Treasure Island Music Festival 2015 -Saturday Recap: STS9, FKA twigs, Big Grams, deadmau5 (FESTIVAL RECAP)

2015’s Treasure Island Music Festival kicked off with a bang on Saturday, featuring a wide array of talented artists from across the electronic and hip-hop genres. While festival newcomers like Baio and Shamir wowed audiences with their fervor and fresh tunes, seasoned artists like Run the Jewels and deadmau5 anchored the Saturday lineup and brought thousands to their feet to dance, sway, and take in the overall experience of San Francisco’s mid-autumn music festival. Here are some of the highlights from day one of Treasure Island Music Festival 2015.


As the sun set over Treasure Island, STS9 took the Bridge Stage to crank out their special blend of “post-rock dance music.” Part electronic, part jam-band, the group seemingly brought the entire festival to its feet to groove and dance with a series of songs that transformed and developed as they were played. One particularly impressive trait of STS9’s music was the band’s ability to start with one melody and build on it over the course of each song. Performing during a daytime slot at a music festival can be particularly challenging, as bands must rely more on the strength of their music than visual aids such as stage lighting. As darkness overtook the festival grounds, STS9 rose to the challenge, drawing a large and enthusiastic audience for a strong performance that set a positive tone for the remainder of the evening.


Closing out her festival run for the year 2015, FKA twigs bravely faced (and successfully conquered) the monumental task of replacing Swedish pop goddess Robyn in the Treasure Island lineup. Twigs took the stage amidst a heavy fog and a swirling wind, and immediately launched into the evocative and beat-heavy “Figure 8” from her newest EP, M3LL155X. Seductively contorting her body as she danced around stage, FKA twigs used every second of her allotted time. Twigs’ performance of songs like “Two Weeks,” “Give Up,” and the new “Glass & Patron” were gripping and powerful, so much so that the time she took to thank the audience between songs felt slightly jarring and out of place. Nevertheless, FKA twigs’ set of slow and sexy songs offered an appealing change of pace in a Saturday lineup packed with upbeat electronic and hip-hop music.

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Big Grams, the brand-new collaboration between Phantogram and Big Boi, was perhaps the most anticipated performance of the night. Drawing a huge crowd to the Tunnel Stage for their “first-ever” marquee show, the trio’s set was compelling and massively energetic. Trading smiles between lines, Big Boi and Sarah Barthel marched and danced around stage as they performed every song from their eponymous album. Their set was rounded out with several songs from their respective bands, including two of Big Boi’s solo songs. While their infectious lead single “Lights On” came early on in the set, Big Grams had several surprises in store for the eager audience. First, Run the Jewels joined the trio on stage for “Born to Shine,” which was immediately followed by an impressive mash-up of one of Outkast’s biggest hits, “Ms. Jackson,” and Phantogram’s “Mouthful of Diamonds.” While the performance clocked in at a brief 45-minutes, it will undoubtedly go down as one of the best of the entire festival.


The revolutionary electronic musician deadmau5 closed out the night with an hour and a half of beat-driven dance music. In a festival show he has decided to call, “The Dome,” deadmau5 performed the first segment of the show from inside an orb constructed of LEDs, spotlights shining onto the audience from the eyes of his signature mask. “Avaritia,” a refreshing track from his newest album while(1<2), came early on in the set, reeling in the audience from all corners of the festival grounds. Approximately twenty minutes into the show, the structure finally split in two to fully reveal deadmau5 to the Treasure Island faithful, sending the crowd into frenzy. The core of his setlist included a balance of tracks new and old, from his most popular song “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” to the ambient “Phantoms Can’t Hang” from his newest album. Needless to say, deadmau5’s progressive EDM capped off a fantastic day of music from artists prominent in the electronic and hip-hop spheres and gave attendees one final opportunity to dance before returning home for the night.

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