We’ve just spilled out of the van after our long trek back from the Treefort Music fest in Boise, ID. It was an adventure from start to finish. Somewhere along the way we realized we’d been pronouncing the word “Boise” incorrectly the entirety of our lives, lost Mychal’s favorite peacoat, and nearly strangled ourselves with fast food packaging. OK, I’m getting ahead of myself…
Treefort music fest is relatively new, having only sprung forth in 2012. Though it’s wee young, it’s established itself as a real bonified fest with a diverse lineup of over 260 artists… many of whom you’ve actually heard of! Built to Spill, the Walkmen, Yacht, and other indie trailblazers were all on board. Some of them had beards, but many more did not!
Here’s what we knew before we launched eastward:
1) It was going to be cold. Like dear-god-I-hope-we-don’t-breakdown cold.
2) The Snoqualmie pass had just been closed due to “numerous spinouts” <– this is code for, “your van will think you are playing Xbox and kill you.”
Fortunately, problem #1 was helped out by the nice folks at Core Concepts who were kind enough to outfit us with some garments which proved to be quite styley. No seriously, they were actually really cool coats. Usually staying warm involves donning a heavy puffy thing that makes you feel like a bloated marshmallow. These coats were flexible, with a nylon shell, stuffed with some sort of space age filling that kept us quite toasty while allowing us to still load gear and take evasive action from groupies. Behold:
Issue #2 had us panicking about whether we were going to be able to get to Idaho at all. We polled our friends… “go through Portland” some said. “Take a private jet” implored others! “Have them pick you up in a limo!” suggested my father – who doesn’t understand how these things work. Ultimately we decided to just go for it. No “safer” long routes, we forged ahead through the pass, and like some biblical miracle, the skies parted and we enjoyed a beautiful 10 hour drive. Here’s proof:
Somewhere along the way, the joking around started. Maybe it had to do with driving 10 hours without a radio or CD player but you must know that getting 4 guys in a van for that long, some serious reduction in IQ points starts. It began with Hannigan’s spot on impersonations of creepy men in various cultures, and devolved from there. I’ll spare you the details, but somewhere along the way, out of sheer boredom and/or lust for danger, Mychal nearly strangled himself with a KFC bag. I think he did it to try and rid himself of the memory of having just eaten at KFC. I don’t blame him.
Did I mention, there were just 4 guys in the van? Well that’s because the lovely and charming Zarni De Wet (who let’s face it, is raunchier and more inappropriate than all of us anyway) couldn’t make this show. She had to go to South Africa where she is from to family bond and recharge her accent. In her place we quickly ramped up Robert Von Feldt who plays keyboards in my friend Tae Phoenix’s band.
Bob was a good sport, learning our entire set of rhythmically schizophrenic material in a couple of weeks – and pulled it off under pressure. We can’t keep him though because he looks much worse than Zarni in a skirt, and can’t sing nearly as high. (Also, we love Zarni way too hard anyway!)
A quick show was played to a few hundred screaming fans packed into the venue, interviews were granted, pizza was mooched, and then after a quick night’s sleep cut short by the social opportunities afforded by having a hundred rock bands staying in one hotel (hi Truckasaurus!), we headed home. It was even more beautiful on the way back.
Thank you Boise for being so very nice to us. We are sorry that we kept mispronouncing your name and calling you “New Boisey” from the stage. I assure you we meant it in the kindest way
- Brandon (drummer boy)