At the newly relocated Treasure Island Music Festival on Saturday, Santigold thrashed to "L.E.S. Artistes" and swayed to the reggae rhythm of "Run the Road" wearing a red cape covered in money, plastic water bottles and green moss. With its eccentric and eco-conscious attire ("money and plastic are ruining the environment" was the message I got) and textured, pastel-hued set design, Santigold's performance looked and felt like something out of a '90s Nickelodeon show—and it was glorious.
Her set wasn't exactly PG, though—during her dancehall bop "Coo Coo Coo," a dis to men who catcall women, a cartoon pig with six-pack abs and exposed genitals appeared on screen. The audience was clearly there for it: dozens of girls in Vans and tube tops stampeded to the front of the stage to join the singer for her electro-punk anthem "Creator," about making one's own rules.
Santigold's out-there set was a climactic point of this year's TIMF, which returned this year after a hiatus in 2017. Though it retains the Treasure Island name, the festival now takes place in Oakland's Middle Harbor Shoreline Park due to ongoing construction on the actual Treasure Island.
The misnomer might be a little awkward, but the abundance of eclectic talent, warm weather and sweeping views of the San Francisco skyline made the festival's growing pains easy to forget. Treasure Island was a little more bare this year—no Ferris wheel or silent disco—which kept the focus on the music.
Still, after Saturday’s colorful and eclectic lineup, the energy waned a bit on Sunday, which leaned toward indie rock. With the new location, Treasure Island could have also benefitted from a new approach to genres. The festival's dichotomous schedule, with electronic music on the first day and rock on the second, is an institution that dates back to the festival's beginnings in the late 2000s, when the prevalent hipster aesthetics were bloghouse electro and indie rock. But at this point, the separation between genres feels arcane and unnecessary, especially as Saturday grows more varied with additional hip-hop, pop and electronic subgenres each year and Sunday stays essentially the same.