Saturday, September 27, 2008

Treasure Island Music Festival: truly a treasure of an experience

By MELODY STONE, The Eureka Reporter

Published: Sep 27 2008, 1:00 AM · Updated: Sep 27 2008, 1:01 AM
Category: Spotlight

Previous festival experiences have included severe dehydration, having people dropped on my head, getting my body crunched against railings, getting drenched in other people’s sweat, spending $7 on a bad beer, and having the inside of my nostrils caked in mud.

Treasure Island Music Festival included none of the above. The festival takes place on a man-made island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. The festival had free shuttles taking music fans from a free parking lot onto the island. Free, what a novel idea!

Once at the festival, there were vendors and promoters galore giving away samples of beer and vitamin water, hair do's (I got extensions), scarves, face paint, ChapStick, ear plugs, key chains, bottle openers and more.

The music was staggered on two stages, so missing acts was avoided, although once a good spot in the crowd at the main stage was secured, most people just stayed there.

First day musical highlights were British funk-pop band Hot Chip, British ethereal-operatic songstress Goldfrapp, and French electronic duo Justice.

Eric Dunn, a Humboldt State University student, drove to San Francisco for the Treasure Island festival. He kept warm in a checkered sweater and Yer Dog trucker hat. He went to see Justice.

“It was cool to see their music, but I really like seeing shows where people play instruments,” said Dunn, referring to Justice’s performance, which took place behind a wall of blinking lights and a giant light-up cross.

The weather got cold during the night, which made being enveloped by the surging crowed quiet enjoyable.

Day two brought excellent performances by Tegan and Sara. The Canadian song-writing duo compared the scene to one in “The Lost Boys,” the one with the Ferris wheel blinking and turning away in the background. They played a long enough set to include the right amount of their signature banter between songs.

New York indie rockers Vampire Weekend wowed the crowd with precision, energy and ridiculously good-looking bodies and faces. Having taken the indie scene by storm, it would be easy to distrust these newcomers, who didn’t seem to pay their dues before becoming a common radio play on KSLG. However, after seeing them live, there’s no denying this band will go far and could possibly be cyborgs because they are too perfect to be human.

The Raconteurs rocked the fest to a close, and were impressive in that it was fun to see Jack White perform, but were a little to generic for my liking. As we filed onto the busses to get back to the mainland, the Raconteurs’ encore, “Many Shades of Black,” drifted over the crowds. Folks left tired, but not drained. Fest patrons were satisfied by a refreshing weekend of good music and beautiful surroundings.

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