Or, how I spent the Sabbath in Downtown Boise.
What day is it? Wait, what year is it? Oh, and now it’s snowing. Lovely…
Nick Delffs (Neurolux)
Due to a lovely snowstorm and chilly temperatures, the opening Main Stage act was moved indoors to the Neurolux, which didn’t break my heart one bit. I bet Nick was pleased also, since he likes to perform barefoot. I have never been too enamored with Nick’s recordings, but he continues to impress when I see him live. He has the look of a man who truly enjoys what he is doing, which is bringing a fresh angle on the tried and true folk/rock sound. Also, on this day at least, his voice and vocal styling reminded me of Langhorne Slim.
Wild Ones (Main Stage)
You know the old saying: If you don’t like the weather, wait an hour… So that is what the Treefort organizers did. By 2:15 the storm had passed and the sun was trying to peek through the clouds. The main stage had been cleared off, and a few hundred of us were ready to go.
Wild Ones were at their best when they were quick and funky, but a good chunk of the set was a little more subdued and got a bit boring. The lead singer did give a shout out to her husband who apparently leads the band Typhoon and was set to play that same stage later on Sunday. She also got embarrassed when a photographer took a picture of her setlist, as it has notes telling her exactly what to say to the crowd. She shared with us that her paper even said “Hello, Boise, how are you doing today?”, which I found pretty hilarious.
Skinny the Kid (Prefunk)
These youngsters from Moscow (Idaho, folks, not the Land of Putin) were one I swore to catch. Their free show at Prefunk was the epitome of energetic rock and roll, played in front of about 20 of us. I will catch them again if they make it back down this way.
Helvetia (El Korah)
When he is not busy playing bass for Built To Spill, Jason is the lead vocalist and guitar player for Helvetia, a band that was not that exciting but did provide us an excuse to be inside while we waited for the Jason’s day job to close down the main stage: Built To Spill. Hurry Jason, run across the street and get ready to back Doug up!
Built To Spill (Main Stage)
Anyone who knows me understands that Built To Spill, aka Doug Martsch, is one of my musical icons. His music speaks to me and his live performances have yet to disappoint – and this is the 14th time I have seen him play Built To Spill songs. The night before, I had resigned to skipping this show. You see, the organizers of Treefort committed the cardinal sin of scheduling Low Cut Connie and Built To Spill simultaneously at different venues. Safe to say, LCC is available for me to see far less than BTS, so the choice was made. Then, Sunday morning came the news that the BTS show had been moved to 8:45 at the main stage, which would leave plenty of time to catch LCC’s midnight Olympic set. Tremendous!
This was hands-down the best BTS set I have ever seen. If I had missed it and then been told that Doug played the entire Keep it Like a Secret album in its entirety, and followed that up with “Things Fall Apart” and “Stop the Show”, I would never have forgiven myself. That album is one of my 50 favorites of all time, and to see them breeze through it with gusto was the peak of this incredible five days. Once they started playing “Carry the Zero”, I knew/seriously hoped that I knew what they were up to. Yes, Doug screwed up the first verse of “You Were Right” and then phoned in the second verse, but at that point I was so gleeful that I didn’t care. Unforgettable!
“Hey, isn’t that the guy from Helvetia on bass”, asked no one…
Doug giving the people what they want…
Center of the Universe
Carry the Zero
You Were Right
Things Fall Apart
Stop the Show
Spotify playlist link:
Sadly, shortly after showing up at the Olympic for the 90-minute wait for Low Cut Connie, it became glaringly, painfully clear that I had given Doug (and Treefort for five days) all that I had. So, I went home. I know, I know… I am sure LCC kicked ass, but my ass was already kicked.