Treasure Island Music Festival, Day One

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.

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.

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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.

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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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