Thursday, April 5, 2012

Treefort After-Party Too Chilled Out

Posted By on Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 3:17 PM

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.

Shades vocalist David Mikkelson on the Linen Building stage.
  • Shades vocalist David Mikkelson on the Linen Building stage April 4.

"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.

Lori Shandro, the financier behind Treefort Music Fest, thanked everybody who contributed to the festival.
  • Josh Gross
  • Lori Shandro, the financier behind Treefort Music Fest, thanks everybody who contributed to the festival.

“I’m not a good gift receiver,” she said. “I get awkward.”

The gift Shandro was talking about was all of the volunteer hours put in to make the inaugural Treefort a success. The show was an official thank-you, free to Treefort volunteers.

But in Shandro’s opinion, it was insufficient.

“There is nothing I can do or say to express my gratitude, or to explain what you all did and what it means to this city, to see what we’ve been missing out on and what we’ll never again be without,” she said.

Shandro gave a list of thank-yous. And as she rattled off names, they all coalesced at the side of the stage. When she was done, the staff of the event took the stage and presented Shandro and artistic director Eric Gilbert with gift bags.

Wearing a look that was equal parts gratitude and deep discomfort, Shandro said: “Less talk, more rock,” and introduced Los Angeles indie band No.

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.

Los Angeles band No were met with little to no enthusiasm.
  • Los Angeles band No were met with little to no enthusiasm.

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.

Races frontman Wade Ryff croons while his fingers dance a guitar riff.
  • Races frontman Wade Ryff croons while his fingers dance a guitar riff.

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.

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