UPDATED: The official weekend Treefort Music Fest post

Treefort is here, kids. Can you handle 130-plus bands?

The festival, which began Thursday, will continue through the weekend. I’ll update this post with links to photo galleries, video from the festival and any last-minute news, so check back daily.

I'm looking for your input, too. If you have 5 seconds when you're not seeing bands, inhaling PBRs or resting in a gutter, I'm interested in your observations, opinions and reviews. Unleash them in the comments section. If you’re too lazy to sign up on the Idaho Statesman’s website, send me an email with your comments, and I’ll post them for you.

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The first thing I noticed when I ambled up to will call Thursday afternoon outside the Linen Building was A) The cool T-shirts; and B) The even cooler Pocket Trail Guide.

This 44-page festival directory — complete with tons of fun clip art — gives the entire event more heft. It’s these touches of creativity and professionalism that will make Treefort feel special — even before you see a single band. If I leave this pocket guide on my desk and forget to take it with me to the festival tonight, I’m going to be seriously peeved.

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Check out a Treefort Music Fest photo gallery from Thursday night here.

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In case you haven’t heard, Portland alt-country-folk band Blitzen Trapper will sneak into the Record Exchange on Friday night for a free, all-ages in-store performance. Will it be elbow to elbow? Of course. Should you be there, anyway? Definitely. The show will only be 30 minutes long, so if it’s too packed, just hold your breath.

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Wearing a blue cardigan sweater and stylishly matching socks (no shoes), the diminutive Baltimore guitarist Dustin Wong sat down at Neurolux at 7 p.m. Thursday and turned his Fender Telecaster into a fuse. His effects pedals were the dynamite. Finger picking or using a guitar pick, he created burst after melodic burst, carefully layering each one using looping pedals. Then he’d play traditional (sort of) guitar solos on top of that.

Wong’s loooooong, multi-segmented song was a blend of whimsy, fantasy and mechanical resonance. It was like listening to an orchestra of elf robots. In Narnia. It was beautiful. Then he’d lean over and triple the speed of everything with the twist of a knob. And it was overwhelming.

The weird(er) side of Steve Vai would appreciate Wong. No, he isn’t for everyone. But he’s essentially unlike anyone. His head space is even more freaky than his technical prowess. How can one person make sense of all those separate guitar parts piled atop one another? How do you hear that lightspeed symphony inside your mind in the first place?

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Maybe it’s just the look-at-me nature of Twitter and such, but has some of the early, over-the-top Boise/Treefort cheerleading felt ... borderline embarassing? I get it. I AGREE with it: Treefort is very cool. But do a handful of insecure Boiseans have to feel that their little city isn't being properly recognized? It's like, “Yo, Seattle! Bet you wish you were here!” We need to assemble some of these hometown hard-cores into a high-school gym for an official Boise music scene pep rally: “Gimme a ‘B’! B! ‘Gimme an ‘O’! O!” … At least they could get it out of their system. It’s like, man, act like you’ve been there.

Oh, wait, that's right. We haven’t been there. Treefort is a first for Boise. I will now shut my cynical mouth and go find a cool beer and cooler band to watch.

Update: After seeing this tweet from @kiweeee — "treefort was wonderful; forgot how much i missed concerts. going tonight too, zippadeedoodaa!" — I take it all back. I've been defeated by random joy.

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Check out a Treefort Music Fest photo gallery from Friday night here.

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If one more person asks me if I saw rapper K.Flay on Thursday, I’m going to scream. She played at 6:20 p.m. on the Main Stage. And apparently ruled. Ah, well, it happens. At least there's this video. You have to click on it after you get taken to the main page.)

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One special thing I did manage to see – along with 225 or so other fans jammed into the Record Exchange – was an exquisite-sounding in-store performance Friday from three members of indie-folk band Blitzen Trapper. Watch video here. Considering that there was a line out the door for the band’s concert later that night at Neurolux, showing up for this 30-minute supper-time set was a crafty move. (Maybe Blitzen Trapper should have played the Main Stage.)

The stripped-down presentation — three scruffy men delivering Old West tales using gorgeous vocal harmonies — was a perfect match for the Record Exchange: “I’m goin’ back to my hometown, gonna break some ground, take a look around,” frontman Eric Earley sang, softly strumming his acoustic guitar.

This was as crowded as the RX has been in a long while; it matched Josh Ritter in-store proportions. But the room was completely hushed. “Appreciate your reverence,” one member joked.

The highlight was the final song: A cover of Gram Parsons’ “Sin City.” Two members of fellow Portland band the Parson Red Heads joined the group for what they called a “barbershop quartet” take on the tune. Magical stuff.

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If you just want to drink beer and socialize, Ale Fort at 14th and Grove streets is the place to be. Held underneath an 80-foot dome, it features local breweries, bands and a B29 Streatery food truck parked on the street 50 feet away. Boise artist Beji generated sounds last night ...

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The Main Stage area is huge: 3,000-capacity huge. Indie hip-hop act Why? pulled a sizable crowd, but it was nowhere close to filling the place. (It will be interesting to see how many people show up for Built To Spill tonight.) Why? fans, who are a dedicated lot, will lynch me for making this observation, but there’s a wee bit of Weird Al Yankovic in geeky, mustachioed frontman Yoni Wolf’s spastic delivery. Maybe it was just him rhyming “Yoni” with “Spagoni” between songs ...

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Not a fan of drum sets? The Deer Lodge Showcase at the Linen Building was the place to be Friday. Electronica dominated much of the night. Boise duo Mozam uncorked slow, grinding grooves that vibrated the stained concrete floor. (Sweet Bill Cosby photo on the video screen, by the way.) It was hard not to miss Mozam almost immediately when Los Angeles mixer Matthewdavid took the stage. He’s an animated knob twiddler to watch, but his sonic attack was overwhelmingly busy.

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“Hey, man, could you please turn it up in every regard?” Sun Araw Band frontman Cameron Stallones asked the soundman at the Linen Building. Uh-oh. You could say the spaced-out barrage was a throwback to the Woodstock era, but the drugs weren’t this powerful back then. End-of-tunnel, mushroom-trip vocals drove this psychedelic guitar and keyboard journey. The sonic explorations threatened to become exhausting, but a constant, lurching bass groove prevented the music from hurtling away into outer space.

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On Friday, there wasn't a whole lot of rock at this indie-rock festival. San Francisco band the Soft White Sixties filled the niche — big time. If you didn't have a wristband for the band's midnight set at the Red Room, you didn't get in. Blending R&B and pop with a vintage, steamroller guitar attitude, the band absolutely killed it.

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Annnnd I somehow lost my Canon Powershot camera after taking photos of Sun Araw. Argh. Stupid sweatshirt pockets.

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Photos from Saturday night at Treefort have been added to the gallery.

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After participating in an occasionally boisterous early-afternoon panel at the WaterCooler on Saturday about the future of music journalism, I stopped across the street for a quick tour of Boise Rock School's new digs. Nice.

Treefort bands and students from the school gigged all day from Boise Rock School’s garage. It was a cool place to take kids to see live music.

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I’m no expert on crowd estimates, but I’m guessing that 1,500 to 2,000 people packed the Main Stage area for bearded Boise indie-rock royalty Built To Spill. Without question, it will be the best-attended event at Treefort. The band plowed through old favorites while fans crowd surfed, ate slices of PieHole pizza and drank PBR.

Like the rest of us, frontman Doug Martsch was curious about how many fans came from out of town for Treefort. So he asked. Hands went up. 75? 100?

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Despite the huge draw at the Main Stage for Built To Spill, Seattle dream-pop duo Lemolo played for a solid crowd at the Red Room. Fans seemed to enjoy it, but I had trouble staying engaged, possibly because I was anticipating the EMA show starting in a few minutes. So I bolted to Neurolux to see one of Treefort’s card-carrying “buzz” acts …

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EMA’s 10 p.m. set at the 'Lux felt like a South By Southwest showcase. There was energy flowing through the audience, and EMA — aka South Dakota native Erika M. Anderson — had the swagger of someone who knows she’s got “it.” Her three-piece backing band — highlighted by a fiery electric fiddle/keyboard player — laid down ferocious grooves while EMA howled, art-school style, over the madness. Ultimately, she seemed like a performer more than pure singer. She has the attitude. But I’m still not convinced about the voice. It was hard not to wonder how Kelly Clarkson’s singing was sounding a mile or two away at Taco Bell Arena.

Thursday highlight: Pickwick

I thought they were a surprisingly soulful group with a great stage presence. I was expecting a Mumford and Sons or Avetts vibe when these Seattle guys in tight shirts and beards took the stage looking like most of the guys in the crowd. The lead singer had an early-Dylan 'fro and horn-rimmed specs, but belted out songs more like Marvin Gaye. I didn't know any of their music but their first release is called "Hotel Hacienda," where soul legend Sam Cooke was shot - a telling announcement of their presence in this unlikely genre. -- Greg Hahn

This is awesome!!!

The first night alone was great, at just one venue (Neurolux)I heard a wide spectrum of different sounds. After checking out The Ascetic Junkies at the RX, I went next door to hear Boise's own Finn Riggins put on a great set, boy am I glad they are from Boise, great sound and original. Next was Dustin Wong, who created really neat loops and created an interesting sound with guitar. Really kind of hard to explain, I think one might just have to experience it to understand, I really liked it, mesmerizing! Due to a long day, I split for a little bit but came back to hear the world beat sounds of Janka Nabay, from Brooklyn via Sierra Leone. I could not resist picking up a copy of his vinyl...Vinyl! Next was delicate Steve from Newton, NJ and if you were not there you really missed out! Reminded me of an updated Jeff Beck sound infused with all types of genres, they even brought back Janka Nabay to sing with them. So, I didn't venture to much on the first night, but was blown away at all the different sounds I heard. Not a regret at all!

Is it over yet?

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

Look at the crowd in that

Look at the crowd in that last photo!! Wowsa. Looks like there were two stools available there for my wife and I had I chosen to head down there. Hindsight......is always 20-20.

No...

Hindsight is only done with a mirror.

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?