With it’s prime location and eclectic lineup, San Francisco’s Treasure Island Music Festival has consistently made a name for itself as one of the most unique boutique festivals around. Here’s our Top 10 Highlights from Treasure Island Festival 2015.
1) The National
What better choice to cap off a stunning weekend of music in the Bay than with Cincinnati’s own The National. The group’s chilly indie rock proved to be the perfect soundtrack for Sunday’s blustery weather and those fortunate enough to be in attendance were in for a treat. Front man Matt Berninger initially seemed a bit stagnant on stage but quickly made up for it when he walked off stage and into the crowd singing, in what was most assuredly one hell of a Snapchat. Berninger even brought out Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry for a special duet on their track “I Need My Girl.”
2) Father John Misty
There are two types of people in this world: Father John Misty and everyone else. The folk rock god’s power of lyrical seduction is virtually unmatched and he brought his A-Game to the stage midday Sunday. In a moment of levity, Misty took a break from the stage to borrow a fan’s phone and directly serenade into it, a video which further cements both his eccentric talent and offbeat charm.
In yet another win for Sunday’s lineup, Scottish electro-pop trio Chvrches brought the proverbial roof down with a rock star performance from frontwoman Lauren Mayberry. Continued strong winds did nothing to dull her high-energy performance, a performance of which no doubt captured the hearts of every boy with a love of bangs in the audience. The group is nearly unprecedented in terms of shear accessibility and it was tough to find anyone in the audience not having the time of their life throughout their set.
4) The Silent Disco
While certainly nothing new to the festival as a whole, the Silent Disco continued it’s supreme reign as one of Treasure Island’s greatest diversions. The entire experience is rather surreal, with wireless headphones handed out at the entrance providing the only source of live DJ’d music. Take them off and watch in silenced awe as crowds dance and move like the walking dead. It’s something that must be seen (and heard) to be believed.
5) Big Grams
The pairing of Outkast’s Big Boi and Phantogram (hence, Big Grams) seemed unorthodox on paper but a flawless debut album and plenty of hype quickly silenced skeptics. Fortunately, their live festival debut delivered in spades, with Big Gram’s hybrid hip hop / indie pop vocals melding wondrously like they’d been doing this for years. Highlights included guest appearances by Run The Jewels and one hell of a mashup of OutKast’s “Ms. Jackson” with Phantogram’s “Mouthful of Diamonds.”
Despite a relatively short 45 minute set, Bay Area favorites STS9 made sure to make every second count as they took to the main stage midday Saturday. The group’s jammy electronic sound might not be as mainstream as, say Chvrches but you’d be hard pressed to find a more diehard fanbase outside of a Phish concert. After the departure of founding bassist David Murphy, fans new and old were greeted to some serious bass licks from newcomer Alana Rocklin, who added a new twist to the genre’s dude heavy existence.
7) The Weather
Okay, so it wasn’t exactly Coachella but this year’s Treasure Island Festival surprised everyone with warmer than normal temperatures and much lighter winds, at least on Saturday. Prior years shook fans to the core with biting temperatures and wind chill and, while this was still somewhat present on Sunday, Saturday was about as warm and pleasant as you can get for a festival sitting on an island in the middle of the Bay. Nice job, Global Warming.
8) Carne Asada Fries
Hidden amongst a sea of boring burgers and pizza rested the festival’s biggest culinary surprise, authentic San Diego style carne asada fries. The ingredients were simple; crispy fries, juicy carne asada, gooey cheese all topped with guacamole and sour cream. The end result? The most delectable festival food experience these taste buds have experienced. Rumor has it that the booth owners plan on opening a brick and mortar store in the Bay Area. Set a Google alert now.
9) Gorgon City
British duo Gorgon City was one of a handful of legitimate dance acts present at the festival and handedly took festival Gold after a disappointing performance from Deadmau5 failed to legitimize the past-his-prime DJ. Good riddance, we say. Gorgon City represents fresh blood in the genre and rises above the EDM BS like fellow genre stalwarts Disclosure. Spontaneous dance parties could be seen popping up virtually everywhere in the crowd during their set and more than a few were left asking just who this group was. Well friends, their name is Gorgon City and they brought the party in ways no one else could touch.
10) FKA Twigs
British singer FKA Twigs was a late add to the festival after Robyn & La Bagatelle backed out and her performance late Saturday proved nothing short of mesmerizing. The future Ms. Robert Pattinson has had no problem making a name for herself with her unique blend of angelic vocals and dreamy, droning electronic music. Mix in some exotic, experimental dancing and the end result was impossible to look away from. While her music might not appeal to everyone, FKA Twigs is unquestionably one hell of a performer and certainly won many new fans this particular night.