5 must-see artists at Treefort Music Fest 2017
Courtesy of Mac DeMarco

Boise, Idaho doesn’t quite become a zoo during the annual Treefort Music Fest, but this year there’ll certainly be a lot of animals on hand. Well sort of.

Set to take place at various venues around downtown Boise, March 22-26, the festival will feature about 20 bands with names that reference animals, including We Are Apes, Grouper, Hummingbird of Death, Dirt Monkey, Sleepy Seahorse and Mimicking Birds.

A big part of the fun at the Treefort Music Fest is discovering new music, and while a good smattering of big names will appear, festival organizers always make sure that the bulk of the line-up is made up of indie and developing acts. AXS will be in attendance and hoping to catch as many buzz bands as possible; for sure we don’t want to miss the shows listed below.

Mac DeMarco

Never let it be said that DeMarco doesn’t have a sense of humor. He has a new album called This Old Dog dropping on May 5, and to promote the release, he made a video at a dog grooming parlor where he serenaded the canine clientele with an acoustic take on the album’s title cut. There’s also an amusing video circulating where Mac singes his taste buds eating hot wings while being interviewed for an episode of the online show "First We Feast." Fans can rest assured that DeMarco's shows at the Treefort Music Fest will be just as spicy as those wings.

Performance times: Friday, March 24, 11:30 p.m. at El Korah Shrine and Saturday, March 25, 8:30 p.m. on the Main Stage.

Also catch Mac Demarco at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in Royal Oak, MI on May 14.

Kishi Bashi

Here’s a show that will definitely be a little loopy. Late of synth rock band Jupiter One, Kishi Bashi uses his voice to create loops he sings along to while playing electric violin, with the resulting music sometimes being trippy but always upbeat and full of energy. Kishi Bashi is very animated on stage and off, and don’t be surprised if he crowd surfs with violin in tow, never missing a beat.

Performance time: Saturday, March 25, 5:45 p.m. on the Main Stage

Also catch Kishi Bashi at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY on April 23.

The Growlers

This Anaheim-based band has shaken up their sound a little bit, courtesy of some East Coast influence from Julian Casablancas of the Strokes who produced the most recent Growlers album, last fall’s City Club. The raves are rolling in for City Club and the band is reaping the rewards out on the road — almost all of the dates on their current tour have sold out.

Performance time: Friday, March 24, 8:30 p.m. on the Main Stage.

Also catch the Growlers at Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV on May 5.

The Infamous Stringdusters

This innovative bluegrass band has been on the road all year and are touring behind a new album called Laws of Gravity. That’s an interesting title because the band regularly breaks the laws of gravity as they send the hoedown flying into the stratosphere with their perky banjo, fiddle, Dobro, guitar and stand-up bass playing. If you’ve never seen a bluegrass group raise the roof, make sure to attend this show; and hold on!

Performance time: Friday, March 24, at 9:30 in the main room at the Knitting Factory.

Also catch the Infamous Stringdusters at Neumos in Seattle, WA on April 8.

Jonathan Richman

If you’ve seen the film “There’s Something About Mary” and remember the guitarist who narrated the movie and accidentally got shot at the end, that was Jonathan Richman. A couple of decades before that movie gave Richman fleeting fame, he was rocking out with his band, the Modern Lovers, and having underground hits with songs like “Roadrunner” and “Pablo Picasso.” Still as quirky as ever, here’s a rare chance to see Richman’s always-entertaining show.

Performance time: Saturday, March 25, at 3:10 p.m. on the Main Stage.

Also catch Jonathan Richman at the Bluebird Theater in Denver, CO on March 28.

The Treefort Music Fest is one of those festivals that once you’ve been, you'll want to come back, and that applies to the artists too. Terra Lopez of the Los Angeles-based band Rituals of Mine tells AXS, “Treefort Music Fest has been our favorite festival to play by far. This will be our fourth time playing it and we are so excited! Treefort Music Fest is a community that treats artists like family and it’s a week that we really look forward to.”

To find out everything you need to know about getting in on the fun of Treefort Music Fest, go here.

For information about other fun things to do in Boise, go here.