It takes an iron will and a penchant for risk to submit to the risky calculus of the day-long music festival. In the weeks leading up to the Treasure Island Music Festival, there was no doubt that the lineup would yield something for just about any modern music fan from dreaded dubstep nodders to house bangers to junglists to those with a love of guitars and human voices and all points on the music appreciation spectrum in between.
With a Saturday lineup that featured MGMT, Crown City Rockers, Murs, Federico Aubele, Passion Pit, DJ Krush, Dan Deacon, The Streets, MSTRKRFT, LTJ Bukem, and Brazilian Girls, there was a little something for everyone. But still, prospective festival goers had to ask themselves if they were prepared to surrender control of their personal transportation, make the trek to Lot A at Pac Bell Park, board a shuttle bus, remain conscious through more than ten hours of live sound and Port-A-Potty use and have it be a worthwhile, pleasant experience.
Who is Te'Devan Kurzweil? Why, according to the placard the unusually
tall, bearded, face-painted Kurzweil held aloft as he wandered the
festival grounds, he's a shamanistic healer. And according to the
letters handwritten on his white t-shirt in magic marker, the Coolest
Hipster Ever. Your correspondent witnessed Kurzweil engaged in several
one-one-one and group sessions but couldn't elbow his way into the
scrum, so it's not entirely clear whether Kurzweil is indeed the
coolest hipster ever and to what extent his shamanistic healing powers
benefited festival goers and those gifted with a hug and a face to face
What was clear from the pumping fists, shaking asses, and
piles of trash strewn amongst the packed crowd variously
circumambulating, dancing, and passing out on islands of blankets atop
the grassy field that held the festival was that folks who made the
trek enjoyed themselves mightily. As the 80-degree afternoon yielded to
the day's final crepuscular rays, the masses kept jumping. The first
act of the evening proper, LTJ Bukem and MC Conrad, drew a massive
crowd to the second stage with smooth, crisp, intestine-rumbling,
classic D'n'B, then MSTRKRFT took the main stage for a banging set of
onanistic midi controller knob twiddling that sounded the way the first
bite of cotton candy you ever had as a child tasted.
Giddiness emanated from the front of the stage to the rear a few
football fields back as the crowd shook it up and bathed in the glory
of the substantial sound pressure and Solid Gold visuals on the
jumbotron above the duo's nodding heads. The set reached its peak when
they dropped their remix of Justice's Dance then segued into a Daft
Punk track. Shortly thereafter the crowd turned around and stampeded to
the second stage and when Girl Talk plugged in his laptop, the hype men
shooting toilet paper cannons off the stage were hardly necessary.
While there may have been a few incontinent revelers in the crowd
unwilling or unable to control themselves as they navigated the longish
Port-A-Potty lines, the live remixes that GT summons during his
performances always prove compulsively danceable. GT succeeded in
whipping up level of frenzy that would last until the terminus of
MGMT's set and the mass shuttle exodus back to Lot A.
Personal Bias: Girl Talk is a genius producer.
Why: Madonna, lover, in many ways, of cutting edge but overground
electronic producers, hasn't turned to girl talk to resuscitate her
Pyramid Power: The Daft Punk Alive tour
set the gold standard by which all electronic music performances shall
be judged. If you can't at least equal the visual power of the pyramid
in your live show, head nodding DJ's/producers, go back to the drawing
board and let us know when you've come up with something.