You might recall when I covered the Treefort Music Festival last year. If you haven’t heard of Treefort, it’s quickly catching on just in its 3rd year as one of the Northwest Not-To-Miss Festivals. The 4 day festival takes place in Boise, Idaho, just after SXSW and showcases music & film as well as performance art, writers and storytellers, comedy, craft beer, food, workshops, tech innovators, skateboarding and even yoga! Highlighting local, regional, national, and international talent/artists, it’s the perfect place to see & hear familiar, as well as new favorite bands you’ve never had the delight of discovering yet!
Admittedly, I had only heard of a few acts in the line-up, but I was anything but worried or disappointed. Having participated in and experienced Treefort before, I was confident this year would be another thrilling success. And it was!!
I originally saw and heard about The Shivas at the first year of Treefort when they played a free showcase at the Boise Rock School. Their fun, surfy sound and melodic harmonies drew me in then just as much as now.
That year, I bought their album “Whiteout” on cassette from them, which was my first introduction to Burger Records. Love at first song. The ooo’s and aahh’s in the background, the nimble riffs played on guitar, the fun beats coming from the drums, the happiness of the music warms and tugs on your heart.
You can especially hear the love emanating from Jared and Kristin’s vocal duets and harmonies on “Gun In My Pocket” one of the quieter, more epic songs on Whiteout.
The Neurolux was packed like Sardines, I made my way up front to take pictures and of course to dance! People of all ages were gettin’ down to the infectious beats. I saw older hippie couples dancing, eyes closed, taken back in time. In what had to be a sea of acid flashbacks, I saw younger fans smiling and bobbing their heads. I saw badasses, bikers, and metalheads enjoying the scene. It was quite a show!
Their set also included songs from their newer 7″ “You Make Me Wanna Die” out now on K Records.
Having had the honor to open up for, host, and get to know members of The Shivas between their past and present Treefort appearances, it was our pleasure to have them again! It was a great way to kickoff the festival!
Our band got the opportunity to play Treefort at The Crux this year again, as well! It felt like it was a good show. The crowd seemed to have a good time, and we got a lot of good feedback! I was less nervous than last year.
Artists were treated well with a lounge to meet in with goodie bags, snacks, drinks, arcade games, books & records and other donations from local shops. If you are in a band, or know a band, I recommend looking into being a part of it next year!
After loading up after our set, I rushed over to The District coffee house in search of a band I was recommended to check out and get pictures of! When I got there, I found a different band playing: The BGP from Seattle!
It was a pretty good mistake, because I enjoyed their fun stage presence and self described “blue-eyed soul” music. These talented and friendly guys had the crowd entranced and entertained by their blues-y, yet upbeat, catchy songs. The front man on keys also had pretty impressive, soulful, lounge-y vocals. I was glad I had happened to catch them!
Next, I rushed back to The Crux to catch some more great bands like Twin Step from Oakland, CA! They have been described as “a sample based quartet, combining elements of classic soul, pop, and experimental rock n roll.”
I would definitely say that is accurate! I enjoyed them and would venture to say they are a band that flourishes live on stage with great energy and with such entertainment that it is almost theatrical!
This 1-2-3-4-Go! Records band sounds fresh and new. Bringing old to new and mixing it just so.
The crowd couldn’t help but get a smile slapped on their face by the sweet sounds, infectious drum beats, sweeping yet surfy guitar, and boppin bass. The fun lyrics and high, melodic vocals just seal the deal and get you dancin’ and make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation!
Hailing from Chicago, The Funs have been summed up as “loud art punk.” They WERE fun, endearingly awkward, unique, and energetic, while also laid back somehow! The duo seemed to enchant the crowd with their lo-fi goodness. Crashing drums, noisey guitar, and the melodic haunting reverb of the vocals tied together nicely.
The two musicians were multi-talented and switched instruments half way inbetween!
The crowd was definitely having fun, too! Everyone dancing and head bobbing throughout the performance. It was neat to see them both on their instruments and hear two vocal styles, giving more dimension and added intrigue!
Chastity Belt has gotten a lot of recognition as of late. It was one of the few bands I had heard of. It became apparent I wasn’t the only one when The Crux got pretty full of an excited crowd prior to their set. Comprised of 4 great female musicians from the Seattle area, Chastity Belt has been described as “a lonesome crowded sound that evokes riot grrl without ever rehashing it, dream pop devoid of played out drum machines and organs.”
I’d say it was a fair description! They have a very chill, confident, female way about them without being too girly or wearing matching pink outfits. Julia Shapiro strums the guitar while singing with a great voice, harkening to Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane. Lydia Lund riffs on lead guitar with catchy, complex structures. Annie Truscott balances the low end with her bass grooves, and Gretchen Grimm keeps things upbeat on drums.
The crowd was in awe of these four and it was obvious they were well liked with the venue seeming smaller and smaller by the minute. Even still, people were thrashing about, bobbing heads, a lot were singing along. It was a great set!
I left to go back to the Neurolux to meet up with some other friends for a change of pace. Yes, the metal crowd. I had never heard of this band Eagle Twin from SLC, but while I was chatting outside the venue, the word was getting out that the next band that was setting up had 4 killer amps that were made by the guitarist who also custom modified his guitar, and that it was a two-piece sludge/doom band, I came in for a peek, and stayed for the set!
My pictures were horrible, so I found some amazing ones a fellow fest goer took. It was pretty crowded and people were moving around a lot, headbanging and moshing, but you get the idea. You can see what could be intriguing about it all. It was so heavy and sounded so badass, that I didn’t even mind I was missing some other great sets. Can’t be everywhere at once!
Back over at The Crux, San Antonio based band The Rich Hands played! Their fun sound and danceable songs have drawn in many a crowd over their numerous stops in Boise. The reverb twang guitar, booming bass, and thunderous drums entrance you. Some songs are more garage rock n roll and others are a little psychedelic and trippy.
The Rich Hands have been busy this year releasing their EP “Girl” in January featuring demos, singles, and live recordings available on cassette from Secret People Records. They are also releasing their new LP “Out Of My Head” on May 6th available on Fountain Records with cassettes on Burger Records, so watch for that to drop!
Local Boise band, Teens, always put on a rowdy show with the crowd goin nuts, joining them onstage, stage diving, surfing and dropping, broken stuff, chaos, and tons of fun!
A signature mixture or garage, punk, and psychedelic music makes the perfect recipe for this excellent group. David Wood, lead vocals and guitar, has been a part of the local garage/rock n roll scene for a long time, contributing many great projects including a collab I covered at Treefort last year, GAYZE featuring The Rich Hands’ Cody Mauser and members of local favorites Deaf Kid.
Getting to know David, I’ve gotten the distinct vibe that he has this longing, unquenchable thirst for that 60s sound through and through. He is one of the few people I know that gets it, and gets it good! Jam packed shows prove this time and time again.
GUERRILLA ALLEY SHOWS
There were also a few guerrilla style shows in the alleys that a few bands set up, played, all while avoiding any trouble. I didn’t get to catch the ones the first few days, but here are some photos of what transpired. Looks like fun!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Treefort Music Fest 2014!!