Treefort Music Fest is the Coolest Thing Since Cassette Tapes: KXSU’s Assessment of the Full Lineup

If you somehow still haven’t hear of Treefort Music Fest, I am not going to shame you too much, but I will shame you a little, so be prepared.

Treefort Music Festival is in Boise, Idaho – a place that isn’t known to be a musical powerhouse nor a place for awesome indie music. But that’s what makes it perfect. It isn’t known for being a musical powerhouse, or a place for awesome indie music, but it is a musical powerhouse, and one of the best places for indie music. From one of the coolest record stores I’ve ever been to, The Record Exchange, to Radio Boise, which screams “I am a tiny KEXP.”

For those of us who live in Seattle, we have gotten used to crowds, over-analyzed live concerts, and every show selling out, in our huge venues. Boise is the best place to get away from this. Their shows still sell out, but everything is at a smaller scale and everything still has so much room to grow.

Treefort Music Fest, held from the 23rd-27th  of March (SPRINGGG BREAAAKKK) personifies Boise’s music scene. I’ve heard it described as a tiny SXSW or a summer camp for indie bands. Seeing the lineup this year, just proves that even more. Booking one of Youth Lagoon’s last shows, and mixing that with tons of awesome local bands from Portland and Seattle, this festival with hundreds of performances is really just a place for music lovers to listen to new bands, favorite bands, and bands they may never see again. This lineup is fantastic and I suggest that you listen to all 400+ bands. But since that is not possible we made a more manageable list. Our only critique of the lineup is the lack of hip hop, but you can’t have it all.

Below I have picked my favorite bookings in order.

  1. Youth Lagoon – This was obligatory as Trevor Powers is from Boise and just announced the end of his Youth Lagoon moniker project. This show will be packed an emotional, for Boiseites even more than for myself. 
  2. Willis Earl Beal – At the edges of the Modern Soul movement led by Leon Bridges, St. Paul and The Broken Bones, and even Rihanna puting a soul song on “Anti”, Willis is genuine, powerful, heart wrenching, power inducing, and haunting. His vintage sound will be complimented fully by Boise. 
  3. Hinds – This little poppy punk band is one of the most fun, and coolest things I have ever seen. Coming from Spain, they come from a different perspective, and that perspective is fantastic. Strong and playful. 
  4. Thundercat – This guy is everyone’s first choice in bassist. Working with Erykah Badu, and Flying Lotus is enough to make anyone a legend, but his experimentalism and creativity has created a full genre on its own. 
  5. Thunderpussy – The best live show you’ll see on the west coast. Guitar solos that will bring you back to the 70’s, dance moves you will see nowhere else, and witty lyrics that will bring you to your knees. 
  6. Sallie Ford – Beach rock mixed with a fantastic bit of soul. Sallie Ford has been one of my favorite acts for years, and it’s because of her presence and intentionality. Never miss one of her shows. 
  7. La Luz – I am so sad they are leaving Seattle, but they will be huge soon. A western twist to beach rock that is hard to explain, because no one does it as well as them. 
  8. Wimps – At every strange bar in Seattle, you’ll find Wimps. They are fun, clever, energetic, and perfect for underground shows. They are everything you’ll want at 2AM in the morning. 
  9. Sisters – It is just a matter of time before these two talented souls hit it huge. They’ve worked with hip hop artists, but have a sound that is electronic and folky. This band could be everyone’s favorite band. 
  10. Bryan John Appleby – Do you want to cry through a whole set? Because he will make you. The depth of his sound and the sadness in his lyrics, could make a brick cry. 

Other bands that you should check out:

Y La Bamba


Nosaj Thing


Alex G

Great Grandpa

Dude York

Vaadat Charigim

Mommy Long Legs

Charles Bradley


San Fermin

(Listen to Everyone)


MARCUS SHRIVER | A Concrete Crepe | Head Reporter


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