Treasure Island Music Festival 2015 – Sunday Recap: The National, CHVRCHES, The War on Drugs, Father John Misty (FESTIVAL RECAP)

Sunday marked the second and final day of Treasure Island Music Festival 2015, and with a lineup stacked full of household rock and indie rock names, it did not disappoint. On a windy but warm afternoon, concertgoers packed the festival grounds for a day of energetic and electrifying performances.


Swedish singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez took the main stage early in the afternoon for a set that, despite the blustery conditions, wowed all in attendance. Though some questioned his presence at a festival devoted to electronic, hip-hop, and rock music, Gonzalez’s entrancing voice and classical guitar melodies made for a captivating performance that demanded the undivided attention of anyone within earshot of the Bridge Stage. His set featured a healthy dose of covers, but also prominently featured his solo material as well as songs from his band, Junip. On songs like “Walking Lightly,” and “Let It Carry You,” Gonzalez’s smooth and effortless delivery, textured with calming musical melodies, cut through the wind to reach an audience that clung to every note. Toward the end of his time slot, Gonzalez dropped his well-known covers of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop,” and closed his set with The Knife’s “Heartbeats.” While Gonzalez and his band mates may not have set the pace, they definitely set the bar high for all the bands to follow.


Perhaps the most entertaining set of the afternoon came from Father John Misty, whose on-stage antics not only boosted the sprits of the crowd after Jose Gonzalez’s decidedly chill set, but also drew plenty of laughs. Father John Misty, also known as Joshua Tillman, opened his set with a warning of what was to come: the heavy and steady love anthem “I Love You, Honeybear,” the title track off of his newest album. Over the course of the next 50-minutes, Tillman used nearly every inch of the stage, his microphone stand, and his band’s equipment to slink, dance, jump and stumble (while in complete, control, of course) his way through an intense, attention-grabbing set. While his jokes and behavior as Father John Misty really put the show over-the-top—during “Bored in the USA” he actually stole a fan’s phone to record himself singing directly into her camera for the remainder of the song—the raw energy and emotion conveyed in Tillman’s music are what truly made his set one of Treasure Island’s best.


 When Kurt Vile left The War On Drugs to pursue a solo career, many thought the best days of the band were behind it. Seven years and several albums later, it’s safe to say that wasn’t the case. With the fog rolling in from the bay, The War on Drugs took the stage to a crowd ready to rock, and the indie band headed by Adam Granduciel did just that. Playing songs from their latest album Lost In The Dream, including lead single “Red Eyes” and “Under the Pressure,” The War On Drugs provided Treasure Island with an enthusiastic and upbeat performance to lead into the prime segment of Sunday’s lineup. With a voice and sound reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen, Granduciel sang through a face-full of hair and thrashed around stage amongst his band mates, capturing the eyes and ears of the audience. At the close of the set, The War On Drugs exited the stage, but Granduciel’s guitar was left to feed back on stage, a reminder of the band’s powerful and memorable set.


In spite of having only two full-length albums, CHVRCHES have quickly risen to become one of the premier festival bands on the circuit, and they showed exactly why with their Treasure Island set on Sunday night. Despite a ten-minute technical delay, Lauren Mayberry and her band mates took the stage to raucous applause and delivered a truly electrifying, transcending performance that could easily be considered the best of Treasure Island 2015. The festival grounds turned to a massive party as fans sang and danced their way through songs new and old, from the soaring “Clearest Blue” to one of CHVRCHES’ first big hits, “Recover.”  Throughout the entirety of their set, Mayberry constantly moved around stage, running and dancing back-and-forth, her hair and black mesh skirt whipping in the wind, as her band mates gave it their all behind their respective instruments. CHVRCHES left Treasure Island on a high-note, rounding out their set with “The Mother We Share,” the first single from debut album The Bones of What You Believe. Despite the technical glitch, Mayberry and her band mates overcame with a spirited performance that sent many festival attendees home in a state of complete euphoria.


 Treasure Island Music Festival 2015 closed out with a headlining set from larger-than-life indie rockers The National. For the past two years, they’ve toured extensively in support of their most recent album Trouble Will Find Me. Nevertheless, the band exhibited virtually no signs of fatigue in an energetic and animated performance that featured a balanced mix of new songs and hits from the band’s extensive repertoire. Amidst heavy smoke and dramatic lighting, Matt Berninger marched around the stage between lyrics and during instrumental solos, urging his band mates on and driving the devoted audience into frenzy. For “I Need My Girl,” Berninger invited CHVRCHES’ Mayberry back to the stage for a duet that broke the hearts of fans and mesmerized the Treasure Island faithful. Before closing their set with “Mr. November” and “Terrible Love,” the band performed “Graceless,” during which Berninger jumped the barricade to walk through the audience as he wailed his way through the song. Needless to say, The National closed out Treasure Island Music Festival 2015 with a bang, capping off an incredible weekend of music in the beautiful Bay Area.


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