Treefort Day 4: What You Missed
Don’t worry! We’ll tell you all about Treefort this Saturday.
The skies of downtown Boise turned grey halfway through day four, but North Westerners are no strangers to changes in the weather. The KBGA crew slept in and hit up Boise’s famous Record Exchange (again) before hitting up the food trucks near Main Stage.
I got the chance to try a 1554 beer, a dark coffee-hazelnut brew, at Main Stage. For you Missoulian brewery lovers out there, think Imagination Brewing Company’s oatmeal stout. Treefort only sells beer in steel cups so this one drink cost me $14, but honestly, worth it. And now I’m prepared for next year.
Our original plan was to post up at the Knitting Factory, but we pretty quickly decided that nobody actually likes the Knitting Factory. General Manager Ian had bought some hot sauce near Main Stage, and the TSA-level security at the Knit wouldn’t let him in with it, so he walked it all the way back to the tent (shout-out to Secret Aardvark for letting him keep it there and pick it up today). The security guards will approve your ID, and then cut off your wristband from the previous bar, as if making their own line stretch down the alley isn’t enough. We started to wonder when we’d get asked to bend and cough. Even once we got inside, our 18 year old photographer was quickly swarmed by four 6 foot tall bouncers outside the photo pit for… not being 21 in an all-ages venue? The mystery remains.
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The lineup at the Knitting Factory, however, was killer. Western Daughter played almost entirely new songs and never missed a beat (but I’m biased -- Western Daughter always reminds me of Camp Daze 2017, aka the first time I realized I could go to a show by myself and nobody cared). Tigers Jaw’s self titled album was an anthem to my high school emo days, so seeing the Scranton, PA band shred “The Sun” from the photo pit warmed my cold heart.
Unfortunately, the Knitting Factory’s stadium level lighting rig flashes directly into the eyes of the audience, which quickly gave our entire crew a splitting headache. We tried to go up to the balcony to watch, only to find out that you need to buy a special wristband to actually sit there. With $7 well drinks, we didn’t even ask how much the bougie seats cost.
We bailed on the Knitting Factory to head over to the Shredder to see Strawberry Girls, one of my all-time favorite math rock bands. If the Knitting Factory is Amazon Pantry, the Shredder is Orange Street Food Farm. The bar sells 40oz beers, arcade games line the walls, and the stage is shrouded in fog that’s either machine-made or from the joints and cigarettes lit outside the back door. The bass makes the pipes in the loft bathroom tremble. Strawberry Girls absolutely ripped, playing everything from their old stuff to new, unrecorded stuff. The band is mostly vocal-less, but the sweat dripping down the lead guitar says all you need to know.
The rain didn’t stop us from running from venue to venue, and night 4 was no exception. After Strawberry Girls, we speed-walked over to the Linen Building to catch Linqua Franqa. Franqa was Athens, Georgia’s first openly queer elected official, with a sharp tongue and buoyant, honest excitement. The activist-turned-politician-turned-rapper won the hearts of the crowd in the Linen Building pretty quickly -- she asked women in the crowd to come and dance on stage with her, gave a shout-out to her girlfriend in the back with a “Hell yeah, I’m gay as fuck!” which is a braver statement in Boise than any of our own crew had expected. At the end of her set she had the audience put a hand up, and pledge that “…next week is going to beat the rest.” I love the sentiment, but if next week can beat Treefort, I’m assuming I died and went to heaven.