Bands To See At Boise's Treefort Music Fest — Picked By You!

Mar 20, 2019

When it comes to musical variety, Treefort Music Fest seems to have something for everyone. I’ll give you some of my personal must-sees for the five-day festival, but I also wanted to try something a little different this year. Because my musical taste is just that…it’s MY taste. I’ll admit to some blind spots in my selections, which is why I asked for advice from YOU on Twitter.

So let’s dig in, starting with a few of my top picks in order of appearance: 

VINCE STAPLES, Wednesday at 9:10 p.m., The Knitting Factory: It's pretty cool that Treefort landed rapper Vince Staples for the first night of the festival. Be sure to arrive extra early to this one and catch the opening act; the Knitting Factory is selling single tickets to the show and will not give priority to festival pass holders. 

ANEMONE, Thursday late night at 12:30 a.m., Neurolux: Anemone (yes, spelled like the marine organism) is a Canadian band led by songwriter and musician Chloe Soldevila. Their sound is filled with twangy guitar riffs and lingering synth, both retro and somehow very “now” in the world of dream pop. They’re one of the bands coming to Boise after playing SXSW in Austin. If you miss them at Neurolux, you can catch them Friday at El Korah at 8:00 p.m.

CEDRIC BURNSIDE, Friday at 9:00 p.m., The Olympic: The grandson of the great R.L. Burnside, Cedric will bring his blues to Treefort this year. According to a recent NPR profile of the Grammy-nominated artist, “Burnside wants to be known as more than R.L. Burnside's grandson, but still wants to pay tribute to his grandfather, who died in 2005.” It will be clear he’s great in his own right when he plays twice at Treefort; if you miss him Friday he’ll play again Saturday at the Basque Center (6:40 p.m.). 

 LIZ PHAIR, Friday at 8:30 p.m., Main Stage: As festival co-founder and producer Lori Shandro Outen says, “We focus on emerging artists and artists that have inspired emerging artists.” Liz Phair is a great example of the latter. The artist – who came up in the 90s and is perhaps best known for her seminal record “Exile in Guyville" – has inspired a younger wave of artists including Snail Mail and Soccer Mommy. “Exile” was reissued last year in celebration of 25 years in indie rock history.  

(For perspective, those were just four picks out of more than 400 acts. It's nearly impossible to narrow down the list.) 

But what are YOU excited to see play this year? Here's a sampling of responses we received: 

NAPPY ROOTS: This pick comes curtesy of local band Sun Blood Stories (who will also play Treefort). Nappy Roots plays late night Saturday — so technically Sunday morning — at 12:10 a.m. at The Reef. Just try to stay in a bad mood listening to "Good Day," I dare ya. 

LIZ COOPER & THE STAMPEDE: This is the Boise State Public Radio staff pick. We're co-hosting a special in-store performance  of the band at The Record Exchange on Wednesday. The show is FREE and starts at 6:00 p.m. Their official show is 11:30 p.m. at Neurolux on Wednesday. 

SUDAN ARCHIVES: I had this on my list too, and my hunch has been validated by Treefort fan Shelby Scott. Check out the artist's fusion of electronic beats and strings at the Linen Building, 12:20 a.m. late night Saturday (Sunday, technically), or catch the act at Main Stage at 6:00 p.m. Sunday. 

LAURA VEIRS: Radio Boise DJ Colby Spath says Portland's Laura Veirs is not to be missed, and NPR Music seems to agree. Check out her set at Boise Contemporary Theater at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. 

CHERRY GLAZERR: Treefort fan Janessa White puts this group at the top of her list, and I get why. See what the excitement is about with this video from KEXP. The L.A.-based punk band will strut their stuff Thursday late night (so earrrly Friday morning) from 12-1 a.m. at El Korah Shrine. 

MORE: Jamie Lundergreen is stoked about folk duo Mandolin Orange (3:00 p.m. Main Stage Saturday), Treefort press liason Marissa Lovell can't wait for Missoula, Mont. band Charcoal Squids to get psychedelic (Saturday 10:00 p.m. at Tom Grainey's), Boise State political science professor Jaclyn Kettler has Texas-based soul band The Suffers high on her list (Thursday 5:40 p.m. at Main Stage), while John Barrie tweets he's looking forward to NPR Tiny Desk Contest winner Gaelynn Lea's haunting vocals (Friday 8:00 p.m. at Boise Contemporary Theater). 

 Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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