Despite it only being its sophomore year, the Treefort Music Festival has proven to be unique. Pulling from the SXSW and MFNW models, the festival takes place at a variety of venues throughout the relatively small Linen District of downtown Boise, Idaho. The small size of the festival provides a level of intimacy as you cross paths with the same people show after show.
There was a heavy emphasis on northwest bands, with more than thirty-five originating from Portland. This festival is one for the bands and the fans-- checking pretensions at the door and everyone in it together. It truly is a festival about the music. Here are some of the highlights:
9:23 PM: Foxygen filled El Korah Shrine to capacity and sweat with their high energy psychedelic set. Following recent tour buds Wampire, lead singer Sam France rarely blinked as he maniacally moved from one end of the stage to the other. The band's eclectic style was reminiscent of their retro sound.
9:47 PM: Wampire joined Foxygen on stage for the last part of their set. El Korah Shrine burst into a frenzy as Wampire crowd-surfed.
10:16 PM: Unknown Mortal Orchestra won over El Korah Shrine as they played tracks off their recently-released album II. By the end of their set a small dance party had developed near the stage. Check out the acoustic session we did with lead singer Ruban Nielson in January.
11:35 PM: Death Songs had a few delays due to some sound issues, but it didn't stop them from playing a top-knotch set. Nicholas Delffs layed his guitar across his keys and managed to simultaneously play both as he sang. Needless to say, the room was impressed.
5:21 PM: Deep Sea Diver played an upbeat set on the Main Stage. It was late afternoon and freezing, but the crowd bundled up and sipped on a brew as Jessica Dobson's dry vocals echoed through the streets of Boise. Check out our Musicfest NW day party session with them here.
7:28 PM: Delicate Steve was perhaps the best surprise at Treefort. An instrumental band hailing from New Jersey, Delicate Steve knows how to work a crowd. As their press release states, "This is like My Bloody Valentine, minus the guitars," which is obviously not true. It began to snow as they played the Main Stage and their breaths were highlighted by the stage lights. They encouraged everyone to buy a Delicate Steve shirt for extra warmth and by the end of their set had the entire crowd jumping up and down with them.
8:15 PM: Aan had quite the buzz surrounding them after their recent anouncement of an upcoming tour with The Smashing Pumpkins. Neurolux was packed and curious, eager fans were more than satisfied.
9:16 PM: Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings brought the soul to Treefort's freezing Main Stage. Dressed in a sleeveless flapper dress, she danced her way across the stage while belting out her soulful songs. The horns were loud and traveled far in the cold night air. People near and far from the Main Stage were drawn to their set.
10:26 PM: Built To Spill made history at Treefort. For the first time ever they played their first album Ultimate Alternative Wavers in its entirety. It was in celebration of its release twenty years ago. Too bad my camera ate the photos, but trust me, it was amazing.
7:04 PM: Grandparents won over the crowd at Neurolux. They opened with an instrumental piece and then dove into one of their newer tracks, "Bitches."
7:15 PM: YACHT knows how to bring the party. The once-Portland, now-Los Angeles duo got the crowd moving with their dance-y beats and theatrical delivery.
8:35 PM: Genders played our PDX/Rx show last week. Lead singer Maggie Morris won over the crowd at El Korah Shrine.
8:11 PM: The We Shared Milk kicked off their tour with And And And (who played after them) at The Red Room. The crowd rocked out to their loud guitars and droned out vocals as lead singer Boone Howard did some crazy pedal work. Non-Portlanders asked the person next to them, "What's the name of this band?!"
9:05 PM: The Walkmen enchant a huge audience on the Main Stage. I leave to catch Built to Spill but hear "The Rat" across the parking lot and rush back to catch it. Well worth it.
9:10 PM: The Treefort Monster crashed many sets at the festival. Here's the monster with The Walkmen.
10:33 PM: Built to Spill are the band of this year's Treefort. Playing three sets on three different days, fans lined up outside El Korah Shrine to catch the band that has been a staple to so many peoples' lives for years. As the band Social Studies put it, Saturday's performance was a "religious experience."
12:10 AM: French Horn Rebellion started a disco dance party in the Linen Building. Wearing collard shirts and jackets that were piped with glow-lights, they danced and fell around the stage- it wasn't too different in the audience.
1:12 AM: I'm not sure if I can find the words that properly explain what happened at The Red Room when Wooden Indian Burial Ground took the stage. It was impossible to get into the venue and as soon as you did you began perspiring and shoving the person next to you. The guitars were loud and experienced and inexperienced fans took their hand at crowdsurfing.
2:20 PM: San Francisco-based band Social Studies was the last show I was able to catch before needing to return to Portland. They were energetic and catchy. Definitely a good way to end the festival.
Attending such a geniune festival was a refreshing and memorable experience. I, like many in attendence, will definitely be making to trek back to Treefort next year. I hope you do to.
Tagged: Treefort 2013