Treefort Music Fest kicks off today in Boise, Idaho. Why should Coloradans care? There are two dozen acts from the Colorado music scene on the list. Some Colorado bands will play multiple sets, all in view of the Boise Mountain range.

Treefort began in 2012 and has since tripled in size throughout the coffee shops and bar scene of downtown Boise. Treefort Music Fest’s co-founder Eric Gilbert called it a festival of discovery when we spoke with him. “The festival is as accessible to DIY artists as it is to those with representation. We like to mix in more established artists that the music community looks up to and is inspired by,” he said, adding that many of this year’s acts have released new material and are gaining traction. 

Here are all of the local bands playing Treefort Music Festival this week.  


Photo by Kyle Cooper

When: Wednesday 7 – 7:40 p.m.

Where: El Korah Shrine — 1118 W. Idaho St.

The Lowdown: Wildermiss are a retro indie pop group in Denver. The band’s latest EP Lost With You came out in October. You might recognize their guitarist and drummer from Red Fox Run


Dear Rabbit

When: Thursday, 6 – 6:40 p.m.

Where: Boise All-ages Movement Project — 328 S. 8th St.

The Lowdown: Dear Rabbit is based in Colorado Springs. They’re a group that would have a house show crowd listening. Drawing influence from groups like the B-52’s and Roky Erickson, this band could be performing the soundtrack for a 1950s sci-fi movie. The act’s LP They’re Not Like You came out in 2016. Band member Rence Liam said friends he’s made at Treefort he’s been able to collaborate with on video projects. 


Kyle Emerson

Kyle Emerson, Amanda Piela, 303 magazine, 303 music

Photo by Amanda Piela

When: Thursday 10 – 10:40 p.m.

Where: Ha’Penny Bridge Pub — 855 W. Broad St. #250

The Lowdown: Kyle Emerson’s folk sensibilities are melody driven — folk-pop blended with a dreamy electric casing this nostalgic and tasteful rock of the mid-’70s — an act Denver should be proud of. When speaking with 303 Magazine he mentioned he’s excited to be returning to Treefort with his fellow Colorado musicians.


Photo by Amanda Piela

When: Thursday 10:40 – 11:40 p.m.

Where: The Reef — 105 S. 6th St.

The Lowdown: Eldren has been active for years. They’ve won numerous local awards and have been celebrated by the city’s media outlets for music. This psychedelic folk-pop group’s videos are a quest in and of themselves. Check out their music videos for guidance.

Bad Licks

When: Thursday 11 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Where: Ha’Penny Bridge Pub — 855 W. Broad St. #250

The Lowdown: Bad Licks‘ most recent EP Lies rocks and reverberates. It came out in March and is reminiscent of old-school New York punk — scratchy vocals, a powerful rhythm section and challenging guitars characterize one of the newer bands to enter the Denver scene.

Reed Fox + Kitty Crimes DJ Set

Photo courtesy of Reed Cameron Fox’s Facebook page.

When: Friday, 12:30 – 2 a.m.

Where: Adelmann North — 202 N. Capitol Blvd.

The Lowdown: déCollage also performs as DJ Reed Fox who will take the stage in Boise with Kitty Crimes as the festival heats up early Friday morning. They’ve collaborated before around Denver. It’ll be a dance party, with both musicians pulling different party tricks from their magic hats. “Combos of house and rap and guilty pleasure,” said Maria Kohler, Kitty Crimes’ alter ego. 

Stelth Ulvang

Photo courtesy of Stelth Ulvang’s Facebook page.

When: Friday, 8:10 – 9 p.m.

Where: Basque Center — 601 W. Grove St.

The Lowdown: Also The Lumineers’ pianist, Stelth Ulvang proves himself a multi-instrumentalist in his other crew, with violin and cello swells and a horn section that perfectly overlays echoing vox. Ulvang and crew defy style and genre classifications. 

Tyto Alba

Photo courtesy of Tyto Alba’s bandcamp

When: Friday, 8:20 – 9 p.m.

Where: Ha’Penny Bridge Pub — 855 W. Broad St. #250

The Lowdown: The starry-eyed Denver quartet Tyto Alba blends mystical pop vocals with an electric ambiance that shimmers when the band plays. Their latest single “Somnambulist” came out March 8, soon after their EP In Our Own Time in 2017.

The Still Tide

Photo by Alden Bonecutter

When: Friday, 10:10 – 11 p.m.

Where: The Olympic — 1009 W. Main St.

The Lowdown: This indie quartet released their most recent EP Run Out last August. This band is known for blending synthesizers and smooth electric guitars that add to their discographic concoction of blended folk-pop. Anna Morsett said Treefort is one of the band’s favorite festivals to play. She continued, “It’s so well curated, thoughtfully put together, everything is very accessible [and] you can actually see the bands you want to see.”

Grayson County Burn Ban

When: Friday, 10:30 – 11:15 p.m.

Where: Pengilly’s Saloon — 513 W. Main St.

The Lowdown: “Campfire country music” is how Denver’s Grayson County Burn Ban describe themselves. Their first full-length Better Neighbor dropped in January and brings listeners back to country’s traditional roots. Austen Grafa, who sings and plays guitar in the band said Boise is the perfect place for campfire country, “because it’s rustic enough and gracious aplenty and Treefort Fest is the most organized and hospitable fest I’ve ever been a part of and that stuff matters and is much appreciated.”

Esmé Patterson

Esme Patterson. Photography by Brittany Werges

Photo by Brittany Werges

When: Friday 11 – 12 p.m.

Where: The District Coffee House — 219 N. 10th St.

The Lowdown: Esmé Patterson continues to defy expectations of women in rock. After leaving Paper Bird in 2014, she signed to Denver’s Greater Than Collective for Woman to Woman and All Princes, I before signing to Universal for We Were Wild in 2016. Wigs come with the territory.


Photo by Alden Bonecutter

When: Friday 11:15 – 12 p.m.

Where: Tom Grainey’s — 109 S. 6th St.

The Lowdown: Indie-folk trio Edison rose quickly to the front of the Denver music scene with their Ghosts EP in 2015 and LP Familiar Spirit in 2016. Boise is one of the first stops on the band’s west coast tour. They’ll be on the road through April.

The Kinky Fingers

Photo courtesy of The Kinky Fingers’ Facebook page

When: Friday 11:20 p.m. – 12: 10 a.m. and Saturday 4:00 – 4:40 p.m.

Where: Ha’Penny Bridge Pub — 855 W. Broad St. #250 and Payette Brewing — 733 S. Pioneer St.

The Lowdown: The Kinky Fingers are surf rock that thrives on the big waves. The group said Treefort’s a festival they’ve applied for two years in a row and now this year, they play two sets. After releasing their mini album Garbage Plate in February, they’re planning a Pacific Northwest tour. But for now, the band told 303 Magazine it’s stoked to be part of the team of Colorado bands playing Treefort this year. 


Photo courtesy of ill-ēsha’s Facebook page

When: Friday/Saturday 11:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

Where: Fatty’s — 800 W. Idaho St. #200

The Lowdown:  ill-ēsha has a lot of tricks up her sleeves. She told 303 Magazine she’s emerging from hibernation this winter with a whole new set. “I’m thrilled to be coming back to Boise as to me it parallels my adopted home state of Colorado — beautiful scenery, warm and friendly people and super positive vibes,” she said.

Kitty Crimes


When: Friday/Saturday 11:30 p.m. – 12:20 a.m.

Where: Grainey’s Basement — 109 S. 6th St.

The Lowdown: Maria Kohler created her pseudonym Kitty Crimes in 2011, performing as a solo hip-hop act. Then in 2015 she built a full band to explore an R&B direction. Look out for new music from Crimes next month and a new music video dropping soon. 


Photo courtesy of déCollage’s bandcamp

When: Friday/Saturday 12:40 – 1:40 a.m.

Where: Grainey’s Basement — 109 S. 6th St.

The Lowdown: déCollage  played Treefort two years ago. That’s where Fuchs said the band fell deeply in love with googly eyes. “We discovered them in a craft store on tour and now we carry a gumball machine filled with these lil googlers to all of our shows.” He said the sense of support and collaboration in their community is palpable.

The Raven and the Writing Desk

Photo courtesy of The Raven and the Writing Desk’s bandcamp

When: Saturday 4:30 – 5:10 p.m.

Where: El Korah Shrine — 1118 W. Idaho St.

The Lowdown: Purity” is the direction of choice for The Raven and the Writing Desk on their new dark pop material in the works. The group is big on synths, guitar riffs, vocals and overall co-creation. Their latest EP …CirCleS… sprouted last spring.

Ancient Elk

When: Saturday 8 – 8:40 p.m.

Where: Ha’Penny Bridge Pub — 855 W. Broad St. #250

The Lowdown: Psychedelic rockers Ancient Elk released their debut self-titled record last September. Megan Crooks plays guitars, keys and sings in the band. She sang at Treefort two years ago. The band intends to augment new material with psychedelic projections this weekend.


Photo courtesy of Midwife’s bandcamp

When: Saturday 9 – 9:35 p.m.

Where: Boise Contemporary Theater — 854 W. Fulton St.

The Lowdown: Denver based artist Madeline Johnston explores the limits of minimalism in transcendental drone-pop. Also known for her role in Sister Grotto, she collaborates with Tucker Theodore in Midwife to create powerful anthems with reverb-soaked power chords and melancholic choruses, exploring themes like dislocation and loss. In 2017 Midwife released their LP Like Author, Like Daughter. 


Photo courtesy of Serpentfoot’s Facebook page.

When: Saturday, 9:30 – 10:10 p.m.

Where: The Olympic — 1009 W. Main St.

The Lowdown: This three-piece psychedelic garage rock band hails from Fort Collins. Serpentfoot finds inspiration from bands like Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees and has — over the years — leaned into the heavier psychedelic aspects of their work. Their latest album The Less You Hear, The Better It Sounds came out last year. 


Photo courtesy of Porlolo’s Facebook page.

When: Sunday, 4:50 – 5:30 p.m.

Where: Linen Building — 1402 W. Grove St.

The Lowdown: Erin Roberts, the mind behind Porlolo, has been a staple in Colorado’s music scene for years. Erin Roberts’ latest grunge-pop single “Wasting Time (I was a fool)” came out in February and is reminiscent of  The Greg Kihn Band’s song “The Break Up.” Roberts has a forthcoming EP Awards which is due out this spring and features work by a number of local artists. Eric Gilbert with Treefort Music Fest pinned Porlolo as one of the bands he’s most looking forward to. “They truly ‘get’ Treefort,” he said.


Photo courtesy of Rubedo on Facebook.

When: Sunday, 7:30 – 8:10 p.m.

Where: Neurolux — 111 N. 11th St.

The Lowdown: Rubedo is psych rock that’s Denver born and raised. Two studio records later, the trio released their third record Vaca last year without Ikey Owens, who was keyboardist for Jack White. After tragedy struck, the group began working with Johnny Belly at JazzCats Studio in Long Beach.

For the sounds, check out 303 Magazine’s Spotify playlist Treefort Music Fest 2018.