The fourth and final day of Treefort Music Fest begins with the fine sultry music of Social Studies. Their track “Terracur” off their 2012 release Developer works extremely well, and when they play it, the crowd pops with the sound of jaws dropping to the pavement. Lead vocalist Natalia Rogovin sways sensually on stage while one guitarist shreds intensely in the sunshine. The music of Social Studies is at once a classic piece of old knowledge and a revelation had for the first time.
Definitely hanging out for Bad Weather California, these guys have a good punk sound and a great sense of humor. They’re all donning stripes except the plaid-clad bassist as they woo this rapidly growing audience with a phatty salad of old garage rock and contemporary indie punk. It’s great live, and it’s great on record, so you should probably check it out.
We end up in the Record Exchange at an in-store Camper Van Beethoven show. Awesome. These guys have the righteous thematic content and DIY punk ethos which was a consequence of California in the early 80’s, and which seems to be alive and well here in Boise today. Their classics like “Take the Skinheads Bowling” and “Northern California Girls” are abstract and anecdotal fantasies best experienced while reading the lyrics from the inside CD cover. The audience remains perfectly still in the darkened shop, filed in between the record racks like bizarre churchgoers at their pews, in awe of the stylistically and technically transcendent stuff of Camper Van Beethoven.
Today is a great day. Youth Lagoon is up at the main stage. It’s especially exciting since this homegrown Boise project envisioned by Trevor Powers has just released their sophomore album, Wondrous Bughouse, a short two weeks before Treefort. What Powers achieves in his second opus is something drawn from other dimensions, the title and album art are perfect appetizers for listeners to get a taste of his neo-psychedelic dream pop sound.
Looking over some candid photos from the following Dan Deacon show at Treefort Main Stage, almost everyone has a bona fide huge smile on their faces, and here’s why: Dan Deacon’s live shows are festivals in themselves, with a focus not only on the music, but the viewer’s collective participation in the completion of the piece. Good humored after a painfully long sound check, he implores the audience to form a circle, and organizes a dance competition which eventually ends up in the whole crowd throwing down their best moves. With a repertoire of classic songs, and stupidly solid new album America, Dan Deacon’s recorded music is an entirely different beast than his interactive performance, a bold move even for the avant-garde towards a new electronic vocal indie rock aesthetic.
A super exclusive group of lucky fans pile into El Korah Shrine to witness Built to Spill play a full set of covers for the last night of Treefort. They bring something for everyone; New Order, The Clash, Captain Beefheart, Bob Dylan, Pavement, Metallica, Dinosaur Jr. and of course Blue Oyster Cult. The crowd is happy just to anticipate which awesome rock classic Doug and the crew will whip out next. The show is a very intimate experience, with the majority of covers being heard by fans for the first time.
As Built To Spill was finishing up, the anticipation of Boise’s favorite punk band TEENS had people lined out front of the Red Room. Though it took a while to set up TEENS, it didn’t take long for the crowd to tear it down as the people rushed onto the stage to rock out with the band. Beer was flying, the crowd was dancing, cables were breaking, and pipes were being busted as the Red Room got sweaty.
Afterward at the Reef, we squeeze into the Brother Ali show to polish off this awesome Treefort Fest. In our humble opinion, the festival might have benefitted from moving such big names as Brother Ali and Sage Francis from the small upstairs bar at the Reef to the main stage, so more folks could see Boise’s scene flex its underground hip hop muscles. But despite beginning to lose his voice Brother Ali totally kills it and we go home the next morning satisfied in ways we never knew we could be so satisfied. We’d like to give a shoutout to Eric Gilbert, all the hardworking organizers, volunteers, bands, techies, bar and event staff, and the good people of Boise who made this the most pleasant music festival it could be.
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