By Serena Wong
Day two of the Treasure Island Music Festival (TMF) promised a more chill, indie atmosphere with artists like Viet Cong, Jose Gonzalez and Lower Dens. Here are some of the highlights:
Father John Misty
Folk rock artist Father John Misty (FJM) captured his audience from the start with his wild antics onstage — dancing with and spinning his mic stand, borrowing an attendee’s phone to film while singing and even tossing his guitar away at the end of the set. This contrasted with FJM’s level tone when speaking to the audience, and even more with some of his more satirical lyrics: “Oh they gave me a useless education / and a subprime loan” drew laughter from the young crowd. From the bare emotion in his voice to his impromptu man-bun, FJM stood out as one of the best sets of the day.
By the time Chvrches (spelled with a “v” for search engine optimization) came on at 7:30 p.m., the sun had set and the wind from the Bay was cold. This didn’t stop the synthpop Scottish group from delivering an energizing performance. Though she initially struggled to maintain a steady volume, singer Lauren Mayberry quickly made the performance her own, bringing smiles to the crowd with her dynamic dancing and quips (“No one wants to see it, and no one gets to see it,” referring to her very flowy skirt and the biker shorts she made sure to wear underneath.) Chvrches definitely left the audience wanting more after closing the set with a crowd favorite, “The Mother We Share.”
Despite touring extensively for the past two years, The National showed no signs of fatigue as they headlined TMF, keeping the crowd busy whether they were dancing on their toes to “Don’t Swallow the Cap” or singing alongside Matt Berninger for “I Should Live in Salt.” The indie rock band also debuted a new song, “Checking Out,” followed soon after by a guest appearance from Mayberry of Chvrches; her higher, sweeter vocals lent “I Need My Girl” a more wistful mood to the already sentimental song. The real shock of the night came when Berninger, who had already stood on the barricade with support from a fan, jumped over the barricade to join the crowd. Fans screamed and mobbed the singer, fighting to touch him and take a selfie, but Berninger just kept singing and allowed himself to be led through the mob.
TMF made good on its promise of an incredible lineup and a memorable weekend. The festival felt accessible and well-organized, in everything from the non-overlapping sets to the complimentary Kettle Chips everywhere. Whether you were there to rock out to STS9’s beats, make flower crowns or sit down and sing with the War on Drugs, TMF had a little something for everyone.
Contact Serena Wong at serenaw ‘at’ stanford.edu.