Rested, ready, and raring to go – day four was quite an adventure.
Mandolin Orange (Main Stage)
This 3:00 set was my Treefort start on Saturday, and one I knew I didn’t want to miss. The first of two bands from Chapel Hill, NC (Go Duke) that I would see on this day features Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz playing gorgeous and brilliant bluegrass/Americana music. Thankfully they drew heavily from their newest album Tides of a Teardrop, which is their masterpiece.
After just a couple songs a few in the crowd began to loudly request “Wildfire”, their scathing yet beautiful take on The South and its legacy – Andrew politely told these people to be patient. My buddy Justin and I are both huge fans of this group (a four-piece for live performances), so it was a treat to get to enjoy it next to him. And yes, “Wildfire” was brilliant when they got to it.
Time We Made Time
Suspended in Heaven
Traditional bluegrass song – unknown
There Was a Time
Spotify setlist playlist link: https://open.spotify.com/user/1217400912/playlist/6pYtZORnWz8T50u4tE1W3H?si=aT9ChiAUT2iNjHbH9calGA
In true Treefort fashion, we left the beauty, quiet, and grace of Mandolin Orange to catch a short hip-hop set at the local skate park under the freeway. On the way, I spotted these beauties and was entertained enough to take a picture. So, here ya go…
Nappy Roots (Rhodes Skate Park)
This was a short pop-up set that I caught since I knew their late-night show at The Reef would be nearly impossible to get into without devoting all night to it. This was a unique and surprisingly badass setup, with skaters doing their thing while the music was played. Of course without Prophet, these guys are not quite what they should be, but they did play many songs I recognized and led us all to a good time. Although they only did seven or eight songs, these included “Po’ Folks”, “Good Day”, and “Aw Naw”.
Hopefully this becomes a Treefort tradition – Rhodes Skate Park is part of what makes Boise so cool and it seems fitting to have some Treefort goodness here.
The Muckers (Main Stage)
These guys were a highlight from last year’s festival, and didn’t disappoint with their brand of 70s-influenced riff rock. They were considerably more polished this year, and clearly have spent much of the last twelve months on the road honing their craft. Oh, and homeboy’s jacket was wicked awesome.
Cedric Burnside (Basque Center)
While this was basically same set as the night before, it was just as fantastic and enjoyable (see my Day III review). The Basque Center allowed for a slightly bigger crowd, and instead of Cedric proclaiming “well, well, well” after every song, on this day it was “alright alright, alright”. Have to give a couple quick shoutouts: to Breafort for the beer and to my boy Malek for the whiskey shots (a terrible idea, I will add).
The Weary Times (Olympic)
I forgot to snap a picture (thanks to the whiskey shots?) but my vague recollection of this band was that they were fun. There ya go!
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers (Olympic)
Of the dozens of bands I heard for the first time this year as I prepared for Treefort, Sarah Shook (and her band, the Disarmers – from Chapel Hill, NC) was my favorite new find. Her classic country sound is a welcome reminder of what good twang sounds like. Their songs are not groundbreaking, and they cover familiar themes for the genre: loneliness, indifference, and generally being a derelict drunkard. Her voice is raspy and has such a strained twanginess to it that it almost sounds like singing must hurt her. There is just something about this music -I can’t get enough of their records and thus feared a live letdown.
Thankfully I rallied and regained some semblance of lucidity and consciousness for this set. There is no setlist, I was not quite up for that task. I did get one at her Main Stage set the next day, and I reckon it was mighty similar. I do recall “New Ways to Fail”, my favorite of hers and one that was stuck in my head the rest of the night and morning: “I need this shit like I need another hole in my head, it was more the way the words came out than the things you said; I’m too damn tired to feed the dog or get out of the bed; too damn tired to walk away, too tired to make it through another day, just gonna lie here and complain instead”. Listen to her Years album and thank me later, folks.
I did swing dance (horribly) with some ladies after, although I have no idea who the band was… good times, good friends, good music. Treefort!