Treefort is now something of a holiday that celebrates the value of live music. Bands play to packed audiences eager for more. "Happy Treefort" is even a common phrase, as if we all understand that Treefort is now a citywide celebration.
And though many came down with a case of Treefort Fever (a cumulative four-day hangover), the festival showed that live music is something worth honoring. Here are Boise Weekly's Top 10 Treefort moments of 2013:
Sharon Jones inviting dancers from the audience onstage
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings were cooking the Treefort Main Stage March 22, but when Jones invited dancers from the audience to join her, she brought the evening to a full boil. Breathlessly exhorting security to allow a troupe of ladies onstage, she taught Boise a few new dance moves before one of her guests held up what appeared to be a large bag full of marijuana, at which point she shuffled the dancers offstage one by one.
Editor's Note: Treefort tracked down the woman who allegedly brought pot on stage. The bag was actually full of bacon-wrapped dates.
Roasting marshmallows with El Ten Eleven
BW caught up with El Ten Eleven bassist Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty, aka, "the rocktopus," at a serious marshmallow roasting session March 23 at The Modern Hotel with Girlfriends, Dedicated Servers, Slow Magic and Oso Negro. For anyone who's seen the million-dollar quartet photo from Sun Records, this was Treefort's version.
Talking sandwiches with K.Flay
Before Bay Area hip-hop luminary Kristine "K.Flay" Flaherty took the stage March 23, she stopped by BW's Treefort HQ. She sipped a can of beer on the BW couch and answered the question, "What'd you do last night?"
"I made sandwiches for an hour and a half and then fell asleep. It was a mix of things, because we had some different types of cheeses. It was all a riff on grilled cheeses, some provolone, some cheddar, some pepper jack mixings, and then I did fried eggs, scrambled eggs. Because I like to cook. When I get a little drunk, I have this weird visceral need to make food for people."
The Walkmen's lead singer slugging off a bottle of wine
At the end of The Walkmen's set March 23 at the Main Stage, lead singer Hamilton Leithauser gripped a bottle of wine, which he tipped to his lips with an appropriate rock star swagger before arching his back and belting out the line "break out the bottles" on the band's encore song, "All Hands and the Cook."
dance party/mosh pit at Wooden Indian Burial Ground
Wooden Indian Burial Ground tore up the Red Room March 23 with its high-energy garage rock. The crowd morphed from a mosh pit into a dance party and back to a mosh pit as the band made commentary like: "That song's about surfing on acid with your dad."
Watching Hillstomp soundcheck a bucket
Soundchecks are almost universally boring. Unless the band soundchecking is Hillstomp. Then you get to hear comments from the soundman like, "Where should I mic the bucket?"
Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt busting out capes and confetti
When we thought there was no mind left to blow, along came the one-two punch of Little Ruckus and Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt at The Linen Building March 23.
The bands--both made up of the same members--brought more energy to the late-night stragglers than most groups dedicate to a full room.
There were American flag capes, confetti, the singer hoisted sideways by two other band members for audience members to do the limbo beneath, trading clothes with the person next to you, the entire audience getting under a parachute with a strobe light, dudes in dresses and so, so, so much more.
Dan Deacon telling Boise to take a knee and point at the stars
Once Dan Deacon took the Main Stage March 24, he beckoned the audience to raise their left hands to the sky, point out a star, drop to one knee and then celebrate any dissenters still standing in the crowd. All this while relating a story from J.R.R. Tolkien.
While Deacon's distorted vocals echoed over the crowd, drummers at two different kits hammered a beat that sent the audience into a frenzy. Later, Deacon had the crowd form a large circle at its center, picked out two listeners and deemed them participants in a dance contest. After a brief spell, they were to pass the baton to someone else.
Deacon told the audience he'd end with one more long song--which devolved into what one member of the audience called "the world's friendliest mosh pit."
The moment everyone fell in love with Emily Wells at once
A classically trained violinist, Emily Wells uses a series of live loops, sample pads and acoustic drums to make rich and haunting neo-gospel. Though it ran over time, her set at Neurolux March 24 was so well-received that Wells was sent back onstage to do an encore, a nearly unheard of act on a festival timeline.
The only downside was that awkward moment when hundreds of people fell head over heels in love with her at once.
TEENS tear down the stage
Boise band TEENS nearly destroyed the Red Room at its performance during Treefort 2012. That made the band's return March 24 one of the most anticipated follow-ups for everyone except Mitch Thompson, the owner of the club.
"I've been dreading this set all week," Thompson said.
There wasn't much to see on stage--just a wall of dancing yahoos with lights from a projector playing over their backs--but watching Thompson slowly shake his head was one of the most entertaining parts of the festival.
A lesser club owner might have pulled the plug when the electrical piping was torn loose, but Thompson just grimaced and a made a checklist of what would need to be repaired in the morning.