Beck at Treasure Island 2013 - Photo by Daniel Kielman

Photo by Daniel Kielman. Review by Roman Gokhman and Anna Gazdowicz.

Every act had its own way of dealing with the biting wind and the dropping temperatures Sunday at the Treasure Island Music Festival’s indie rock day. Some bundled up, while Japandroids vocalist-guitarist Brian King stripped down to his shirt to connect with the crowd. Some, like Animal Collective, went all-out with their impressive – and impressively weird – stage setup; others, such as IO Echo, stuck theirs back in the van because they kept blowing over. Some, like James Blake, kept commenting on the cold, while others, like Palma Violets, pretended it was warm. The Britpop garage band opened with classic surf anthem “California Sun.”

A few of the acts stood out from the herd at this uneven Sunday. Those who survived the day and a set delayed by 20 minutes were treated to a solid mix of Beck tunes both new and old (including, of course, “Loser” - it wouldn't be a Beck set without it). After Beck took the stage, opening with “Devil's Haircut,” the feeling came back into countless frozen toes that happily danced along.

The crowd was treated to some signature Beck dance moves, as well as cover of “Tainted Love.”

Earlier in the day, a good portion of the crowd knew that Haim was the act with the hottest trajectory and crowded the small stage a good 40 minutes in advance. And the three sisters, performing with a male drummer, were even better than advertised in their first Bay Area appearance.

Performing with a different mindset than typical all-girl band, Haim came across very straightforward and in-your-face. The sisters were not afraid to throw in a guitar solo or demand that someone in the audience with British candy relinquish said candy to them.

Canadian duo Japandroids obviously has a healthy local following. King and drummer David Prowse are showmen and worked their fans into the first sea of moshers of the day. While someone who didn’t expect this might complain, it built some warmth while the duo played their last U.S. show of their current tour.

Animal Collective’s stage was framed by a set of giant teeth (the top row billowed in the wind like loose teeth ready to be pulled) and two large ... horns, maybe? Their visuals were more confusing than the videos shown between sets at the festival. The band didn’t need the props to put on a good show – the music spoke for itself – but they definitely increased the level of weird.

Sleigh Bells now includes a drummer in addition to a second guitarist. The full band version of the duo is at times a bit nu-metal, but that's all right. The addition breaks up a monotonous sound of shrieking guitar and heavy hand-clap drums. Their new songs (Bitter Rivals was released recently) blend right in with the older material.

The band’s set featured one of the cooler moments of the day, when the jellyfish swarm appeared during “Crown on the Ground.” Another special moment came much earlier in the day. IO Echo’s set was plagued throughout with unwanted feedback, and at one point the drums and one of the two guitars went out completely. While vocalist Ioanna Gika and another guitarist fought through the first verse themselves, technicians milled at the back corner of the stage and full sound was restored just in time for the very loud chorus.

The most unique set of the night came from Portland dance rockers STRFKR, which featured side entertainers like men in blown-up Sumo suits duking it out, a guy in a space suit, and another one wearing a rabbit head.

James Blake followed STRFKR on the main stage, and highlighting the unevenness of the night, performed a set of slow-burning tunes that blended R&B with electronica, a sound better suited for Saturday's electronic music offerings.

Follow writer Roman Gokhman at Twitter.com/RomiTheWriter and RomiTheWriter.Tumblr.com

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