Treasure Island Music Festival Exceeds Expectations

Photo: Christian Santiago

Photo: Christian Santiago

Christian Santiago, Staff Writer

This past weekend, the ninth annual Treasure Island Music Festival proved to be one of the best lineups ever. Better than when they had Outkast, and better than when they had Major Lazer. The reason why is because TIMF usually only has one or two main acts, while everybody else is irrelevant or not worth seeing. This year changed that. There was a wide variety of musical acts, ranging from electro artists like Deadmau5, Cashmere Cat and Hudson Mohawke, to hip hop duos like Run The Jewels. While some sets were better than others, Saturday’s lineup was a day to remember.

The highlight of the night was the new group, Big Grams, comprised of Electro Rock group Phantogram and Southern Rapper and member of Outkast, Big Boi. They recently released their first album, a short, self-titled seven track EP, and this was their first live show ever. The Big Grams album was one of my favorites of the year, and this was one of my most anticipated act of the night. Needless to say, they blew my expectations out of the water. From the first song, they got every single person in the crowd to move. The energy and chemistry between Big Boi & Phantogram was incredible. They played every single song from the EP (including bringing out Run The Jewels for the song Born to Shine). The best part of the set, and the night, was when they did a mashup of Phantogram’s “Mouthful of Diamonds” and Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson”. Big Grams murdered the stage so hard I left the festival after their set. I didn’t care to see Deadmau5 perform (also partially because Deadmau5 live shows have declined in quality in recent years).

I went to TIMF mainly for hip hop duo Run The Jewels. Atlanta’s Killer Mike and New York’s El-P made one of the best albums of 2014, and their live shows are known to be full of high energy. They came out lip syncing “We Are The Champions” by Queen, and proclaimed “We came to burn this stage to the motherfucking the ground!” And they proceeded to do so. Playing hits from both of their albums, many fans and I left RTJ wanting more.

I am fully convinced British experimental singer FKA Twigs is from an alternate dimension. Unlike other singers at the festival, FKA Twigs dancing truly vibed with her live band. I don’t really know how to describe her set other than existential. Although her lyrics are hard to make sense and her production is other worldly, it was amazing. It was definitely an experience I’m glad I saw. If you have the chance, I highly suggest seeing FKA live.

Hudson Mohawke is known for producing amazing trap beats, and he brought it to his set. He played a nice mix of his old songs: his collaboration songs with Lunice as TNGHT, and some songs he produced like “Blood on The Leaves”. His set was short but sweet.

Whenever I see a electro artist live, I alway want them to play their own music instead of doing a DJ set. And that’s what Cashmere Cat did. His set was quite boring, other than previewing a new Kanye West song and 30 seconds of “Hotline Bling” by Drake.

There were many other activities to do during TIMF. They provided a variety of high end food trucks, a pop up vinyl store and silent disco. FunnyOrDie also curated a comedy tent if you wanted to see a variety of stand up comics. TIMF was an amazing experience, and I hope next year will be as fun as this year.