by Josh Gross
Day three of Treefort was a perfect crescendo, starting out strong and snowballing into an experiential juggernaut that may take years of therapy to fully process.
For me, the day started for with local faves Sun Blood Stories making their Main Stage debut with all the guts of their small-stage ownership.
Though I made a personal oath not to use the phrase "killing it," that's exactly what the band's fuzzy slide riffs, tribalistic performance and gut-punch drums were doing.
That made it all the more irksome when a stagehand gave the band the cutoff sign. However, rather than waiting until they were finished, he started slowly creeping onstage and trying to disassemble the drum set as Sun Blood Stories was in the final licks of closing their set. It was incredibly disrespectful to both band and audience.
After wandering for a while and sampling many food trucks, I found my way back to the Main Stage for El Ten Eleven, then found myself roastin' marshmallows with the band at The Modern. But that's a whole other blog post.
From there I stopped at to The Linen Building to catch locals The Dirty Moogs and Shades, both of whom played the best I've ever seen them play; especially Shades, who added a live drummer and a series of midi-cued light pillars to their set, massively upping group's stage presence. The band seems to have found their missing piece, finally looking and sounding like a national act.
Then it was on to see the mighty Magic Sword at China Blue, and the band actually had a magic sword to go with its epic synth-scapes and Druid cloaks.
Truckasaurus, the bad-acid version of Magic Sword, was next on my list, appearing at The Crux. The fantasy-sounding synths were spot on, as were the lights and video projections, but it was unsettling and threatening instead of cartoonishly awesome. Odd as it may sound, more than a good thing, this was a great thing.
From there I booked it down the street to make it in to see K. Flay, at Reef; no easy task considering how long the line was. Luckily, I made it in.
In addition to being a sandwich grilling madwoman who I totally want to be my best friend—she stopped by BW's Treefortress for a chat about her skill with a bread knife and a hotplate—Madame Flay is one helluva performer. Her tunes have leaned more toward electro dance than hip-hop since she last graced the Treefort stage, and it suits her well. Flay's dark hair hangs in her face like the little girl from The Ring, as she leaps around the stage with the ferocity of a punk singer. Someone give the lady a headlining tour and a sandwich already. She's got to be hungry from all that dancing.
But just when I 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.
Though things were running about an hour behind, a handful of dedicated oddballs stuck around till the very end; and 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.
They say "get pictures or it didn't happen." You could see pics and still not believe or understand. 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. The two-dozen folks who stuck it out will without doubt point to that show as the high point of the entire festival.