Taste of Treefort teases intimate music festival in Boise

Sexy and sultry Grandma Kelsey walked onto the stage. Standing alone with only an electric guitar and sweaty hair, the 20-something musician sang with the most beautiful, folky, and lullaby voice Wednesday night.  Hosted by the University of Idaho, Taste of Treefort gave us a sneak peek into next week’s Treefort Music Festival in Boise, Idaho.

As I stood there and heard her for my second time, I was instantly transported back to my experience last year at this festival, craving to go back.

If I could hire her to sing me to sleep every night, I would. Unfortunately, the acoustics in the gym did not do her justice. The vibe didn’t either. She is such an intimate performer and musician that she thrives in smaller settings.

In fact, that is exactly where I first saw her. I came across this angelic-voiced artist last year at Treefort Music Festival inside of The Crux, a small coffee shop in Boise. It was absolutely perfect. She had on a flower crown and flowy skirt as she stood surrounded by open suitcases full of beautiful gems, crystals, antlers, and tarot-like hands.

It was only $5 to see five bands in the Vandal’s Memorial Gym, and I personally do not understand how anyone could pass that up.

Before Kelsey, we heard the soulful sounds of The BGP. This Seattle-based band was featured on Season 6 of America’s Got Talent and recently performed on the WSU campus for Cougs Rock the Vote Tuesday. They are unquestionably groovy, and the gorgeous lead singer’s voice is reminiscent of Allen Stone.

After a few songs by the group they went “The Notebook” on us and started talking about elderly couples in love. They encouraged us to grab a person of our liking and slow dance throughout their next song.

Suddenly a swarm of musicians hailing from Boise took over the stage. If Mumford and Sons, Ben Howard, and Grouplove made a baby, that baby would be this group: Hollow Wood. Consisting of an upright bass, violin, drums, electric guitar, and more, the group’s sound is full and ambient and its harmonies are absolutely perfect.

The crazy-haired lead singer, who looks an awful lot like Youth Lagoon, took a break between songs and said, “We drove up here last night, and this place is true to its reputation. It is a party town.”

Right around this time I heard someone in the crowd saying how excited they were for the next act: The Dirty Moogs.

As PAC-MAN creatures began crawling across the screen, this Boise-based synthesizer trio made so much digital noise that I felt as if I were inside of a video-game.

The crowd started dancing and really getting into the music as we all prepared ourselves for the headlining act, ODESZA.

This Seattle production duo made up of Western Washington University graduates Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight is everything. I have been listening to these guys since last year and feature them on my KZUU radio show every Saturday.

I thought I was obsessed with them just hearing them in my headphones, but ODESZA live is unreal. To see these two audio-gods at work is to be let in on a well-kept secret. This is the kind of stuff you listen to when you want to feel immortal.

I was reminded again last night why I love music, and why you should too.

In the last two years, Treefort has featured bands such as Of Montreal, Built to Spill, Youth Lagoon, Radiation City, Typhoon, and many more.

This year, Treefort will feature Poliça, The Joy Formidable, Dan Deacon, Saint Seneca and more than 350 other amazing bands from all across the country.

I would encourage all of you to cancel your spring break plans and take a road-trip to Boise, Idaho, for Treefort Music Festival March 20 to 23. I can personally attest to how amazing this four-day festival is going to be, and you do not want to miss out.

For the full lineup head to treefortmusicfest.com and purchase your tickets.