Growing at an exponential rate for all the right reasons, Boise's Treefort Music Fest packs in a multitude of diverse bands and artists into a downtown area bred for good times. Here are a few of our favorite moments from Treefort 2016.
The companion piece to this recap is AudioHammock Podcast #54; listen to AudioHammock staff relive some of their best escapades of the weekend. Featuring music from the following Treefort bands: Music Band, Holiday Friends, Laura Leif, Bed., Foul Weather, Mega Ran, New Madrid, and more! Stream it here or grab it and subscribe on iTunes now!
Essentially James Brown, Otis Redding, and Wilson Pickett rolled into one, Bradley has been making music since the '60s and can be seen leading the charge of Daptone's revival of the funk and soul genres (along with Sharon Jones). With a new album out entitled Changes, Bradley and his band (Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires) put on a set for the ages and Bradley's ability to portray so many emotions through each and every song made Friday night at the main stage more than memorable.
AudioHammock staff arrived at the El Korah shrine early Thursday night to catch John Dwyer's Thee Oh Sees. Known for an agressive and psychedelic sound, 2015's Mutilator Defeated at Last was one of our top albums of last year and performances of songs such as "Web" and "Palace Doctor" cemented that thought. Known for two touring drummers with unparalleled synchronicity, Thee Oh Sees live show is as much of a visible art as it is an audible delicacy. A raucous crowd certainly added to the environment and it's a wonder the building itself didn't crash to the ground.
Part of the allure of music festivals is discovering great artists and through a chance champagne and orange juice run while listening to Radio Boise I heard an amazing voice accompanied by a ukulele. So compelling was Laura Leif that I stayed in my vehicle to listen to her music long after the oh so important task was completed and was thrilled to learn that I hadn't yet missed her Treefort performance at The District Coffee House. On the cusp of a great new release entitled Shadow on the Brim / Rough Beasts, Laura's set was an intimate one full of charm and earnest and rhetorical lyricism. If you need more ukulele in your life (and everyone does), I implore you to check out her work. Her song "Deep Bright" is featured on this episode of the AudioHammock podcast.
One of Portland's finest acts, Yacht had the tough job of following the pop-up Magic Sword show and delivered. Offering hits from their latest album I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler and earlier, the electropop duo had the mainstage dancing well into the evening hours.
Originally slated to play the Boise Radio Campfire stage (a small stage near the main stage), people were wondering what the deal was with Magic Sword. Magic Sword has somewhat of a cult following in Boise and if you knew anything about the band, you knew that the Campfire stage just wasn't going to cut it due to space constraints. AudioHammock co-founder Anthony Saia sums up the band's arrival best:
"I see this white van pull up on the left side of the main stage, covered in LED lights, glowing dragonflies are suddenly floating through the crowd, people are walking around with lightsabers and all of a sudden Magic Sword is on top of this van platform unleashing electronic symphonic mayhem."
Set for global electronic domination, Magic Sword just released their latest EP Legend on Size records. Also check out the Magic Sword Guest Mix on Steve Angeloo's BBC Radio 1 Residency (Soundcloud below). The legend continues...
Spitting rhymes about all things nostalgic '90s video games, Mega Ran (real name Raheem Jarbo) was easily one of the more entertaining and crowd pleasing acts of the weekend. The top floor of Boise's Knitting Factory was packed Saturday night as this ex-teacher took verse to classic video games such as Mega Man, Street Fighter, Final Fantasy, and more. The show climaxed during an inspiring free-style session in which Raheem surrounded himself with the intimate audience and freestyled about whatever objects were handed to him (which included an AudioHammock business card). Make sure to check out more on MegaRan on the AudioHammock podcast and find out more on his official website. Although he would never admit it, Raheem is a pioneer of the nerd core genre and will be back in the Pacific Northwest later on this summer so check out his tour dates.
Sockeye Brewing, New Belgium Brewing Company, Payette, Boise Brewing, & Woodland Empire were just a few of the area breweries with tasty beverages on tap. Our winner? Sockeye's Mango Dagger IPA, but really, there were no losers in this tent. Beers and cheers all the way around.
Food. Food in bunches. Poutine, Korean BBQ, Piehole Pizza, Foodfort talks on grain, wine, and even food photography. Food was a hot topic in Boise at this year's Treefort and its increased roll is sure to be welcome in years to come.
Two shows; Main Stage and El Korah shrine and neither disappointed. Less than one year removed from 2015's excellent Untethered Moon, Doug, Brett, Jim, Steve, and Jason are Boise (and PNW) indie idols and still somehow remain as humble as hummingbirds. Whether your favorite album is There's Nothing Wrong with Love or Keep It Like A Secret, the good news was you got to hear songs from both. If you're unfortunately unfamliar with either album you need to stop what your doing immediately and experience two of the best albums from the '90s. Yes, we're telling you to leave AudioHammock and go listen to Built to Spill.
Although the year isn't even halfway through we have quite a few staffers calling Aesop Rock's new album The Impossible Kid our hip hop album of the year. His performance at Treefort could arguably be called the best of the year as well with a performance that included a tour of his discography before blowing the doors off the roof by ending with the hip hop classic "None Shall Pass".
Lineup? Stacked. Check out our AudioHammock podcast episode on Treefort for even more information about these awesome bands.
Who did you see this year at Treefort? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll read your email on an upcoming episode of the AudioHammock podcast.