Treasure Island brings musical mayhem


Beirut frontman Zach Condon (center) sings alongside accordion player Perrin Cloutier (left) and keyboard player Paul Collins (right) at Treasure Island Music Festival on Sunday, Oct. 18. Taking the Bridge stage just before sundown, Beirut performed with a trumpet, an accordion, sousaphone and other atypical rock instruments.

Sara Kloepfer
A & E Editor

No buried treasure was found, but fans discovered a musical gem at the third annual Treasure Island Music Festival. The two-day lineup divided artists of electronic-based sound and those with a more traditional rock and roll bent.

The first day of the festival, Saturday, Oct. 17, showcased electronic and DJ-oriented music, fitting the upbeat atmosphere and sunny skies. Crowd favorite Passion Pit’s afternoon performance was just a teaser for the nighttime pandemonium surrounding heavyweights MSTRKRFT, Girl Talk, and MGMT.

Passion Pit’s enthusiastic energy transferred easily to the crowd, causing fans all the way to the back to get up and dance to the synth-heavy hit “Sleepyhead.”

Four hours separated Passion Pit from the final big names, but the festival offered a variety of activities to keep concertgoers busy while waiting between performers. The Treasure Chest hosted an eclectic selection of crafts, posters, clothes, food, and art.

New addition the Galley of Good presented several eco-awareness exhibits and non-profit partners. Some of the unique attractions included haircuts and styling compliments of Madu Salon and a 30-foot live mural wall presented by Pacific Art Collective featuring Bay Area graffiti artists.

As the sun set over the city, fans jockeyed for position to see Canadian DJ-duo MSTRKRFT spin bass-thumping dance tracks such as their hit “Bounce” and a remix of Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.”

Girl Talk followed on the opposite stage, where DJ Gregg Gillis led a 45 minute dance party from the moment he cued up his laptop. His set of mash-ups literally ended with a bang as dazzling fireworks lit up the night.

MGMT came on to thunderous applause, proceeding to play its entire album while the crowd sang along. Singer Andrew VanWyngarden put down his guitar to approach the audience while singing “Kids,” causing the frenzied crowd to jump in unison.Following the finale, fans began the mass exodus to the line for shuttles taking concertgoers back to AT&T Park. An hour-and-a-half long wait was an exhausting end to an over 10-hour event.

Bauer’s zero-emission buses were part of the festival’s efforts to reduce the carbon footprint. Treasure Island organizers Noise Pop and Another Planet Entertainment also utilized biodiesel generators, a Refillable Water Program, compost and recycling bins, and compostable plates and utensils at all concessions.

On Sunday, despite chilly winds, attendees bundled up and huddled together to listen to the indie rock tunes of Beirut, The Decemberists, and The Flaming Lips. Both days sold out, but while dancing dominated Saturday, Sunday was characterized by the large spread of fans lounging on blankets.

Beirut’s Zach Condon announced it was the group’s last show of the year in the United States, and he made it count. The eclectic folk sound of his brass band combined with a tuba solo resulted in an unlikely wave of dancing.

From the moment The Decemberists lay down the first chord of its latest album, “The Hazards of Love,” it provided the perfect soundtrack to the chilly and chilled out afternoon. The group balanced guitars, accordions and upright basses throughout the hour-long rock-opera, accompanied by frontman Colin Meloy’s famously nasal tone.

As the sun dipped lower into the bay, the line for the 60-foot-tall Ferris wheel grew proportionately with fans eager to view the expansive skyline of the city.

The Flaming Lips, famous for elaborate stage sets, did not disappoint as frontman Wayne Coyne rolled out in his trademark giant plastic bubble, followed by a stage-diving man in a bunny suit. When he returned to the stage the band launched into “Race For the Prize,” igniting a wave of frenzied excitement that lasted the entire set.

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