As Treasure Island Music Fest rages on into Sunday, you'll need a game plan to separate the think-I-wanna-see-them shows from the I-have-to-see-them-or-I'm-going-to-die shows. Here are the acts we'll be staking out the front rows at.
The War on Drugs
Experiencing The War on Drugs is akin to hearing a sonic gallery of American rock music ranging from Americana (in the vein of Tom Petty and Neil Young & Crazy Horse) to 80s pop. The Philly-based band combines its various influences into intricately layered indie rock that, at times, will have you dancing, swaying or just standing in awe. Most notably on their last album Slave Ambient, the band eschewed the standard catchy choruses for extended jams filled with their signature jittery strumming (see “Brother” and “Best Night”). See them take over the Bridge Stage at 1:25 pm.
Yes, Mr. Segall gets a ton of digital ink on 7x7.com, but it's for damn good reason. For a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, head to the Tunnel Stage at 3:35 pm sharp to witness the Bay Area wunderkind work his magic next to his equally talented band. Dude has quite a few devoted fans thanks to relentless touring and recording, so get ready to throw some elbows and get your blood flowing against the cold Treasure Island breeze. His latest LP Twins dropped yesterday, so expect Segall to give these fresh tracks a spin during his set.
Prepare to be mesmerized during this ever-elusive songstress's set on the Bridge Stage in the fading afternoon light (she starts at the best time of day, 4:20 pm). With just a harp and her entrancing, Kate-Bush-esque voice, Newsom sounds like an alien from outer space, a mermaid singing siren songs, and a medieval bard all wrapped up in one. And once she opens her mouth, it only takes a song or two for Newsom to shut the audience up and have all ears on lock, thanks to her otherworldly brand of songwriting.
With one single album under his belt, the wide-eyed and green-behind-the-ears Trevor Powers, performing as Youth Lagoon, has managed to make utterly breathtaking bedroom pop about loneliness, bewilderment, and growing up. Each song starts off sweetly and softly, then gradually builds into big, buoyant anthems that never lose the inherent sense of intimacy they began with. For that reason, we're excited to see just how they play out in a festival setting. Catch him at 2:50 pm on the Bridge Stage.
One of the best things about French barnstormers M83 is that they perform extended versions of their tracks, which do complete justice to their dreamy, atmospheric space-pop. Normally, an electro-washed band like this would've occupied the traditionally electro-infused Saturday bill at past Treasure Islands, but organizers this year decided the normally mellow Sunday lineup could benefit from some synths. Their impressive of arsenal of keyboards and knobs can sound either like reverberating chainsaws or shimmering chimes–an impressive dichotomy perfected on their last album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Catch them at 7:35 pm on the Bridge Stage.
The xx’s latest effort Coexist doubles down on the act’s unique blend of ethereal pop and soulful sensibilities. Dual singers Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim erect an immensely intimate environment with their glowing voices; it will have concertgoers at Treasure Island believing they’re the only ones in the audience when they play on the Bridge Stage at 9:15 pm. They're making the most unabashedly sensual music to hit our speakers and headphones since Boyz II Men. yeah, we said it. Holding down the production side is boy wonder/producer Jamie xx, who, in the last year, collaborated on an album with the late Gil Scott-Heron, and has worked with everyone from Radiohead to Drake. Single people beware: You might find yourself smushed against dozens of swaying couples hypnotized by the xx’s sultry lyrics.
Make sure to get to the festival in the morning so you can witness Imperial Teen kick off the Sunday festivities at noon on the Bridge Stage. SF-based Imperial Teen is stocked with rock veterans such as former Faith No More keyboardist Roddy Bottum and Lynn Perko of the Dicks and Sister Double Happiness. They first made their entry into the punk scene with the adored Seasick back in 1996, only to slip out of the spotlight a year later. Now they’re back with a new album Feel The Sound, an unruly and fun effort of foot-tapping pop rock. It's going to be perfect for loosening up your muscles as you embark on a day’s worth of the best in indie rock.
For the best of Saturday's lineup, click here.