Treasure Island fest: Dan Deacon, the Streets, tree smarts, viz art, and more


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Dan Deacon, above, leads the mob, and a fiery dusk off Treasure Isle. All photos by Kimberly Chun.

By Kimberly Chun

Gawg-eous. And I mean both Dan Deacon - in full-tilt follow-me-folks mode and the jaw-dangler of a sunset Saturday night, Oct. 17, at this year's Treasure Island Music Festival. So sad that I couldn't get there early enough to catch Crown City Rockers and Federico Aubele and stumbled out too early to see alphabet-soup Bridge Stage acts MSTRKRFT and MGMT - nevertheless here are a few watercolor, waterside memories of the happenings mid-fest.

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You gots to hand it to Dan Deacon - the man knows how to power out a show, either solo or with his current 12-piece Dan Deacon Ensemble. "We can get in the zone in three minutes!" yelped Deacon happily - ever the leader of the flock as he sounded out the air-guitar/air-conductor hand gestures shortly before his set. Way to get the energy up: the band entered on the waves of excitement generated by a stage-diving/ascending chum, who was carried from the audience and deposited onstage. And what a stage - crammed with musicians and sidekicks like the cavorting feller in the orange dot costume and a note-worthy three-piece drum ensemble. Switching it up from jumpy happy beats to piping drone, the outfit sounded for all the world like a spazz-tastic, kiddie digi-hardcore orchestra. Not all of Deacon's endeavors were a raging success - but try organizing a dance contest at the drop of Gucci-patterned fedora - and he continues to sound much better up close and on record than live (and across the Treasure Island compound) - but the man got the soiree started for sure.

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The Streets followed, praising the crowd for its fashion-forward garb ("You also look great with it off!") and waxing humble about his own perpetual all-black ensemble and muttering about how well it hides dirt. The UK rapper was in a sexy yet unpredictable mood - dissing Sacramento, recalling his stage dive from a Fillmore balcony box, and commenting on the fact Treasure Isle is known for its solid sounds. At one point, he urged a woman perched on a pal's shoulders to take off her top while also chiding her for blocking the view of other fans. Beatles riffs floated over it all.

Later DJ Krush provided future-beats before for dinnertime while LTJ Bukem broke those beats and picked up the pace. As the sun set in flamingo pinks and outrageous purples, Brazilian Girls provided surprisingly good, if ditzy fun, closing their well-played set with a paean to - did I hear right - pussies as audience members climbed onstage to shimmy.

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Other sights: the sad view of a tree broken by some jerk-offs who were watching the Streets from its branches. Puts a damper on the eco-friendly air surrounding the fest, no? A chainsaw came out as we bystanders gawked off to the side (one comment overheard: "Who cares?"). We found respite in the art booths on the adult midway, where we hung out stories written out on hand-painted petals in the Scales Project installation and checked out the live graf art. Sorry signs of the apocalypse: skate-board-ready Megan Fox and Kate Moss tributes.

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