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Monday, September 17, 2007

LastNight: Modest Mouse, Spoon and Thievery Corp at Treasure Island Music Festival

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2007 at 8:47 AM


Treasure Island Music Festival

September 15 and 16, 2007

Treasure Island, CA.

Better than: Pirates vs. Ninjas in steel cage

Download: Some TIMF photos

By David Downs

Thousand of Bay Areans enjoyed a nice day in the park over the weekend -- except this garden party cost $60 in admission, and came with top-notch musical accompaniment, $7 drinks, grass, sun, a video arcade, a ferris wheel, friends, and stunning view of the Bay.

Cold War relic Treasure Island – smack dab in the middle of the San Francisco Bay -- stirred from a decade of post-military slumber Saturday and Sunday to host 16 bands on two stages over two days and about 10,000 ...

people. Enjoying one of the Bay's few warm, summer days, throngs of indie kids and after-Burners parked in a lot at AT&T Park, then took a shuttle onto the former 1930s World Fair site turned Coney Island.

Saturday's headliners Thievery Corporation and Sunday's Modest Mouse illustrate the difference in sound between the two days. Techno Saturday's MIA set and Flosstradamus dance party suffered from the windswept atoll context of the event, while guitar and drum heavy Spoon, M. Ward, Built to Spill and Modest Mouse finally overpowered the bay gusts and attention-grabbing carnival attractions.

Hosted by the people that brings San Francisco Noise Pop each year, the event functioned on logistical rails. Ample shuttles, personnel, porta potties, food, drinks and places to sit echoed the professionalism seen at events by Southern California's Goldenvoice promotions – who bring America Coachella every year. The Treasure Island Music Festival, though undersold and locally known as the 'That Festival Is This Weekend? Oh, I Wanted To Go To That' Festival, proved a serious step-up in the game of Noise Pop industries. They're stomping on the terra of the big boys now. NorCal has its own Micro-achella.

Of course, standard festival sound problems butchered equalization, harmonies, and percussion. And DJ Shadow + Cut Chemist's set called “The Hard Sell” could only find buyers among the deaf. The grand finale scratch-off between Shadow and Chemist fizzled amid technical difficulties – achieving 7th Grade talent show levels of retardedness. Not a good look for the two, but everyone forgives them on account of Endtroducing alone. “We're still perfecting that one,” says Shadow.

The break out surprise of the festival seemed to be alt-country rocker M. Ward, who entered to a polite golf clap mid-afternoon Sunday but left to roars. All curly Bob Dylan hair and plaid brown flannel and jeans, Ward delivered a breathy, scratchy set of vocals from the canon of Springsteen and Rod Stewart. You could hear every word above his twin drum kit backbeat, and his songs of love sounded authentic. “I got one magic trick and that's it,” he sings. Evidently it's to conjure the still-breathing ghosts Neil Young and Elvis Costello at the same time.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: Thievery Corporation stood side by side with the RIAA this year and said, 'Pay me.' Dude, their name is Thievery Corporation for godsakes.

Random Detail: The girl in the high heels, miniskirt and leg cast at the Kings of Leon show was here, only wearing flip flops this time. Bitch is HARD CORE.

By the way: We have soooo many photos here.

Video of Modest Mouse's rock talk and set-opener "Dig Your Grave""Bury Me With It" (thanks)

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David Downs


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