In my corner of the world, I was part of and attended the second successful year of Treefort Music Festival. Never heard of it? I’m not surprised. But you will be hearing about it more and more each year as it slowly becomes a staple of Northwest Music Festivals. Held in Downtown Boise, Idaho during the Spring around the same time as SXSW, think of it as a micro SXSW with a similar concept of ongoing events at multiple venues, highlighting up-and-coming, as well as established artists in music & film nationally, regionally, and locally. Since it’s official launch last year, Treefort has caught the attention of blogs and music publications such as: Apes on Tape, Consequence of Sound, Dead Horse March,Gonzo Chicago, KEXP, Paste,Impose, etc.
Photo from ThisIsBoise.com
When looking at the lineup most, admittedly, only recognized a few of the artists. But there’s four days of nonstop musical bliss and discovery with 260+ festival artists. So, most attendees did some research ahead of time, or simply wandered in and out of the multiple venues to see if they liked what they heard. Our band, Rollersnakes, was lucky enough to be asked to play, so we got to experience the event as performers and as members of the audience! I’ll recount the experiences and photos we had, along with much better quality images, if needed, due to blurry pictures from blurry minds.
The line to get into the place was around the block with many excited fans. We managed to get in to catch the last half of Foxygen’s performance. The venue was so cramped the only place we could get close was stage right by the speakers blasting. We didn’t get very good pics, but it was definitely an interesting perspective to watch from!
Best of my blurry pics
Photo by Jeremy Conant
The venue was El Korah Shrine Center of all places! It was a very neat, welcoming, and almost museum-like location with a wooden ballroom where the stage was located..
When we checked in to register at the Artist Lounge, all bands were
given a goody bag of local snacks and goods, stickers, coffee vouchers,
festival map/guide, drink tickets, etc and 4 day wristbands for all members. The Artist Lounge was stocked with food, drinks, a bar, and even arcade games! One of the best parts about the lounge was being able to hang out, talk to, and meet members of other bands. Everyone seemed to be very thankful, impressed and satisfied with how the festival took care of the bands.
Meeting The Thermals in the Artist Lounge
We played at The Crux: a coffee shop, art gallery, venue, and bar all wrapped into one.We were given a complimentary pint while the volunteer staff and sound guy got us and our merch setup. I was quite nervous, feeling the pressure, but our set went pretty well!
Photo by John Yingling
We had a crowd of about 60, but probably were exposed to more since people were filtering in and out, stopping by, festival-style throughout the performance. It was good exposure, and helped us gain more fans and be heard by other bands and out-of-town attendees that probably wouldn’t have heard of us if not for seeing us at Treefort!
When we heard the announcement of the bands we would be playing with, we were most excited about BOYS from Missoula, Montana.We heard some of their songs on their website and became instant fans, stoked to share the stage with them!
Photo by John Yingling
They put on a very energetic, fun set. Most of the crowd couldn’t help but dance, and went especially wild during their awesome version of Ty Segall’s “Caesar.” We were very glad to have played with them and they even invited us to come to Missoula if we ever go out that way! Good BOYS, indeed. We exchanged albums, and continued to see them, enjoying the festival together throughout the weekend.
Photo by Melissa Essig
The next day, they told us about a last minute house show
they had played at 11 AM. We were barely awake at that hour, but were
told champagne and orange juice helped make it possible.
I hadn’t necessarily heard of Sharon Jones, but I had heard of The
Dap Kings, being Daptone Record’s house band, as well as collaborating with Amy Winehouse, The Heavy, and others. I knew they were
probably Soul/Funk of some kind, so after our set and BOYS, we made it a point to see them.
Taken by me
Taken by me
Although it was cold outdoors at the Main Stage, the heat and energy of
the crowd seemed to help keep everyone relatively warm, including the
performers it seemed!
I loved Sharon Jones and her energy. I think an acquaintance I ran
into before things started described her best as “the female James
As soon as Sharon Jones ended, we rushed to the Linen Building to see Seattle’s poppy, energetic garage band, The Pharmacy. I have been enjoying their newest album “Stoned and Alone” and was very much looking forward to seeing them live.
Taken by Me
Security was tight for some reason, and I didn’t expect to have my purse thoroughly searched by a would-be Police Detective. Luckily, it was the only unpleasant part of the evening..We got a great spot up front, and even managed to snap a few decent pictures!
Japanther has been described as performance art to punk rock and back again. And for good reason. I couldn’t tell if they were insane or genius. They made the crowd go crazy! Everyone was pushing and dancing and falling over and headbanging, goin nuts! They are fast. They are loud. They are outta control! One of my favorite things about them, was that they use old phonebooth telephones for vocal mics. It gives them a raw, unique sound.
Taken by Me
I was starting to lose energy from the loooong day, but they somehow recharged me for the rest of the night!