Treasure Island Music Festival 2016 (Pics, Summary)

    Photo Gallery of Treasure Island Music Festival @ San Francisco, CA (October 15 & 16, 2016) (we were not granted a photo pit pass)

    As we mentioned in our preview, Treasure Island Music Festival took place in a different part of the island for their 10th anniversary. While relocating a weekend-long event poses enough challenges, the biggest came from mother nature and airport complications. We were warned ahead to bring rainwear to deal with the storm; the numerous times I’ve visited San Francisco, I never had to deal with more than a light rain so how bad could it get?

    Approaching the festival gate, the ominous clouds waited in the periphery. The organizers stated that the new site was bigger, but somehow it didn’t feel that way. Perhaps because the giant statue of the lady was missing. It also seemed like there were less vendors and other intriguing installations, though abounded with comestible choices.

    First day was sort of a misadventure, but before the storm got the best of me, I enjoyed few acts that kept the festive-spirit alive. The unanticipated standout was Sofi Tukker. The New York duo only has one album under their belt, but judging by their infectious, unique sound which the band described as: “One part Sophie one part Tucker… the weird crossover that our very different creative minds find” and engaging stage presence, they could have a long-career ahead. I was also intrigued by their percussion set up, which comprised of a circular display of books:

    “We love books and they are beautiful visually! Also, they are hard and durable, unlike fruit and vegetables (which we tried and which became soggy quickly). Initially we were using poetry books written by the Brazilian Poet Chacal, who wrote the poem we used in “Drinkee” and “Matadora”. once that book became too beaten up, we had to switch it out. Now we choose books based on size and weight. The book tree lets us use our height on stage so that we can perform the songs more physically and theatrically!”

    When I asked Sofi Tukker what they would like to accomplish in the next 10 years: “As much joy as possible” They certainly did that at TIMF.

    Not only the rain, but problems at the airport caused a rippling effect on Saturday night’s schedule. The Polish Ambassador who went on at 3:50, played beyond his 4:30 cut off time to fill in the void. The Oakland native electronic musician/DJ stepped up to the task and ended high with “Take on Me”, inducing many to test out their vocal chords.

    With the rumors of the event shutting down and not being equipped to handle the storm, I eventually joined a large crowd rushing to the shuttle. By the time I reached my base, the rain had ceased. Program was extended an hour to midnight. How To Dress Well did make it to the grounds after the delay at the airport. We were told no re-entry as we exited the gate; TIMF made an exception for the night, but the news came too late. And I beat myself up for not enduring water-soaked boots and malfunctioning cameras.

    On Sunday, the weather lined up another cancellation, but I endured the duration to catch one of the most exquisite acts of all time – Sigur Rós. A delayed transportation had me running to the gate. Unfortunately, by the time I reached the stage, Day Wave was finishing up his cover of New Order’s “Ceremony”. However, I did meet up with Jackson Phillips a little later for a chat.

    Day Wave has only been in existence since 2015, but Phillips is already moving away from his lo-fi DIY sound to a more polished production. The Oakland-based musician has two EPs in the market and is currently finishing up his first full-length. Day Wave produces songs that gets classified as synth/dream-pop, but his love of music is as diverse as the weather of the Bay Area:

    “ When I was a teenager, I loved Pink Floyd, and I loved progressive rock like Yes, King Crimson, Brian Eno, and I love jazz, classical, blue grass. But I also love bands like The Shins, Phoenix, and a lot of different type of music. But when it came to time to make my own music, I wanted to pull from New Order and Joy Divison type. Because at the time, it was what really I was feeling I wanted to make. And it was a nice way for me to approach guitar because I was new to guitar.”

    As the precipitation took a break, I seized the opportunity to check out the pier that was closed on Saturday, only to be disappointed to find the Ferris wheel still not operational. Silent disco, craft tent, and vendors also suffered the absence of festival goers yesterday, situated on the jetty.

    The first half of Sunday’s program was dominated by guitar-based acts, who were all “trendy” one time or another. Spanish all-female foursome, Hinds, were the latest in vogue band to enjoy the adoration. Captured Track artists, Wild Nothing and Mac DeMarco, were now veterans in the game. I swear Jack Tatum (Wild Nothing) was crowd surfing during DeMarco’s set!

    Deafheaven was definitely the odd man out at an event dominated by pop and electronica; their experimental metal could obliterate the sun if it were made of glass. Ironically, our star came out for the darkest band of the fest. Their deafening music is not for every ear, but something about the way singer George Clarke moves and gestures is spellbinding.

    During the second half of day two, the electronic scene picked up with Neon Indian, native favorite Tycho, and Sylvan Esso, in ultimate anticipation for James Blake. The wind started to pick up, and the rain dived into the stage. After waiting for some time, a cancellation of Blake’s show due to weather was announced (For those heart-broken over the absence of the Brit from the festival, had the chance to see him in Oakland the following Monday.). Since I was not given a photo pit access, I remained, staring at the vacant platform, where Blake would have had hearts fluttering, waiting for the headliner.

    Under the pregnant moon floating in and out of dark clouds, as breezy shower enveloped, nature provided a comparable environment for the music of Sigur Rós. In the past, the Icelandic post-rockers have been known to provide eye-catching visuals on stage. But on this night, the trio relied purely on the strength of their singularly ethereal music. No matter how many times I have seen them, they never fail to mesmerize.

    The future home of TIMF is uncertain, but most likely it won’t be on the island of its namesake. While the weather caused some complications, as a past attendee, I can attest I will return – provided the Ferris wheel will be operational.