by Brian McKay

Chai rocked it!

Chai rocked it!

One of the best things about Treefort is that it is kid friendly. A plethora of all ages venues are perfect for the younger music lovers. There is no camping for days on end so you can bring the kids for the day or every day. As the safest city in the US, letting them roam around with friends should never be a concern.

This year I convinced my 15-year-old to go down with me for a day. She’s a music freak. Among her most valued possessions are her AirPods. Coupled with a family membership to Apple Music, she has those things in constantly. Seriously. Like super glued into her ears.

I think that because some of her friends had gone down or volunteered in order to get free full festival passes had piqued her interest. So off to the main stage we went on Saturday.

Passes can be purchased separately for each venue for an entire day. The main stage is $60, which isn’t bad considering the amount and quality of the bands. We would watch four total before she was ready to head home.

After parking in the garage and walking over, I could see that she liked the energy, the people everywhere, food trucks, multiple stages and just the overall vibe. There was some excitement going on in those blue eyes.


So Dad paid and in we went. The most notable bands of the day were Chai and Caroline Rose. Chai was, like all of Treefort and even more so, an unexpected surprise. Four women from Japan, dressed in the same pink outfits, not one over five feet tall, songs mostly in Japanese, self-described as a punk band and they rocked it. Like seriously rocked it.

The crowd for Chai filled the entire main stage venue. Had they known they were this much fun, or did they see the novelty and want to know more? It didn’t matter. At first, I looked over to see a 15-year-old a little perplexed. We were in the front and had been since the band was setting up. A move to the left about 20 feet had shielded our eyes from someone in his early 20’s sticking his hand down his girlfriend’s pants and holding onto her butt. Ewww… One doubts he washed that hand before eating at a food truck.

The first songs were not something either she or I had ever listened to but it only took a few for her to get into it with an excited crowd. Everyone was bouncing around to the music and halfway through I was informed, “Dad you kind of look like you’re grinding up on the guy behind you.” Yep. That mellowed me out. Why was some guy that close behind me? That’s right, he was probably practicing the fact that personal space doesn’t really exist in Japan.


The 20 minutes between bands gave us some time to go indulge in some Mad Mac. Few things could be better than sitting on a curb with your kid and eating mac n cheese. Her’s was spinach and artichoke. Mine was buffalo chicken. Then back to the main stage.

Seeing her buying a Treefort t-shirt and some stickers and patches, was the sure sign that this was now a hit.

Caroline Rose: Pure awesomeness!

Caroline Rose: Pure awesomeness!

Caroline Rose ended up being my favorite band and an amazing show. Watching McKenna absolutely love it, was amazing. Just the showmanship of the band’s singer, Caroline Rose, made it. It is doubtful that my daughter knew that the band’s own rendition of Toxic had once been a Brittany Spears song before she was born. It didn’t matter. Like the majority of bands, the lead singer spoke about Treefort being their favorite festival (it was their third time in Boise).

At the end of the day, plans were being made to get her a full pass for next year. There is no doubt that things will be coordinated with friends and a then driving daughter will be out having a blast.

There simply hasn’t ever been a better moment at this festival that is replete with so many of them. Some call it the SXSW of the West. Others have even gone so far as to say it is the best festival in America. For me, it is one that created a great dad and daughter day.

P.S. Don’t tell her I put her picture in this article. I’ll catch hell. For fun, the Caroline Rose rendition of Toxic is below.