Because what kind of Treefort would it be if we didn’t get a little emotional?
Sunday brought a cloudless high desert sky, finally rewarding festival attendees with a day of perfect weather. The day’s lineup at The Crux was packed with Boise natives, Tuck Nelson, Clarke and The Himselfs, and Grandma Kelsey giving the afternoon a wide range of sounds. By the time Grandma Kelsey set up her shrine in front of the stage, The Crux was at capacity. This one woman outfit is one to keep a close eye on. Her lyrics are sentimental, but smart and her warbling croon falls somewhere between Chan Marshall and Joanna Newsom. I was in full face tears by the end of the fourth or fifth song, one of which she dedicated to the ladies in the audience, saying, “Thanks for being wonderful, strong women. Sometimes with whiskey, sometimes without.” Swoon.
The Boise-centric day continued with Youth Lagoon on the main stage. These dudes have further fleshed out their live presence since I last saw them, which is an extremely satisfying development. Songs from the first album have been subtly re-imagined to integrate flawlessly with well-dialed tracks from Wondrous Bughouse. After YL, Solomon’s Hollow, a pod of jazzified folk loveliness that recently returned to Boise from Portland, made me cry some more. Then came the last installment of Built To Spill’s three-day showcase at the El Korah Shrine, which ended in a covers only set from Doug Martsch et al. and was it ever incredible. I’m not fond of the terms “face-melting” and “shredding,” but when BTS takes on Neil Young, New Order, The Smiths, and Blue Oyster Cult, well, they’re applicable. Regardless of context, Built To Spill’s live performance is near-perfect and this one served as a profound conclusion to what is framed as a primarily emerging artist festival: This is it. This is what everyone should be aiming for.