As with previous years of the Festival, Fridays are usually when things start to get jumpin’. Venues are packed to the gills, and often times concertgoers are forced to stand in line to see headliners, because the smaller clubs are packed an hour or two before the most sought after artists take the stage. Grove Street is shut down for three or four blocks near the Main Stage, and the food trucks lining the street smell so damn good, you’ll wish you had three extra stomachs.
Minor inconveniences abound, especially in the vicinity of the Main Stage–like waiting in line for 15 minutes to get tokens, so you can then wait in line another 10 minutes to get a beer–but I showed up just in time to catch George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, so any frustrations I might otherwise have had were washed away in a torrent of glorious funk. Like the old song says, “Funk can not only MOVE, it can REmove.”
Sadly, I was way, way back from the stage, so I have no good pics of this show. You’ll just have to trust me when I say it was a frickin’ delight. And since it was an outdoor show, there was no need to “tear the roof off the sucka”. Classics like “Flashlight” were turned into 12-minute free-for-all jams, in which each member of the group was given a spot to preach the gospel of funk to an adoring congregation.
After the Mothership disembarked, I made a bee-line over to the Neurolux. I had hopes that I could still find a seat, since it was two hours before the shows I wanted to see…but apparently, a couple hundred other people had the same idea. I made it inside before they hit “capacity”, however, so I avoided being forced to stand in a line which, for the next three hours, wrapped halfway around the block.
There was a sort of theme to tonight’s shows at the ‘Lux: the last four bands were all popular local acts in the 80s and 90s. The first one I saw was Methods of Dance, who weren’t exactly my cup of tea, but were nevertheless a solid group. They sounded to me like a cross between The Cult and a bunch of mid-80s synth-pop bands.
Next up was H-Hour, another group from Boise’s 80s scene. These guys rocked pretty hard, thanks in no small part to Mr. Tad Doyle on drums. I was tickled to see several members of the bands who played later sets out on the floor during H-Hours set, shaking their asses and applauding louder than everyone else. Old-school Boise bands were, and still are, huge fans of each others’ work.
One of my favorite local acts, Dirt Fishermen, took the stage next. With all five original members, and a set of four backup singers in tow, they ripped through all the classics, sampling equally from the “Glenn’s Car” album and “Vena Cava” (one of the finest albums ever produced by a local group). Dan Krejci was as bouncy as ever, Dave was tossing off one-liners between songs, KT was belting out lyrics like nobody’s business, Gina was effusively praising her bandmates and the audience, and I think I even saw the usually-dour-and-deep-in-concentration Glenn smiling a few times. They seemed to be having as much fun as the audience, and maybe more.
Closing out the evening was the highly anticipated reunion of local heroes, Treepeople. And, really, I can’t say enough about this band. Dug Martsch, Scott Schmaljohn, Wayne Rhino Flower, and Troy Wright (filling in on bass for Pat Brown–R.I.P.) absolutel fucking slayed
Sounding as if they hadn’t gone a day since playing together (though it’s been about 25 years, by my count), the guys whipped back and forth between their early and late work. Crowd favorites from their early-90s heyday were nearly all included. Opening with the medley of “No Doubt” and “Andy Warhol” (which kicks off their seminal “Guilt Regret Embarrassment” album), and closing with “Neil’s Down”, it was a set-list for the ages, and as ably performed as any of the dozen other Treepeople shows I was lucky enough to attend.
I could ramble about this show for another five hundred words, but I’ll spare you.
Also, I checked the ongoing mural two or three times over the course of the evening, and didn’t see any further work had been done. Perhaps the artists couldn’t resist catching all the gnarly acts playing around town yesterday. Hmm… I will check again Saturday night.