The sun shone as we found our way to the Treasure Island Music Festival shuttle buses, but dark clouds loomed in the distance. Soon enough, sun would give way to rain.
As we walked, I explained my perspective on biking in the rain — after a long enough ride, you end up wet regardless. Either with sweat, if you don a fully waterproof outfit, or with rain, if you don't. So eventually, it makes sense to focus on staying comfortable rather than staying dry. And it's a small mental switch, but once it happens, you feel like you can embrace the rain, instead of just hiding from it.
It's surprising how much your perception can change when you see something from a different perspective…
Just like music, bubbles have a surreal ability to transport people to a different frame of mind. But the specific frames of mind vary. I loved seeing how the bubbles elicited prolonged excitement among the people who stopped to play; transient joy in the folks who ran past, trying to stay dry; and calm focus from the ones trying to make each waft of bubbles better than the last.
Each act that we saw featured a different kind of visualization. The band Tycho played beneath a sunset sky, while a large LED screen cycled through various designs and animations behind them. As day turned to dusk, and finally darkness, I was struck by how the changing light levels of the screen could offer a sense of the passage of time.
The erratic weather conditions caused emotions to sway pretty dramatically — heavy rains on Saturday had caused significant alteration of the schedule, and as high winds on Sunday first delayed, and then cancelled James Blake's set, frustrations ran high and patience waned. But sometimes all it takes is a second glance to find a smile amidst the chaos.
There's something haunting and direct about the music of Sigur Rós. It's like a prayer for reflection, but with no words; a feeling of catharsis with no associated experience. And as the waves of sound washed over us for nearly two hours, it felt as if they gradually guided us from the darkness and into the light.