Yes, beloved, I am returned from the auspicious Treasure Island Music Festival, two days of groin-constricting, thick-framed hipness on the manmade Treasure Island, which lies just off the eastern coast of San Francisco. With a pint-sized compatriot at my side, a burrito in my hand, and expectations high, I set foot into the noise.
Also known as Dance Hall Day, it was clear from sensation one that this was the day to get funky. Sectioned off from the bustle of hungry youths lined up to buy overpriced cups of Newcastle and falafel wraps was the Silent Disco, a wireless headphone-fueled rave in a makeshift outdoor club beneath the canopy of trees. Meanwhile, two stages played volleycrowd as tag-teaming performers of electronica ported our collective senses into 8-bit renders, our psyche into a binary pulse. !!! proved what Prince fans already knew: Artists don’t need to have pronounceable names to make a crowd scream. Kruder & Dorfmeister reaffirmed preexisting theories that suited Europeans are not necessarily here for business, nor averse to acrobatics. Deadmau5 brought out the inner freak lying dormant in many of us, not so dormant in many still. Two girls next to me devoured each other gorily. Sometimes things got complicated. LCD Soundsystem brought us gradually back to Planet Earth with the most boldly human performance of the day. An exhausting shuttle queue later, we were on our way home.
It’s no secret and no lie that I’m an indie rock and indie pop fan, and that’s why Sunday was Funday as far as I’m concerned. Remember when we were younger and love tasted like cotton candy gumdrop icing? She & Him do, and now so do I. Braving a rushed soundcheck, conditions were far from ideal, but luckily Zooey Deschanel’s eyes gleaming on the Jumbotron were more than enough to captivate the lot of us. Technical difficulties continued and progressed as a visibly tour-ravaged Broken Social Scene took the stage accompanied by the less-anticipated Broken Musical Equipment. They were seven songs in before frontman and guitarist Kevin Drew had a working guitar in his hands, but that didn’t stop them from having the greatest stage presence of the entire weekend. Drew played guitar for one song and then was out crowd-surfing. I might’ve just gone home after that if it hadn’t been for Rogue Wave, a band that’s been dear to me for years. Serendipitously, we scored a spot only a few rows back and, as you might be imagining right now, rocking ensued. I even taped the whole thing.
And so we emerged from the noise, perhaps more human than before, and left Treasure Island as we’d found it. Except now covered in trash.