Mac DeMarco, STRFKR, and The Growlers: A Preview of Treefort Music Fest

[Photo via Treefort Music Fest’s official website]

From March 22nd–26th, downtown Boise, Idaho is transformed into a land of music. Venues are set up everywhere for artists from all over the Northwest to come play music. Treefort isn’t your typical music festival, though, because they pride themselves on playing up-and-coming artists, so the headliners will never be too famous. Along with embracing new artists, the fest has also chosen to incorporate other communal interests by creating “forts” for activities, including Yogafort and Filmfort. Treefort Music Fest is truly a community-based music festival, which not only makes it enjoyable for its good music, but also because of the people around you.

Magic Sword


Photo courtesy of Magic Sword; by Otto Kitsinger

Magic Sword is a mysterious electronic duo whose identities are undisclosed. Last year at Treefort I had the chance of witnessing their show. I showed up thinking it would be this tiny event, and it ended up turning into the most vibrant and pumped-up concert of the whole weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing what their set looks like this year, especially since they’re collaborating with the Boise Philharmonic. If you are interested in electronic music and an amazing show, check out Magic Sword on Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. at El Korah Shrine, or Friday from 9:00-10:00 p.m. at the Egyptian Theater. -SL


I’ve been trying to get people to listen to the band Why? for years. Why, you might ask? Their music is unlike any other; it certainly could be called rap, but it also fits nicely into the indie rock genre. The lead singer, Jonathan “Yoni” Wolf, is truly my ideal man: a nice, kind of grimy, bearded fellow from Berkeley who is the only person that can make a song about stalking someone into a dramatic, ironic, devastating love song. I’m thrilled (and also very nervous) to be interviewing him later on this week, so look out for that! But also, if you’re headed to Treefort this week, make sure to see Why? perform at 11:30 p.m. on Thursday night,at El Korah Shrine. -AH


Hollow Wood

At last year’s Treefort, my friends raved about Hollow Wood, a band they had seen at house parties. I didn’t get the chance to see them at that time, but this time around, I’ll be checking them out. Hollow Wood is a Boise band with ever-changing members that have described themselves as indie, rock, and folk. They’re playing on Friday night at 6:00 p.m. at El Korah Shrine. -SL

The Growlers

I was first introduced to The Growlers pretty recently, and I was shocked at how old school their sound is for such a modern band. When I listen to them, I imagine people lounging around, smoking, wearing bright colors, and sporting big hair. Their music has an older rock vibe, but it’s also got a groovy undertone. I’m looking forward to hearing them live, as I imagine they’re even better in person. They’re playing on the Main Stage on Friday at 8:30 p.m. -SL

Mac DeMarco


I feel a little weird writing a preview for Mac DeMarco, because if you’re aware of who he is, you’re most likely already prepping to see him. Still, I think it should be said that Mac DeMarco is pretty underrated. Even though everyone already refers to him with an endearing “Oh, Mac,” as if they’re on a first-name basis with this lovely man, and even though we’ve all seen countless interviews of his quirky, charming antics, and even though we all sat in the car listening to “Salad Days” more times than we like to admit at age 16…I think he’s a more complicated and talented musician than we give him credit for. After a highly-anticipated and, I would say well-received, announcement of his new album and two new songs, I am beyond ready to see Mac DeMarco (for my third time), who is performing twice this weekend: Friday at 11:30 p.m. at El Korah Shrine, and Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at the Main Stage. -AH

Clap! Clap!


Photo courtesy of Clap! Clap!; by Edouard Hart)

Clap! Clap! is a producer that hails from Italy. Since 2013, he has slowly been making his name known throughout the world for his eccentric music. With a mix of “global rhythms” and electronic music, he’s bound to get the crowd happy and dancing through the night. He’ll be playing Friday night at 12:30 a.m. in the Linen Building. -SL


“Addicted” by JMSN just gets me every time I listen to it. It reminds me of right after my ex and I broke up. The lyrics are beyond relatable, but the tunes also help you let go. When I first saw the lineup, he was the person that I was most excited to see, so hopefully he’ll live up to my dreams. If you’re interested in electronic dancing music that you can twirl around to, JMSN is the person for you to listen to. If he sounds like your kind of producer, check him out on Saturday at 4:35 p.m. on the Main Stage. -SL

Angel Olsen

So I was crazy bummed at myself for not buying tickets to see Angel Olsen when she toured in Seattle, because I consider myself a pretty major fan. I guess I underestimated the amount of well-earned notoriety she’s been receiving since the release of her album, My Woman, which was truly an unbelievable piece of art that she should be proud of. It’s intimate, and yet speaks to many universal emotions about being a woman, a sister, and an “intern.” Her unapologetic attitude and dismissal of many music critics’ desire to corral her into one trope is honest and inspiring. She plays at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Main Stage. -AH


I really like talking about how much I enjoy Deafheaven because it makes me sound much more hardcore than I am, but if you’re mediocre-core like me, then I would recommend a listen. They’re definitely a metal band, but with an interesting influence of shoegaze-like sound. This San Francisco group’s most recent album, New Bermuda, is a new take on the band’s unique sound, but before that, I’d recommend listen to their album, Sunbather, which was extremely well-received. It even earned a spot on NPR’s Favorite Album’s list, and was named Best Metal Album of 2013 by Rolling Stone. Deafheaven is playing at 11:45 p.m. on Saturday night at Mardi Gras. -AH


I thought I was very cool in middle school for listening to such a cleverly-titled band. It’s 2017. I still think I am very cool, STRFKR is still clever, and I’m going to see them live in a week. What a time to be alive. They’re from Portland, OR, as am I, and they represent electronic indie pop at its most earnest and authentic. Their energy is reflected brightly and powerfully in their music, and I’ve heard that they perform with some kind of large inflated balloons? One can only hope. STRFKR will be one of the last performances of the festival, at 11:15 p.m. on Sunday at El Korah Shrine. -AH

Honestly, the best part about Treefort Music Fest is that it gives you the opportunity to pop into the different venues and learn about bands you’ve never heard of before, and never would have if you hadn’t stumbled upon their show. So, no matter what you do at Treefort, just run around and have fun, because everywhere you go, there’s sure to be some good tunes!

View the entire Treefort Music Fest lineup here.

ADRIENNE HOHENSEE +SADIE LOPEZ | I still don’t know how to say “Boise” correctly + Moon-Watcher and Treefort-Goer | KXSU Music Reporter + KXSU DJ


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