Treefort 2014 Hosts Sweaty, Joyous Launch Party

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According to Treefort publicity director Matt Dalley, the man known as Slow Magic (whose real name Dalley declined to give) wandered around the El Korah Shrine’s ballroom out of costume before the Treefort Launch Party started. He sat down for a few minutes next to a group of people praising Slow Magic’s music, unaware that the artist of whom they spoke was right beside them.

This small moment is emblematic of Treefort Music Fest, the four-day music festival which has received well deserved praise over the past two years both for the high quality acts it has attracted and for its intimate feel. This year’s Treefort Launch Party on Friday, Jan. 17, stayed true to the festival’s reputation; a sold-out crowd packed in close together and danced to the smooth, alluring grooves of Slow Magic and local EDM duos Avtale and Rubicon 7.

Wearing his trademark animal mask, Slow Magic was the show’s highlight. His tribal drumming, mid-tempo stomps and spare, Giorgio Moroder-esque riffs turned the crowd into a sea of swaying, bouncing flesh. The body heat grew so intense during this set that some young men near the center of the crowd peeled off their shirts. Plenty of glistening faces could be seen among the fully clothed audience members as well. Mid-set, a few petite, spandex-clad young women held up signs advertising Yogafort. “You know you’re a poser,” read one sign.

While the reception for opening act Avtale was less rapturous, Chris Raymond’s sensuous beats and Kelly Lynae’s serene coo still thawed out the crowd nicely. The ballroom cleared out considerably after Slow Magic, but some clusters of people stayed and danced to Rubicon 7’s hard-driving techno. Between the sets, videos played for the second Treefort artist announcement (released earlier that day) and for Treefort Film Fest. Local comediennes Jessica Holmes and Emma Arnold provided a taste of Storyfort, with Arnold telling a hilarious tale of smuggling hamsters out of a pet store as an adolescent.

The most thankless duties of the night fell to local comedian Gabe Dunn. His jokes about The Golden Girls and Tijuana donkey shows met with a tepid response, but he soldiered on in his role as MC. After Slow Magic’s set, Treefort artistic director Eric Gilbert tried to plug Dunn’s Radio Boise show (V3) but accidentally plugged his own (Antler Crafts).

“Oh yeah, I said my show,” Gilbert said. “What an ass.”