Have you ever heard the song “Meeting In the Ladies Room,” by Klymaxx?! Welllllll, that’s kinda how Treefort is for me. 

Sure, there’s also Yogafort (I disappointed Mom by telling her I didn’t do anything good for myself at Treefort), Alefort (I like Rainier, so that’s lost on me), and other forts I’m sure I’m forgetting. But the reason I drive six hours from Portland to Boise year after year is to hang out in the El Korah Shrine Center, ladies! Obviously I’m joking, but it actually is a highlight for me, as you can see from the great deal of photos I took in El Korah’s beautiful powder room. Can I just say, there’s nothing more wonderful than a room full of women getting along, gabbing, complimenting each other, taking pictures, and sharing the “hot goss” as my good (fictional) friend Leslie Knope likes to say. 

All in all, this was by far my favorite Treefort—a sentiment shared by many friends, some who have attended every one to date, so that’s saying a lot. As usual, the headliners created many party scenarios—George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic and Andrew WK graced us on the main stage—but the bands I couldn’t stop talking about were on the smaller stages. Just a few of my faves: Boise’s own one-transwoman show Clarke and the Himselfs played El Korah; Brooklyn-by-way-of-Iran’s the Muckers played Skatefort (there’s the other fort I forgot); and Lido Pimienta, the 2017 Polaris Music Prize winner, played the back of brewery Woodland Empire and brought me close to tears with her touching/funny/cautionary tales about refusing to date any more artists. Also great: Seattle’s own Sisters, a duo featuring drummer Emily Westman and oh-so-charismatic frontman Andrew Vait, who sang, played multiple instruments, and danced his little heart out at the Hotel Modern.

This is what Treefort is all about: the venues, the whole town taking part, and the fact that you never have to walk more than two miles to catch a band you’ve never heard of, but will soon fall in love with. And it’s still small enough to connect with people, gab, and meet in the ladies’ room (without a line). xo, PP

Just a group of oh-so-fashionable friends.

And then there were these cute-ass stoners. Kid had a great mullet. 

Lido Pimienta, my new favorite artist, woman, mother, and friend. (We took a selfie, so yeah, we’re friends.)

Was this kid even alive in 2000?

My favorite bartender at the Korah and my hair muse. I like to think she rocked out hard to Fleetwood Mac in their prime.

This one was wearing Lugz, and it was working. 

I was told she was in Cat Power, and I believe it. Check out how cool she looks!

This one knew how to pose, let me tell ya. (Sensible slacks, too.)

Frigging nu metal cutie.