Perfect weather greeted revelers Saturday for the opening day of the two-day Treasure Island Music Festival, which features electronic-based music Saturday and more traditional rock Sunday.
But nobody told openers Dirty Ghosts.
The trio, led by the young Allyson Baker — a dead-ringer sound- and looks-wise for Joan Jett — ripped through fast, stripped-down rock tunes, and there was not a DJ in sight. Early attendees ate it up.
This year’s lineup, lacking what one might consider huge bands, had some people griping that it was the weakest roster in the festival’s six-year history. Those people are wrong, said San Francisco resident Stephanie Stapleton, who has gone three years in a row.
“Treasure Island is so relaxed compared to the hectic feel of Outside Lands,” she said of the Golden Gate Park three-day summer festival.
On Saturday, the crowd started to swell when Grimes, the one-woman force of Claire Boucher, took the stage. Her set started off a bit ethereal and slow, but progressed to a high-energy frenzy in the afternoon sun.
Expectations were understandably high for Public Enemy, the default elder statesmen of the event since it was the only act that was making music well before most festival attendees were born. And man, did it deliver.
Chuck D was out first with his deep voice and iconic security force, the S1-W’s, led by controversial Professor Griff. One song in, Flavor Flav came out and had the crowd chanting “Yeah, Boiii!” within seconds. Classics such as “Don’t Believe the Hype” and “Fight the Power” got fists in the air and booties shaking.
The weather was just as ideal Sunday, with clear, warm conditions welcoming fans on the island to see a slate of more rock-oriented acts.
Highlights included War on Drugs, a Philadelphia-based band that has perfected hazy, Tom Petty-influenced Americana rock that was ideal for the slow-arriving crowds.
Youth Lagoon, nee Travis Powers, followed War on Drugs, playing a hauntingly candid batch of keyboard-heavy compositions that belied his youthfulness.
The real showstopper was Ty Segall, the raucous San Francisco native whose brand of garage rock and psychedelia has drawn widespread acclaim. His dissonant, screeching tracks never lost their urgency or impact throughout his 45-minute set.