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2012 Treasure Island Festival: A Weekend In Review

Seema Vennam |
October 16, 2012 | 11:33 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

(Seema Vennam / Neon Tommy)
(Seema Vennam / Neon Tommy)
Treasure Island Music Festival was this past weekend on Treasure Island in the Bay Area, and boasted 26 live acts, numerous DJs at the Silent Disco, food trucks, a Ferris wheel, and various other vendors and activities, not to mention endless people-watching opportunities.  

The festival was two days long, with Saturday consisting of mostly electronic dance acts while Sunday’s music was mellower.  

The highlights of Saturday’s lineup were Public Enemy, The Presets, and of course, Girl Talk.

While there were only a few hip-hop acts at TIMF this year, one of them was the legendary Public Enemy, who have only recently been nominated for initiation into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  

Public Enemy has been active since the mid-1980’s, and while their members were some of the oldest performers at the festival, they also may have had the biggest stage presence.

Chuck D and Flavor Flav were dancing and jumping all over the stage. At one point, Flavor Flav was simultaneously rapping and doing push-ups. They ended their set with an impassioned speech on politics and the dangers of the mainstream music industry.

The Presets had a great set on Saturday. The Australian duo consisting of Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes had an incredible light show and performed to a giant crowd of dancing fans. Hamilton played up the festival’s theme by telling the audience, “Since it’s Treasure Island, we’re going to sing a sea shanty for you!” before launching into “Ghosts.” Their music is best heard live, because as their beats can occasionally get monotonous, one forgets about all of that when experiencing the band’s energy and multi-screen light show in person.

Girl Talk, otherwise known as Gregg Gillis, was the most anticipated act of the festival. The mash-up artist is well-known for his high-energy stage presence, crazy visuals, and on-stage dance parties. He did not disappoint. What promised to be a surprising hour and a half of music took an even crazier turn when Girl Talk cut the music during his set and handed the microphone to a man onstage, who then proposed to his girlfriend.

On Sunday, crowds appeared wearing more sweaters and scarves than furry boots and glow sticks, ready for a day full of indie pop and rock.

Almost every musical act performed really strongly on Sunday, but Joanna Newsom and M83 stood out the most.

Joanna Newsom’s quirky songs and even quirkier personality really shone on Sunday afternoon. She and the two men onstage with her each played multiple instruments throughout her set, including piano, harp, mandolin, banjo, and drums, among others.  

Her psych folk sound was oddly sandwiched between the sets of Ty Segall and Los Campesinos!, but fans seemed unfazed by the rapid changes in genre.

M83 is one of the only bands at the festival regularly featured on mainstream radio.The French electronic group has been in existence for over ten years, though their single, “Midnight City,” has only recently gained them widespread popularity.  

The band was visibly moved by the enormous audience they garnered, with Anthony Gonzales remarking, “This is just amazing and beautiful for us.” They finished an epic set to a chorus of “One more song!” from the audience, which continued even after the next band began playing on the other side of the festival.  

(Seema Vennam / Neon Tommy)
(Seema Vennam / Neon Tommy)
TIMF gets better every year in terms of planning and logistics. The lines for the free shuttle were minimal this year, while the quality of the local vendors increased.  Even those working the festival seemed really happy just to be a part of it.

Overall, Treasure Island Music Festival was a fantastic experience for everyone involved.  

Read more of NT's cover of music festival coverage here.
Reach Staff Reporter Seema Vennam here.



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