As with every other day of this year’s Treefort Music Fest, dozens of bands showcased at nightclubs and other indoor venues scattered throughout downtown Boise, Idaho, on Sat. March 26, the fourth day of the five-day festival. But many festival-goers spent the day outdoors, having fun on a section of the city’s West Grove Street that had been closed to traffic so that Treefort attendees could party in the street.
Just off the closed-off portion of Grove Street is where the Treefort Main Stage could be found and shows started there early with a 1:00 PM performance by Jeff Crosby & the Refugees; Crosby is an Idaho native even though he’s based in Los Angeles now. Subsequent shows on Saturday featured Esme Patterson, New Madrid, Radiation City, San Fermin, White Denim and Yacht. Thanks to bands playing on a small stage in a tented Main Stage area opposite the big stage, there was very little time when fans didn’t have live music to enjoy; the moment Radiation City ended their set, Australian band Big White began theirs on the side stage. The Aussies are in the States for their “Teenage Dreams Album Tour 2016” and headed out to a gig in Seattle after the show.
For a full block stretching either side of the entrance to the Treefort Main Stage, the street was packed with all the things that add fun to a music festival or any festival in general: Street performers including artists doing live painting, booths offering free goodies, information and activities for children, and even a thrift shop booth that seemed to be doing a booming business. Of course there were tons of options for the hungry as rows of food trucks served up everything from pizza to rice bowls and burgers to fries made with Idaho’s famous potatoes. The thirsty (well, at least the beer-loving thirsty) had a field day at Alefort, conveniently located just across the street from the entrance to the Main Stage. At Alefort festival-goers purchased tokens to exchange for samplings of beer and cider that was on offer from a large selection of craft breweries.
Other than entry to the Main Stage which required the purchase of a wristband, this whole part of the festival was free for anyone to attend, and it included this year’s edition of what has become a Treefort tradition, Seth Olinsky’s “Band Dialogue.” Olinsky, of Akron/Family and Cy Dune fame, composed “Band Dialogue” to be performed by 20 Treefort bands, and at 4:30 PM the musicians, lining both sides of the street, launched into the piece under Olinsky’s direction. Dashing around from area to area, Olinsky waved his hands constantly giving direction to the myriad musicians who ended up pulling off the piece nicely. A non-vocal piece, “Band Dialogue” was a long, droning piece that had occasional exclamation points put on it by bursts of percussion or flourishes of guitar, keyboards and even saxophone.
The street festival portion of Treefort would continue on the event’s final day March 27, when otherwise dozens of showcases remained to be played around town and the Main Stage had performances from the likes of Youth Lagoon, Chairlift and Deep Sea Diver still to come. Information on next year’s Treefort Music Fest will be posted here.
To plan a trip to Boise go here.