Music Festivals

Seventeen Denver Bands Head to Treefort Music Fest

Treefort Music Fest in Boise runs this week, from Wednesday, March 23, through Sunday, March 27. The festival, which started in 2012, was inspired by organizer Eric Gilbert's experience with Denver's Underground Music Showcase. Over several years leading up to the fest's inception, Gilbert's band, Finn Riggins, was on tour for most of the year. That heavy touring brought the band through Denver regularly and garnered friends and fans in different corners of the underground music scene. That special connection between Gilbert and Denver has meant that Denver bands have been performing at Treefort since its inception. Beyond performances by hundreds of bands, the festival features film, workshops, independent craft-beer vendors, local food, comedy, spoken word/storytelling, technology forums, skateboarding and yoga. The 2016 lineup includes more Denver bands/projects than in previous years; below is a breakdown of those artists, including when and where they will play. For more information, and to buy passes, please visit

Thursday, March 24

Pengilly's, 10-10:40 p.m.

Porlolo is the long-running folk/indie-rock project of Erin Roberts. Tender yet passionate, thoughtful yet gently visceral, Porlolo has included members of Ark Life — Ben DeSoto on drums and Natalie Tate on keyboards.
Linen Building, 11 p.m.
and Friday, March 25, Neurolux, 7:30-8:10 p.m.

Newly relocated to Los Angeles, Plum honed its fuzzy, psychedelic rock chops in Denver. A cut above the spate of post-Tame Impala psych-rockers, Plum's songwriting comes off as sophisticated and ambitious.
Crystal Ghost
Spacebar, 12-1:15 a.m.
and Sunday, March 27, at Reef, 10:30-11:15 p.m.

Elliott Baker's songs are in the future-pop vein and thus sound like a retrofuturist reimagining of a fusion of synth pop and R&B, soul and funk. Think Toro y Moi but somehow even more chilled out.

Friday, March 25

Werk Out Palace 
Rose Room, 4-5 p.m.

A combination of high-energy, eccentric, spiritually inflected, hippie game-show/workout show/dance party with prizes. Even if you're not participating, this is a highly entertaining event to witness and is unlike anything happening at the festival. Lead werker Piper Rose is like the Dan Deacon of workout routines, and she will get you involved and make it fun.

The Raven and the Writing Desk 
The Olympic, 6-6:40 p.m.

This dark pop band has evolved considerably since its debut in 2010. What hasn't changed is the high degree of imagination and skill that goes into the act's songwriting. Once a combination of dream pop and perhaps a Tin Pan Alley approach to its music-making, TRATWD has streamlined a bigger and more emotionally charged sound.
Bud Bronson & the Good Timers 
Neurolux, 8:30-9 p.m.

Reconciling power pop with an earnest and thought-provoking songwriting reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen, Bud Bronson & the Good Timers transcend obvious connections with garage rock and so-called party rock.
Leftover Salmon 
Knitting Factory, 9:30–11:30 p.m.

These Colorado jam-band legends normally play venues much larger than the 1,000-capacity Knitting Factory in Boise, so here's your chance to see the band in a relatively intimate setting.

Hang Rounders 
Pengilly's, 10:30-11:10 p.m.

If the music weren't so legitimate, you might be excused for thinking this band was a spoof on country — probably because its demeanor and performances are informed by a healthy sense of humor and energy. You can expect old-school country — not the thing that often passes for country music after the 1980s.

Read on for Denver bands playing Saturday and Sunday at Treefort.
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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.