Tame Impala at Treasure Island Music Festival 2018, by Priscilla Rodriguez

Tame Impala (photo: Priscilla Rodriguez)

After spending a year on the festival circuit sidelines, Treasure Island Music Festival returned this weekend with a revitalized spirit thanks to a brand-new location.

Migrating just across the Bay from its namesake to Oakland’s Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, the two-day music festival fulfilled its promise to provide eclectic sets from established acts such as A$AP Rocky, Santigold, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Tame Impala.

Co-produced by Noise Pop Industries and and Another Planet Entertainment, TIMF was without its signature ferris wheel and silent disco — but the decision bode well to focus solely on the music. TIMF festival-goers soaked in the San Francisco skyline in what could be considered the best weather in the event’s recent history — part of the gripes with previous TIMFs were brutal rainstorms and harsh winds that often resulted in cancelled sets. Though there’s no word on if this move is permanent, a potentially new waterfront homebase and seamless transportation experience (shuttles from West Oakland BART proved clutch) means Treasure Island Music Festival can once again be an annual Bay Area fixture.

Saturday, October 13

Santigold at Treasure Island Music Festival 2018, by Priscilla Rodriguez

With a focus on hip-hop and electronic acts, TIMF Day 1 was about pushing the modern era’s big, overlapping sounds and flavors. From top to bottom, Day 1 performers lit up the City and Town stages: Mosh pits were frequent between Amine’s sunset performance and A$AP Rocky’s headlining fireworks show; French producers Polo & Pan brought Ibiza vibes, dropping a tropical disco set of original tunes and edits. Two other tag-team acts — Laff Trax, made of Nosaj Thing and Chaz Bear, and Silk City, Diplo and Mark Ronson’s project — each made their respective TIMF debuts, turning the grounds into a dance party of '90s house, disco, funk, and throwing in a handful of self-made tracks.

Haitus Kaiyote and Santigold were additional delights of Day 1. The Australian neo-soul band frontlined by vocalist Nai Palm is always a wonder to behold, their set deliberating into jarring jam sessions. Santigold, who garnered one of the biggest crowds of the day, pulled audience members on stage for “Creator.” There was nothing subtle about her message — empowering women and girls, fighting against consumerism and capitalism.

Sunday, October 14

Courtney Barnett at Treasure Island Music Festival 2018, by Priscilla Rodriguez

The presumption of Day 2 of TIMF was that it would be “more chill,” with the spotlight on the indie-rock side of the bill. With such acts like Sharon Van Etten, Courtney Barnett, and Lord Huron, the shift in audience demographic and overall energy was noticeable, but nonetheless, each of the bands brought their own amplified presence. But no one could close out the festival like Tame Impala.

Bathed in smoke machines and stunning visuals and light shows, the Kevin Parker-led Australian band surged through their cuts from 2012’s “Lonerism” and 2015’s “Currents.” The psychedelia was on point, a burst of life in contrast to the hazy, mellow vibe of Cigarettes After Sex and Lord Huron that preceded their set. There were few bright spots prior to the headliners, such as London’s raucous, post-punk band Shame — lead singer Charlie Steen clocked in the one stage dive of the entire festival — and U.S. Girls, a nine-piece band cruising through glam pop-rock comandeered by Meghan Remy.

Come back tomorrow for a full gallery from the festival by Priscilla Rodriguez.

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