Treeefort: The festival season kicks off in a big way
By CERVANTE POPE // Of the 400 bands, nearly 50 Portland bands trekked to Boise to play at the festival. / Radiation City pictured
As arguably one of the biggest music festivals in the Pacific Northwest, Idaho’s Treefort Music Festival has showcased tons of artists since its inception back in 2012. For five days, locals and out of towners alike revel in the hundreds of artists, delicious food (Foodfort), eclectic movies (Filmfort) and tasty brews (Alefort) among other amenities the festival had to offer. What’s even better, especially about the recent 2016 lineup, is that of all 400 bands to be featured nearly 50 of them trekked to Boise from within Portland city limits. The mix of the lesser known with the bigger name acts both locally and internationally (of which there were 25) made for enjoyable variety, but it was some of Portland’s finest that truly represented.
Our town’s foray into the Treefort madness this year began along with the rest on the first night, with a cosmic performance from Jackson Boone and the Ocean Ghosts. Their psych tinged concoctions aided in the Olympic’s inauguration into Treefort as a venue and, coupled with first of two sets from electronic quartet Yak Attack, showed two different, but proper sides of what happens in Portland.
It wasn’t just our faved musicians that made it across the state line to partake in the festivities. A handful of the town’s press and party outlets also attended and even hosted events! Our favorite PBR pair Party Boyz threw a showcase at the Neurolux filled with West Coast acts, including Portland’s Moon By You, Máscaras and a surprise set by Kyle Craft, who subbed in when Oakland’s Religious Girls couldn’t make it. Soulful crooner and all around “Jane of all trades” Jeni Wren Stottrup brought her Gritty Birds Podcast over to Boise. Outside the Saint Lawrence Gridiron, our hopeful future mayor Bim Ditson rocked out with his band And And And, Fog Father donned their tie-dye fun time outfits and Bitch’n ripped it hard for the ladies.
The Main Stage opened up for the weekend days and Treefort was sure to stack it to the brim with their musical gems. Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires managed to both make your rump shake and a tear fall, while Boise’s own Built to Spill filled that nostalgic slot for many attendees. Denver resident turned Portlander Esmé Patterson cured many a hangover with her dazed rock, while Radiation City saw much love from the audience during the entirety of their set.
One of our more recent pride and joys to escape the clouds for a sunny skies of famed LA living, YACHT initiated a fever movement amongst the audience as soon as they took the stage. Everyone knew every word, with Claire Evans fueling participation. Luz Elena Mendoza started out stag on the Main Stage the next afternoon, with a soft entrance of the rest of Y La Bamba somewhat shortly thereafter. The sun was hidden, everyone hungover or just straight festival dead, so the endearing chillness of Luz and Y La Bamba definitely calmed many a headache.
Yet Chanti Darling’s set couldn’t have been any more premium for the conditions. The sun came out over him, his band and his dancers as he hit all sorts of insane notes and got everyone moving along with him and his dancers. It was one of the most fun and lively sets of the entire festival and proof of Chanti Darling’s Best New Band win.
For the sake of getting out of town and experiencing a festival that doesn’t require camping, Treefort is definitely worth the cost and the travel time. It doesn’t put the highest priority on larger acts and actually stays true to a more grassroots movement. With all of the Portland bands that participated, our tried and true creative community was definitely put on the map.