The late-evening Linen Building show on April 4 was billed as a post-Treefort Music Fest "decompression party," and it seemed the audience was still recovering from those four days of music back in March.
After departing the stage, Boise's chill-wave electronic group Shades said the show wasn't their best.
"That wasn't our finest show yet. We've had better—there wasn't enough energy or sound," said bassist Mikael Barnes. "This was definitely our comedown. Treefort was a lot more dancey, more of a blast."
Shades' at-capacity Treefort show at the Linen Building on March 25 was a tough performance to follow. Band members suggested the sound equipment at the Linen Building wasn't up to par for their songs, remarking that they wanted a more-pounding bassline.
Despite the evening's kinks, the vibe was about moving forward after the success of Treefort, though the backslapping may have been awkward for the other bands on the bill, Races and No, neither of which were present for the festival.
After Shades performed, Lori Shandro, the woman who helped fund Treefort Music Fest, took the stage.
The band had brought an impressive array of gear, including dual synths, vintage guitars and a treasure trove of pedals. But No seemed determined not to do much with all that gear, lackadaisically dropping sparse and simple tunes. The synths and pedals were barely touched and, at times, the drummer's approach seemed half-hearted. One song featured two of the band members wandering around on stage for nearly half of it.
No was at its best when it was at its loudest, especially in its final song. The drums were more driving and deliberate, and the auxiliary floor tom hogging real estate at the front of the stage was finally brought into play. The almost-mumbled vocals that had defined most of the set were replaced in full by four-part crooning, and the performance energy moved from the level of ambling out of bed at 6 a.m. to the level achieved after the morning’s first cup of coffee. Decompression party, indeed.
The final act of the evening, Races, did its best to up the energy of the building, walking a more bluesy line away from its electronica undertones. Frontman Wade Ryff struck a pose like Billy Idol.
"This song is about violent love," Ryff said at one point, gesturing to a woman in the audience, "and it's dedicated to the girl with the shaved head."
In the end, despite shoutouts from Ryff and tambourine-tapping backup singer Breanna Wood, the stage remained the most energetic real estate in the building.