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Monday, October 19, 2009

Treasure Island Music Festival, Day One

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 7:41 AM

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.

click to enlarge CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
If you summoned your inner Shackleton, made the leap, and set sail on a shuttle bus for Treasure Island Saturday, you were rewarded with a tableau that included a Ferris Wheel, sick skyline views, two stages filled with nonstop funk to keep your ass moving, food vendors galore offering fare more than a few notches above soft pretzels and churros, double dutch jump-roping hipsters, and the rare chance to sit down and have a face to face Qi Gong session with Te'Devan Kurzweil.


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

consultation.

click to enlarge CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio


 
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.

click to enlarge Girl Talk - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Girl Talk


 
Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: Girl Talk is a genius producer.

Wonders

Why: Madonna, lover, in many ways, of cutting edge but overground

electronic producers, hasn't turned to girl talk to resuscitate her

floundering career.

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.

 




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Andrew Vontz

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