Perfect weather introduced the first and most promising act of the Treasure Island Music Festival: The Limousines. I’ve caught the end of their show once before and they were good enough that I got up early on a Saturday just to see them again. Unfortunately traffic around the Berkeley Bowl caused me to miss half their show again. Their songs are cute and funny and both the lyrics and the beat make me want to dance from even the first time hearing them. In my mind, The Limousines are the band of 2009 to get excited about.
The next act we caught was Murs. He had nice beats though his rapping voice wasn’t particularly special. We got up and danced for “To Protect and Entertain,” which is a Busy P track that he has a segment in. Surprisingly, he chose to use the Crookers beat live. Can’t be blamed, as that is one sick remix. That’s maybe the second time I’ve heard a live version of a remix (not counting Smash-up Derby). I wonder if, and how quickly, that will become commonplace—and if DJs will be given proper credit for their reworkings.
After that came Passion Pit. I don’t know why these guys don’t stir me more live. Their songs are all lovely and quirky and danceable. Maybe it’s because none of them have an inner-diva that craves the audience to stay riveted on their every move. Though I’ve read that their breakout album was actually a love-letter from the lead singer to his girlfriend, no insight is given as to where the songs come from. Not that I am discouraging anyone from seeing Passion Pit. The audience was enthralled, singing along like true fans. Replaying the shit bootleg I recorded there stirs joy in my heart. And they are still top of the heap among the bands putting out albums this year.
The Streets were the second biggest surprise of the festival. I’ve always felt that some of their songs were a bit slow or too repetitive but live the Brit-rapper’s charm and wit had me hooked. The Streets is a naughty but reasonable rake. The singer that accompanies him really adds to the show and the new guitarist did the kind of intensive shredding you don’t expect to see in a rap show. Blame all the photo editing I did prior to writing this, but Wayne Vibes made a cameo in my dreams last night. Anyone could plainly see that the penis of a man who can play guitar like that would have no trouble making new friends so it was no surprise when impish Streets informed Wayne that he’d be “getting laid tonight.”
At one point The Streets told a girl astride someone’s shoulders that she was blocking the view of all the people behind her. The penalty would be to remove her shirt. The chiding didn’t work on this girl but I can imagine that many titties are unleashed at Streets shows. As the show neared its end The Streets continually teased the audience that he had a favor to ask of us, just one favor, and that it was coming up. He finally had everyone in the audience “go low” so that you could look out and see the thousand behind you, crouching. Audience participation like this may ultimately be little more than silliness but it is a big part of *why I go to shows in the first place. I ate it up.
*Oh! Seed for future blog!