All photos by Cameron Crowell.
All photos by Cameron Crowell.

Yesterday I began my backwards Oregon Trail to Boise's 2016 Treefort Fest by putting my car in reverse when the engine wasn't even running.

Seven hours later in the City of Trees (this is apparently Boise's nickname, hence Treefort), I caught Great Grandpa at the Linen Factory. Lead singer Alex Menne looked like she was talking to herself, aimlessly pacing the stage, twisting her face into different expressions as her mumbles slowly morphed into roars. The Seattle band played songs off last year's Can Opener EP, five tracks of unhinged, guitar-driven grunge-pop that swells like a rising tide as Menne sings about stuff like Cheeto mountains.

After their set I headed to the Mardi Gras, where Taryn Miller of Your Friend and her backing band commanded an audience of mostly teenagers, some of whom were freak dancing (you read that right: last night I saw Boise teens freaking to Your Friend). Miller just released her debut, Gumption, in January—an album of layered, melodic droning that expands like a drop of dye in water against her grounded vocals.

Next up was Porches, the hi-fi, normcore-funk (read: white kid funk) project of Aaron Maine, a member of the flourishing community of Brooklyn musicians who call themselves The Epoch. Maine has put out his self-described "dark muscle" indie rock as Porches for years, formerly with his partner Greta Kline (AKA Frankie Cosmos), but on last month's release, Pool, Maine sets his silky croon to electro-pop dance music. Last night Maine planked, did jumping jacks, and said words like "heavy" that would inspire his bandmates to turn around for a choreographed bum-wiggle or to take a knee in unison. All the while he told rabid fans to dance "harder," like a crazed, bleached-blonde wizard drawing all his energy from his devotees.

The inimitable Alex G closed out the night, taking the stage wearing a badass T-shirt that said "Bad to the Bone" with a picture of a dinosaur skeleton. He and his band had no setlist, and indulged fans with minimal banter. After thanking Your Friend for opening the night, one audience member screamed, "You're OUR friend, too!" to which G responded (jokingly), "Shut the fuck up, I don't have any friends." He mostly played songs off two of his three full-lengths from last year, Trick and Beach Music, as well as his 2014 LP DSU. I was nervous to hear my personal favorite Alex G song, "Salt" (off Beach Music), since it's rife with production that I was worried wouldn't translate live. But his entire set was seamless, delivered as he bounced from side to side, like a stationary waddle or some anxious pendulum.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Treefort 2016 on Blogtown! Photos after the jump.




Alex G