Below are quick recaps of the various shows SSG Music staff attended while at Treefort Music fest. We also have put over 40 different videos from these shows on our Youtube channel, which you can watch and subscribe to by clicking here. SSG Music was able to snag a few quick interviews with some of these bands as well, make sure to check out those posts!
Boise hometown-heroes Finn Riggins kicked off the inaugural Treefort Music Fest at Neurolux with a feisty set including ‘Hraka’, ‘Benchwarmers’, and ‘Dali.’ The audience were immediately drawn to the dance floor upon hearing the opening song, ‘Hraka’, perhaps either due to their excitement for Treefort to begin or for the immensely upbeat song. The local trio performed several of their math-rock hits that have garnered quite a following. One thing that really stood out was the various age ranges you would see at Treefort throughout the festival, and the opening show was no exception. People from various backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, and generations were flocking to the front of the stage to jump around with music. Unfortunately Finn Riggins’ opening set for the festival was at a 21+venue (Neurolux) so the underage attendees had to patiently listen outside. Finn Riggins’ set was one of a few that were the only show at a specific time, the majority of shows had competing performances at the exact time at various venues.
Grand Falconer, another Boise native, drew a large crowd at their show at the Linen Building. The all-ages venue had multiple beverage stations for 21+ as well as Pie Hole pizzas to nosh on. As soon as one entered the Linen Building you couldn’t help but notice the very large cello being played by an exceptionally petite woman (Danicka McClure) during the Grand Falconer show. The group produces chamber-folk that is refreshing and combines male and female vocal harmonies that are spot on. They ended their performance with “Strangers”, where the lead singer (Michael Johnson) was wailing on a lifted drum and was so invested in it that he accidentally hit their bassist (Zack Evans.)
Pullman natives Buffalo Death Beam performed after the Grand Falconer set with their seven members all fitting onto the stage. The collective-folk group also features male and female vocal harmonies along with a variety of instruments, including mandolin, guitar, bass, drums, oboe, keys, violin, and vibraphone.
Performing many blocks down the road at The Crux were Boise locals How’s Your Family? The quartet features dark brooding vocals and lyrics that pick up along with the crescendo of music and give hints of surf rock and punk. How’s Your Family? was the first of many bands that featured a fantastic female drummer at Treefort. The group was having a good time playing for the crowded, and possibly over-capacity, coffee shop. There were several times while playing that one of the guitarists went to the big window behind them and played towards the on-lookers.
Following the How’s Your Family? set, Grandma Kelsey took the stage with her fur vest and dark makeup. Kelsey took a seat in the middle of the stage and began to play her auto-harp while her raspy sultry vocals that revered Billie Holiday began to appear. The unassuming vocals on this quite petite lady shocked many people and caused a majority of the talkative to shut up quickly and pay attention. While Grandma Kelsey’s songs aren’t dance, pop, nor very upbeat the crowd was captivated and hung onto just about every word she spoke or sang. The Crux was almost too small of a venue for this Boise-based artist.
Upon entering the Neurolux during Janka Nabay and The Bubu Gang’s performance, there was barely any room to move nor get any closer to the stage. The Neurolux was transformed into a non-stop dance party. People all over the venue were jumping and bumping around to the bubu and afro-beat styling of Sierra Leone’s Nabay and his band, which made a total of six members on stage. The intoxicating sounds of Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang made the set seem quite short and end too soon, although many were soon delighted to catch Delicate Steve on stage next.
One of the first “at capacity” shows at Treefort we encountered was the Pickwick performance at the Linen Building, which holds roughly 350 people. The Seattle-based band has been blowing up all over the nation and especially on the West Coast. The blues, soul, and funk styling of Pickwick is highly infectious and the gospel energy lead singer Galen Disston emits makes for an energetic show. Complete with their high-fives, rimmed glasses, and vibraphone the men of Pickwick put on a performance that was still being talked about on Sunday.
Keeping the with Northwest folk and retro style, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside quickly took the stage after the Pickwick gentlemen. Many people instantly recognize the band name and visualize Sallie Ford with her horn-rimmed glasses rocking out on a teal blue guitar, but don’t forget the three gentlemen playing guitar, drums, and bass right beside her. The quartet creates rockabilly songs that encompass the early rock beginnings in the 1950’s and put on one energetic show.