Yesterday, we had the pleasure of seeing La Luz, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, Thunderpussy, Mothers, Fowl Weather, Street Fever, and Magic Sword.
Seattle sweethearts La Luz were the second act to feature on the main stage, emitting spooky beach tunes. The early evening overcast weather was fitting of the spooky, but certainly not of the beachy. Though the four-piece sounded great, they were clearly freezing. The energy at main stage (with the exception of Charles Bradley’s set) did not compare with that of the other venues, as it lacked intimacy and more importantly, bearable temperatures. Fortunately for the girls, proceeding Treefort they are headed to Nevada, California, and Arizona where summer lingers most of the year. We hope to catch La Luz again in better weather.
Charles Bradley, introduced by the first hype man I've ever seen, played one of the most heartfelt and soulful sets I’ve ever seen. His demeanor is genuinely charming and Bradley’s playfully sensual moves inspire the dance diva in us all. Typically arm swaying in crowds is gag worthy, but it felt strangely necessary last night. Midway through the set, Bradley abandoned his vibrant red pantsuit for an equally stunning black one, sporting two silver sequin stars and a black velvet muleta. Though he was not fighting bulls, he was certainly fighting hate. “It’s not about the color of your skin, it’s about the color of the contents of your soul,” said Bradley, who earlier promised the crowd, “If I can’t give it to you from the heart, I’m not gonna give it to you at all.” We freaking love this man.
Bradley was not the only act with a hype man, or in this case, a hype lady. Seattle power quartet Thunderpussy, presented by a middle aged woman in a pleather skort, shear blouse and tall high-heeled black boots, played arguably Treefort’s sexiest set last night at Hannah’s. Badass members Whitney Petty, Molly Sides, Leah Julius, and Saba Samakar play in bands Grizzled Mighty, This Bitch Don’t Fall Off, Cumulus, and La Luz, respectively. These women demand respect and assert fierce erotic energy while maintaining feminine grace. We would definitely see them again.
My favorite performance thus far has been Athen’s band Mothers, led by the subtly stunning Kristine Leschper. Her deeply emotional lyrics are enhanced by her poignant yet captivating vocals, articulate, almost math rock guitar style, and exceptionally dynamic compositions performed by all members. I became so overwhelmed with feeling during the 40-minute set I cried… twice. Currently, Boise is the furthest from home Mothers has toured but will not remain so for long. Please see this band. Leschper is amazing. They are all amazing.
Boise bands Fowl Weather, Street Fever, and Magic Sword do not carry the any of the negative connotations with being termed "local". I’ve yet to see bands of this caliber in the Denver local scene, especially from a performance aspect. Street Fever and Magic Sword in particular left me completely awestruck by their inventive, exhilarating sets and stage personas. Street Fever becomes the mask he wears, upholding the character and tone seamlessly through all creative elements. His sound (including both incredible vocalists), light show, ensemble, imagery, videos, and overall aura are astonishingly harmonious and consistent. From a branding perspective, Street Fever’s developed identity is genius. I love his industrial, heavy Gesaffelstein style sound. This is the second time I’ve driven from Denver to Boise to see Street Fever, and it certainly won’t be the last.
The transition from Street Fever to Magic Sword felt otherworldly. At least twenty people holding vibrant blue “swords” made a circle half on and half off stage. Those on stage wore all black and had covered faces. As Street Fever entered the crowd and left the circle, a sort of awe and disarray ensued in the crowd before the two robed members of Magic Sword appeared, transitioning to a more synth laden electronic sound. Awesome set. What a way to end Friday night!
Written by: Haley Midzor
Photos by: Liz Whitman