Treefort: Sharon Jones heats up Downtown Boise

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With 270 acts participating in Treefort Music Fest, it’s impossible to proclaim which band is best.

Most professional, though?

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. (Photos here.)

With temperatures dipping into the finger-numbing 20s Friday night at the Main Stage, the large-scale soul band flat-out executed in front of a surprisingly large, bundled-up crowd. This headliner delivers with a rump-winding, military discipline — it’s the same high-energy performance, night after night.

Think that horn section is allowed to wear anything but dress coats and ties at daily rehearsals?

After a bubbly, instrumental opening set from Delicate Steve — the goofy Joe Satriani of indie-rock — the Dap-Kings flooded the stage like an army of soul soldiers. Steam not only gushed from Jones’ mouth after every gospel-tinged phrase, it wafted from the heads of her band members.

These musicians didn’t seem to notice. With the ghost of James Brown nodding his approval from the night sky above, Jones thrust her hips as if she was in a sweaty New York City nightclub. Even when she invited Boiseans on stage to dance (uh-oh, time to sap the soul?), it was as if Idaho was the universe’s epicenter of funk.

Late in the set, as Jones belted out her big-voiced hit, “100 Days, 100 Nights,” you could have forgiven her if she’d grabbed a fur coat and waved her way amiably off stage. Nope. She and the Dap-Kings had no interest in leaving: Lose your own mittens; stay a while!

Bogus Basin? It’s time to donate your first season pass to a band.

Delicate Steve in a quieter moment:

Michael Deeds is the Idaho Statesman’s entertainment columnist and Scene magazine editor. His column runs Fridays and Sundays. He appears on the 6 p.m. broadcast of "Today's 6 News" on Thursdays and hosts a music show, "The Other Studio," from 9-10 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.

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