Thursday, October 22, 2009

Treasure Island Festival, Day 2 - Photos, Review

After the awesomeness of day one, we were more than a little excited to get back out to Treasure Island and enjoy the festival's "rock" flavored day. The fact that the TI is somewhat broken up by genre does mean that the crowds differ bit. Not enough that you could point to one factor, but definitely enough that there was a notable change in the air between the two. Sunday's crowd was definitely ready for some solid rock, and the festival definitely did not disappoint.

We started out our day checking in with local faves Vetiver. Given that we love their latest record, and highly enjoyed their show at GAMH earlier this year, we weren't exactly surprised to see the band put on a fantastic performance. That being said, it was pretty clear that the band had transcended some folks' expectations: the crowd was totally rapt, and so were we. If this band didn't already have a solid "keep an eye on them" label, they certainly do now.

From there we stopped in on probably the most hyped band this side of the globe, and caught a set from Grizzly Bear. All hype aside, these guys definitely do deliver live, so it's hard to be snarky about it. The set's dynamic was interesting, as it seemed to start incredibly high energy, and gradually mellow out. An unusual direction for a rock show to go in, but for Grizzly Bear, it seemed to work.

The Walkmen were up next, and what can we say? These guys are clearly in their prime right now. We were wowed by their shows in New York this summer, and the energy is still there. The band delivered a blazing set that was definitely riding the wave of last year's much lauded You & Me. It's really nice to see the band back on the ball after what seemed like a year or two of semi-aimlessness between records. We can't wait for the next one.

As darkness fell on Treasure Island, we made our way to Yo La Tengo's set. Suffice it to say: the band was definitely in mellow mode. For a trio who have the potential to be the loudest thing you've ever heard, it's always interesting when they pull it way back and dedicate the set to songcraft and technique. This set was exactly that, with the band clearly invested in what they were doing, and offering a fantastic night of tunage.

Then it was time for the big show. The Flaming Lips took to the stage, and proceeded to deliver their (now well known) brand of showmanship. The plastic ball was there. The lights were there. The confetti was there. And, so was the girl having the seizure in the front row. Yes, it's sad, but strobe effects were not made for everyone. Even so, the band powered through and delivered an awesome set that spanned many old favorites, and touched heavily on their latest, Embryonic. Our assessment of the Lips continues to be what is has, and always will, be: go see the show. Just go. There's really no other way to get it.

And with that, we wrapped our 2009 weekend at the Treasure Island Festival. It was as awesome as we had hoped, and continues to build on its own momentum. It's also nice to see that both Treasure Island and Outside Lands have carved out their own niche and are happily coexisting. Let San Francisco's festival-laden goodness continue!

Photos by Brian Fong
Many more photos at the HAD Archive


pinkoelephant said...

why didn't you even mention the decemberists' set? you could have at least said it sucked (i thought it ruled, but ya know, i guess you weren't that impressed)

hippiesaredead said...

We actually didn't manage to catch the Decemberists, so we had nothing to say! Glad to hear you liked it, though...