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Treasure Island Fest: 10 artists not to miss + set times


Admittedly by October – as the festival season is coming to an end – it’s hard to still be excited about bands playing one, but it should be a great weekend of music at the relocated Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco which is celebrating its 10th anniversary (tickets are still available). Check out the set times at the fest’s site (you won’t see Stormzy on there because the UK rapper cancelled his tour dates). Here are 10 artists we definitely wouldn’t miss.

James Blake at Eaux Claires 2016
photo by Mike Diskin


JAMES BLAKE (Sunday, 7:30)



With recent contributions to Frank Ocean and Beyonce albums, it feels like 2016 is the year that James Blake’s influence on pop music is cemented. He also dropped his own album, The Colour In Anything, which proves that even with all the copycats, still no one can do it quite like James himself.


Car Seat Headrest at Pitchfork Festival 2016
Car Seat Headrest (who is #4 on RS list) at Pitchfork Fest (photo by Ben Stas)


Car Seat Headrest (Sunday, 2:00)



One of 2016’s biggest indie rock success stories, CSH were teriffic when we saw them at a recent NYC show. As we wrote there, main man Will Toledo may have a rep as nerdy, awkward and shy, but he has become an increasingly confident frontman, and the sold out show’s crowd was singing along to every song and screaming for more even after the encore.


Photo by Sachyn Mital
Photo by Sachyn Mital





Like we said before this band played Governors Ball, Christine and the Queens blur the lines between gender, genre and language barriers with their sound that isn’t quite like any other band on the festival. Christine takes influence from Beyonce and Rihanna, but also samples Arctic Monkeys. She has one song that’s a cover/mashup of French singer Christophe’s 1973 song of “Paradis Perdus” and Kanye West’s “Heartless.” And she and her on-stage dancers are constantly challenging what it means to be masculine or feminine while performing. If you see this set, you won’t forget it. Check out photos from their recent NYC show at the 3000+ capacity Terminal 5.


Deafheaven at Eaux Claires 2016
Deafheaven at Eaux Claires 2016 (more by David Szymanski)


DEAFHEAVEN (Sunday, 3:30)



Once again, Deafheaven are the only metal band on the festival lineup. Like we said back before Coachella (which they also played), Deafheaven have entirely transcended their genre and it’s not a surprise that this is the one band with exclusively-screamed vocals that Treasure Island wanted to book. They’re part black metal, part post-rock, part screamo, part thrash, part indie rock, and that’s not even all of it. Vocalist George Clarke’s stage presence can get a festival crowd going, alone.







Whether you love his music or not, it’s hard to deny Mac DeMarco’s ornery charm live, where performances are often filled with wild antics, stage-diving, crowd surfing, nudity, and other shenanigans. (Lately he’s had one of those inflatable waving tube men on stage with him.) All of this makes him perfect festival material.




HOW TO DRESS WELL (Saturday, 5:25)



With a great new album just released, it’s the perfect time to catch How to Dress Well. At the recent NYC show, Tom Krell and his three-piece backing band sounded great, and filled their show with stage banter that’s not safe to talk about at work. Tom is more open than ever about his love of pop music, but he’s still a weirdo at heart.


Ice Cube at Afropunk Fest 2016 - Sunday
photo by P Squared


ICE CUBE (Saturday, 9:25)



Ice Cube recently played Afropunk Fest in Brooklyn, and before that we pointed out that Ice Cube may not have put out a great record in a while, but the reignited interest in NWA (thanks in part to the Straight Outta Compton movie and the Rock Hall induction) has had him bringing out NWA members during festival sets (like Riot Fest and Coachella). The chance that he might do that here is reason enough to see his set, but even if he doesn’t, we can most likely count on hearing classics from that group (and his solo career of course). And going by those recent live shows, he’s totally still got it as an MC.


Kamaiyah at FYF Fest 2016 - Saturday
photo by Everett Fitzpatrick for FYF Fest


KAMAIYAH (Saturday, 12:45)



What was your 2016 Song of The Summer? “One Dance”? “Can’t Stop The Feeling”? Might we suggest Kamaiyah’s “How Does It Feel?,” which technically came out in the fall of 2015 but continues to pick up steam and has sounded great blasting in this summer’s warm weather. (Not to mention she’s on another of the year’s true hits, YG & Drake’s “Why You Always Hatin?.”) Her live show isn’t fully there yet, but her mixtape is one of the year’s best albums and, like we said before FYF (that she also played), we don’t think you’ll regret being able to say you saw her early on (literally, get there early Saturday!)


Sigur Rós at Kings Theatre
Photo by Greg Cristman


SIGUR ROS (Sunday, 9:20)



Is there anythng we need to say here? If you’re a fan, you probably bought tickets to the fest based on this set alone. If you’re not, prepare to become one. Check out photos from the Icelandic band’s recent NYC shows at Radio City Music Hall and King’s Theatre (the first of 2 shows there). Catch them again in 2017 when they return to California to play three special shows with the LA Philharmonic.




SYLVAN ESSO (Sunday, 6:40)



Duo Sylvan Esso went from playing small clubs to big stages partly due to their winning appearances at festivals. Their new LP is out in early 2017, so expect to hear some fresh jams alongside favorites like “Coffee” and “Hey Miami.”


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