Forget Bogie and Bacall or Jay-Z and Beyonce. The greatest love story in entertainment is Antwan “Big Boi” Patton and Andre Benjamin, aka Andre 3000, the two divergent forces that comprise Outkast, perhaps the greatest hip-hop group of all time.
While Big Boi retains the cool street drawl that defines his southern roots, Andre 3000 embraces a more interplanetary style, opting for platinum blond wigs and gender-ambiguous outfits. Complementing each other like few performers ever, the irrepressible headliners definitely were highlights of day one of the 2014 Treasure Music Island Festival on Saturday.
With six months of touring the festival circuit under their belt, the Atlanta duo have ironed out imperfections of their show, avoiding blips and mistakes that sullied other recent performances (which, to give them credit, were their first appearances together in 10 years.)
Blasting out hits like “B.O.B.” “Ms. Jackson,” “Aquemini,” “Rosa Parks,” and more, Outkast kept the audience in rapture during a 90-minute set that closed out the festivities on an unseasonably warm night.
While the hip-hop duo loomed large, they weren’t the only memorable performers on opening day, which typically showcases elecontrica, hip-hop and beats-driven musicians, while the second day usually has more rock-oriented groups.
Zedd, a Russian-German DJ who took the main (Bridge) stage before Outkast, unleashed a blistering, set of electronic dance music tunes and song remixes, unveiling a light and laser show that illuminated the San Francisco skyline in the distance.
Perhaps the spirit award of the day went to Janelle Monae. The R&B singer was wheeled onstage in a straightjacket, to the delight of the crowd, but her microphone did not work for the first two songs. Yet despite the technical malfunctions, Monae gamely pushed on; by the time her equipment was up to spec, she had her fans earnestly singing along.
Other notable moments on Saturday included Classixx playing on the Tunnel Stage with a blood orange skyline in the background as the sun set behind them — a surreal view that only Treasure Island can offer.
MØ (Denmark chanteuse Karen Marie Ørsted) sported an eye patch — the product of an infection, she assured concertgoers, not a new fashion statement— and slinked her way through a set of sultry, alluring tunes, backed by a three-piece band featuring a guitar player with the best cut-off jean shorts seen at the festival.
The festival was not without its hiccups, and not just the problem with Monae’s sound. Getting to and out of the show took much longer than in years past (particularly the brutally slow process of hopping on the shuttle buses following the Outkast performance.
Still, the flow of the lines steadily moved, and organizers dealt well with the crowds. Treasure Island is still a relatively small festival — just 10,000 attendees, compared to some 60,000 at Outside Lands — but with days like Saturday, it’s easy to see why it’s so revered by those who attend.