Here’s a short list of worthwhile shows that have been announced since I laid out the shows to watch for this spring a few weeks ago. And another plug for DBT, because, you guys, they are so damn good. [Eric Cartman voice]: You guys, seriously, oh my God, you guys!!
One last reminder that personal favorite and badass band from Alabama (okay Pat is in Portland now, but these are Alabama boys through and through) Drive By Truckers are in town on Monday (February 5th). Don’t let the goofy name fool you – these guys mean business, and they are dead serious about their music and their attempts to explain the ways of The Dirty South. They cover it all: the bad, the good, and mostly, the ugly. This is truly one of the great rock bands (country/southern-rock, if you wish) touring today, and I have been looking forward to seeing them again since I last saw them on 2008’s The Home Front Tour. These guys pack the musical chops you would expect from a band touring for over twenty years, and not one but two incredibly gifted singers and songwriters (Cooley for President), rawking riffs, thoughtful ballads, and political commentary via song.
This is a must-see event, I can’t put it any simpler. Tickets are still somehow available for this Knitting Factory show ($25). So, get off your ass and go buy one. Hell, you can even stay on your ass and grab one online…
Built To Spill / Eilen Jewell / Brett Netson / Nick Delffs (Fundraiser for Paulette Jordan campaign for governor)
Visual Arts Collective – March 16th ($25)
Boise’s favorite purveyor of indie-rock goodness Doug Martsch will make two appearances at Treefort just one week after this show (Treepeople reunion!!!), but I still got me a ticket to check this one out. Why? Because I somehow still have not been to this venue in Garden City, because it’s a chance to see Doug and the kids rock out for a good cause (progressive politics in Idaho), and because good old Brett Netson will also play. This guy is fun to watch, and I hope someday he will start touring with Doug and BTS again. But for now, this’ll do. Oh, and Nick Delffs isn’t half bad either. See you there!
Wolf Parade / Japandroids – Knitting Factory – May 24th ($26)
I am no expert on Wolf Parade, and the very, very little I have heard didn’t inspire me much, but I will be there to see Japandroids. These two guys are a force, capable of sludgy metal-punk as well as anthemic sing-a-long arena-ready rock songs. Each of their records have brought me joy and copious air-guitar playing; but the latest, Near To the Wild Heart of Life, was truly magnificent. In a parallel world somewhere, they are as big as any of the other two-piece rockers like Royal Blood, Black Keys, etc. This will be high energy, and one can only hope that they get plenty of time to play.
Chris Stapleton – Idaho Center – August 4th – Tickets on sale 2/9
Country music’s biggest name (at least in my book, and apparently the Grammy people agree) is coming to Nampa this summer. While I doubt we will get the surprise Sturgill Simpson appearance that was SNL last week, this is going to be the country show of the summer. A good buddy of mine saw him in Florida last year and raved about the quality of his live performance. We all know his voice is breathtakingly powerful on his records, but I am told he is the real deal live. Count me in…
Shakey Graves / Jose Gonzalez – Knitting Factory – August 28th – $32
Two different people were excitedly telling me about Shakey Graves and how I had to go see this one, and had to get a ticket immediately. I will readily admit that I am not familiar with Shakey Graves, and will work on that ASAP. However, moral of the story is that I have a ticket, and it’s got nothing to do with any Shakey-ness.
Jose Gonzalez plays some mellow-ed out acoustic guitar driven folk rock music that hits me in a sweet spot. His riffs and song structure are so clean and simple yet compelling as hell, and once I heard that he was opening I was “in” regardless of what Shakey may have to offer. Recently Jose released an EP of versions of older solo songs with a new backing band (Brite Lites), whom he is touring with. They provide a slightly fuller and more robust sound to his already great music, and I am stoked (can I say that, living in Idaho? I just did…) to see them. Oh, and the fact that it is the day after my birthday and I didn’t even have to buy the ticket, well that was pretty cool too. Thanks B!
Midland – Idaho Center – October 19th
First Stapleton, and now this… Jesus, have I gone country? No, not really, I just admire these lads and their ability to conjure up the nudie-suit goodness of 70s and 80s country. They have the look, sound, and skill to make it stick, and while I don’t know how much of it is ironic and how much is sincere, it works. This one should be entertaining, both on stage and in the crowd.