Dance music and glow sticks gave way to indie-pop melodies and rain jackets during the fourth installment of the annual Treasure Island Music Festival over the weekend.
Despite the sometimes inclement weather, the festival proved to be a hit — both with those focused on its musical offerings and those seeking other entertainment.
Aside from its trademark shift in musical genres, the festival also treated attendees to characteristic ferris-wheel rides and palm-tree-lined views of The City. Art, clothing and jewelry vendors returned with handmade offerings, the Silent Disco saw headphone-clad attendees dancing or lounging on pillows, and local graffiti artists concocted spray-painted creations.
This year, Treasure Island also featured a popular new installment: free craft projects — including terrarium- and drink cozy-making — put on by San Francisco-based Workshop.
On Saturday, Deadmau5 brought out the ravers with heavy beats and a light show, !!! (Chk Chk Chk) strutted their stuff and Die Antwood awkwardly brought sex to the stage.
Swedish band Little Dragon was one of Saturday’s highlights, with singer Yukimi Nagano’s classic deep, soulful vocals complementing modern instrumentation that was seemingly a mix of Nintendo beats and a dreamy ’80s teen movie soundtrack.
Miike Snow, which headlined the Bridge stage Saturday, transformed its tropical-tinged melodies into digitized rock anthems by turning up the speakers and seeming to focus on creating noise, sometimes at the expense of its songs. (Some amps are not meant to go to 11.)
LCD Soundsystem’s Saturday headlining performance had everyone in the crowd dancing like they were locked in their bedrooms, using hairbrushes as microphones. The song “All My Friends” saw spectators gather into groups with unknown friends to dance and sing at the top of their lungs.
Sunday, festivalgoers traded glow sticks for rain jackets, as the mellower music selection brought somber weather with it.
Although gray skies remained throughout the day, the rainstorm thankfully subsided by about 2:30 p.m., leaving viewers to battle only the wind, cold and occasional view-hungry spectators shoving their way to the front of the crowd.
Belle and Sebastian completely captivated with their upbeat, heartbreaking melodies — sometimes delightfully accompanied by a five-piece string band — and drew attention to the band’s San Francisco connections with songs like “Piazza, New York Catcher,” which reference the Giants and the Tenderloin.
Although Belle and Sebastian’s Sunday headlining performance was debatably the best of the entire festival, the band played to a noticeably diminished crowd largely hell-bent on getting out of the cold and avoiding shuttle lines.
The National drew the largest crowd Sunday on the main Bridge stage, with a beautiful performance that incorporated much of the band’s critically acclaimed “High Violet” album (with some old favorites thrown in as well).
Other highlights included Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene, which, although plagued by technical problems, created a wall of sound — four guitars, two drum sets, two trumpets, two saxophones, keyboards, a bass, a trombone and vocal harmonies — that, despite a few final drops of rain, managed to get to the crowd.
Like The National’s performance after them, Broken Social Scene’s last song saw the singer exit the stage through the crowd — Social’s Kevin Drew chose to crowd-surf out, whereas The National’s Matt Berninger simply jumped the barrier and walked away from the stage, never looking back.
She & Him — featuring actress-singer Zooey Deschanel and musician M. Ward — delivered a fun, crowd-pleasing performance after perhaps a somewhat nervous start. Deschanel’s Judy Garland-esque vocals shined on “Don’t Look Back,” and Ward hiked up the energy with a lively cover of Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven.”