more stylish than Jungle right now. They are subtle, sophisticated. With a style that throws back well before throwback thursday, Jungle's got their finger on contemporary dance music and they are pushing it forward. Much like Disclosure's moment in the sun before, Jungle reintroduces dance music lovers to live instrumentation and the full band element, and they absolutely crush the crowd. It was the perfect jumpstart to a legendary weekend. The crowd and Jungle became this massive funky thing grooving this way and that. Any and all Jungle sets are going to be so thick you can't even breathe I imagine as they tour the world over, so I am glad I caught them early when I could bounce all around and get real funky with my friends.
Synthpop gods rocking out, going all out and looking damn good while doing it. I see nothing but an amazing trajectory going up, up, up for St. Lucia. As a band on a sold out tour, they were nothing but enthused and completely into putting on the best show to the best of their capabilities which was pretty damn awesome. Inspired by the 80's and only having been around for two years, St. Lucia is a great music fixture that is growing stronger. I can't wait for their next album, they have just finished touring on their last album and they are already diving into their next... Check the wonderful interview I did with St. Lucia next week for more on all that...
They don't let Ryan out of the house often, but when they do... Bringing his unique brand of chill, borderline melancholic, R&B informed and inspired dance music, Ryan got the crowd grooving in a way they were not expecting. It was chill, it was deep, it was forcing you to move, a slow groove. His selections were refined, innovative, and one step ahead of what you might have expected. This man has settled into his sound, it feels like he has found himself, and even despite pressing the wrong button as he told the crowd at one point, nothing is going to stop this star from burning bright. A new favorite of mine, it also gave me one of the better moments to myself this weekend, is Ryan Hemsworth's latest song 'Snow In Newark'... Give it a listen above.
Oh boy, this is daunting to even begin describing the set that was Massive Attack at Treasure Island Music Festival. After a weekend of creative brilliance with talent overflowing in every set, it all came down to the main headliner that I instantly said I had to go to the festival for.
They played the hits and they played them better than you could have ever imagined they might. It is one thing to say a band is better live than they are on their albums, and with Massive Attack, they take you to a higher plane of bliss when they take the stage. They won me over quick in their set when they played my favorite song 'Paradise Circus' and then they proceeded to reduce my entire group of friends and fellow beautiful dance partners to a puddle of pure enjoyment. We grooved, we got down, we loved their deep, dark visuals.
Massive Attack was not all flowers and sunshine in their performance, they wanted to activate your mind while moving your body and soul at the same damn time. They make beautiful music that exists in the real world, and so it is no surprise that they wanted you to be very aware of your existence and think critically of every moment and enjoy it. Massive Attack, let me put it this way, thank you so much for what you did on that gorgeous Sunday. In summation, everyone was raging and loving the last seconds of this beautiful festival with such an iconic electronic band, they moved me so much that I may have become a jungle cat on a tree limb.
An amazing live act that has grown into it, and is going to be a major act to see in the coming year. I had mixed feelings about their sophomore album, and now that overly critical perspective has been vanquished. Alt-J got my friends going absolutely berzerk with their groove and dance moves, and it was a spectacle to be seen. When a well dressed female dancing partner asked one of my good friends what he thinks about Alt-J, he just said this, "Don't even get me started."
Do yourself a lifelong favor and see Alt-J whenever the rare opportunity presents itself. This was my second time, and they really appear to have fallen into their rockstar shoes so to speak. If this is where they go after hitting success, I am almost terrified of the heights they are destined for.
The women loved him, and the men wanted to be him. Chet Faker was a delight on a Sunday afternoon with sunny skies and no concern for Monday morning. I had no idea he would be a one man show on stage, and he owned that stage. Bouncing around, singing and mixing at the same time. Chet Faker has been everywhere and he is going to continue to be everywhere. I was just thankful that he played every song of his that I deeply love, but with a great live act twist to each it seems.
It was her last show, and you could tell she was feeling the crowd as much as we were feeling her. A strong start, and I am really excited to see where she would go. It was refreshing to experience a crowd singing along to heartfelt music that touches on less trodden sides of the emotional spectrum. Banks has clearly felt some pretty strong emotions and been hurt, but boy does she translate negatives into positives. The year prior James Blake was one of the standouts, and it felt like Banks was giving James a run for his money at Treasure Island Music Festival.
Maybe Washed Out created chillwave, maybe they are over it and have moved on a bit to a new sound now, but they certainly were no chill act! Playing their early hits and the latest from their most recent album, they rocked out just as hard as any rock act I have seen at Treasure Island Music Festival in years prior in that time slot.