St. Vincent at Treasure Island Music Fest 2011.

More Treasure Island Fest coverage – our recap from day two.

First, a bropology: I sure as hell wasn’t going to miss the Niners game Sunday – a man’s got to have his priorities in order – though I might have been less okay with my choice had they lost (eat it, Detroit!). As more of a beats and bloops appreciator, I was the outcast in the circle I spent most of the weekend with, a Day One kinda guy in a flock of Day Twoers. I missed everything up to the last bit of St. Vincent (pictured above), and boy did I hear about it. Sorry Annie, I would have loved to shoot you googly eyes and swoon over your talent, but I hear there was plenty of that going on already. Both St. Vincent and The Antlers dominated crowd talk until Explosions in the Sky showed up. Warpaint also impressed a fair number of people who admitted they weren’t prepared to be impressed. So to those three acts I missed: hey, good show, mates! Sorry I stood you up, but maybe we’ll see each other again some time?

A few day 2 highlights:

Beach House at Treasure Island Music Fest 2011.

Beach House

We thought we’d throw out a blanket and lay around for the Beach House show, and instead we nearly got trampled. I know they’ve amassed a rabid fanbase, but I didn’t expect her crowd to rival the size and passion of someone like Dizzee Rascal or Death Cab’s audience. I guess plenty of people still like to feel things in San Francisco, even though we try to front otherwise. Victoria Legrand’s voice held up to expectation, opening with the sultry “Gila,” her slow annunciations floating up into the clouds on a flawless San Francisco weekend. It was the perfect introduction to Beach House’s sweet, hour-long serenade, sort of the calm before the Friendly Fires storm.

Friendly Fires

If that massive dance party was any indication, the genre-blind Friendly Fires were responsible for a great deal of damage to the turf in front of the Tunnel Stage. The pit was going crazy for singer Ed Macfarlane’s tireless “dance slash run laps around the stage” routine, and they absolutely owned their set with dense driving beats and aggressive pop prowess. I was fortunate enough to catch a seat on the ferris wheel for a fantastic view of their last two songs, so maybe I’m romanticizing a bit when I say this, but Friendly Fires really were the #1 revelation of the festival.

Explosions in the Sky at Treasure Island Music Fest 2011.

Explosions in the Sky

I almost got punched in the face during this set. A guy was waving around a huge stuffed Weiner dog, blocking people’s view and hitting me in the face a few times. If for no other reason than to maintain my dignity after multiple introductions to a plush dog rump, I asked him to stop. Well, I meant to say “please be considerate of the people around you,” but I misspoke slightly and it came out as “you’re being an asshole and you’re probably going to get punched into the face if you keep doing that.” Whoops. When he Britishly asked me what the fook was I gon’ do about it, I moved like ten feet to the right and carried on enjoying the music. Seriously dude? It’s Explosions, they practically exist for the purpose of chilling the fuck out.

After that, the set was fantastic. Although you can knock Explosions for writing songs that are a little too samey, that formula translates exceptionally well live. They have a way of maintaining urgency in their buildups, throwing the audience into a fevered trance as their songs race forward. For a taste of their set, watch giant jellyfish dance above the crowd while they perform “The Only Moment We Were Alone.”


This article was originally published on SFCritic. Be sure to check out our day one recap.