Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Treasure Island

This past Sunday we went to The Treasure Island Music Festival in the middle of the San Francisco Bay on, you guessed it Treasure Island, (the island that the Bay Bridge goes through). It is a Naval station, but they let them use it for this festival, this is the third year I think, and we'd heard it was a fun show to go to. It was what is currently called an indie/folk/rock show, there were plenty of hipsters, freaks and just plain folks there on a pretty, cold, foggy, windy day. There were a lot of bands slated to play that my boys like a lot, one that I love to pieces, so it made it worth the attempt. My brother joined us too which was really cool!
I copied this picture off the local music website Bridged because it has the three boys in it, there they are towards the back working on some communal art. The three boys are my two teenagers Alex and Zach and their friend Jake. I didn't take my own picture of them because I figured they'd be pissed off at me, but a passing stranger, no problem ,right.

The first band we caught was Vetiver, which is a local SF band. They were really good, folk/rock type of music. Up in the bleacher section of VIP seating were some really cool monsters. We saw them again on stage at the very end of the show.
The bigger stage had a great video screen as a background, where they showed closeups of the bands that were playing. Nice since we couldn't really see their faces too well from as far away as we were.The first group on the big stage that we caught was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. Alex Ebert, the lead singer seemed, well, um, let's say really really out of it, (like maybe not quite knowing where he was) but he sang the songs kind of quietly, took most of his clothes off (it was freezing and windy!) and the rest of his group gamely soldiered on and backed him up. Especially the woman up on the big screen here, I believe her name is Jade Castrinos. She had an absolutely gorgeous voice and the most adorable smile and dimples, they should have had her sing more. They did one love song/duet "Home" that had me in tears it was such a touching song.
I think this is the best picture I took all day, catching their drummer Josh Collazo, right in mid-stroke, hair flying.
A view of San Francisco across the bay and through the fog.
There were several other bands that we saw all of or part of their sets, but I didn't photograph for one reason or another, Grizzly Bear (one of my new favorites), Bob Mould, Beirut, Yo La Tengo, The Walkmen.
And finally, sunset zoomed past into dark, and The Reason for me to be at this show, The Decemberists took the stage. They performed their newest release The Hazards of Love from beginning to end, completely, perfectly and even better than I'd imagined they could. Amazing stuff. Not for everyone though. If you liked 70's prog rock/story songs and like the current indie/folk stuff I'd recommend it. The crowd really got into it, especially during the bloody and thoroughly vile song "The Rake's Song" all singing along while 5 of the band members pounded out the rhythm on various drums.

I tried zooming in for some good pictures, but that just made it worse, but still of course pretty because of all the cool colored lights used on stage. The big video screen behind the band showed a really beautiful/weird animated/live-action video that went along with the music. A lot of it was gorgeous and suited the music really perfectly, some of the rest was a bit too abstract. They are going to release a DVD of this video along with the Hazards of Love music that it goes with, it will be called "Here Come The Waves: The Hazards of Love Visualized". Hopefully in time for the holidays, hint hint.

So blurry, but so beautiful anyways.

The blurriest yet, guess I was really just enjoying the show! I took a few videos, and the music part turned out ok, but the poor camera was trying to focus on the closest things (ie peoples' hands going up in front of me), so they aren't worth showing you here.

Standing behind Alex and Jake, as The Flaming Lips take the stage. We also got to hang out with Jake's parents and aunt, which was really fun, made it a grown-up outing as well as a family outing. It was great to be able to go to a rock concert with our kids, and also be able to let them roam around on their own and feel pretty good about it since they were sticking together. I don't know how much longer we'll be "allowed" to be near them at a concert, or if we'll keep liking the same music, but for now, it is a fun thing to do as a family and with our friends.
Alex and his friend Jake with the blazing Flaming Lips light show in the background. They're wearing the freebie headbands emblazoned "winner" and "loser" that they scored at the show. I think this is Alex's "Mom, stop bothering me and let me watch the show" look.

The glowing ball at the center contains the lead singer of The Flaming Lips, Wayne Coyne. He is inside a giant, see-through blow up beach ball that he then tries to walk in, right on top of the crowd. He mostly ended up crawling because I suppose it is really hard to stay upright when you're rolling around on top of the crowd's heads. It was a trip. And hilarious too. Just like the rest of their show, really funny, fun and energetic.
I hope that next year's lineup is this good, I think I'd like to go again.


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I used to drive out there occasionally with Dad on military business. Of course, there wasn't much there at that time and as a child I wondered where the *treasure* was......
I miss CA.
I didn't think I did, but you've proved me wrong again and again!!! (and no, I could not afford to live there now....pooey!)


Julie ZS said...

I sure wish you could come back to CA Anne! I'd never been to Treasure Island, it was pretty cool. Looks like a lot of it is unused/boarded-up these days. Or maybe that was just because the hippies were invading for the weekend :-)

Laume said...

I saw The Flaming Lips on.... I think it was The Colbert Show - really liked them. And I've heard of the Decemberists - think I saw them on the same show now that I think about it. I need to go hear some of their music, see if I need a CD or two.

vince said...

thanks for inviting me to the show sis (sorry marc). i had a great time!