While it is still the dead of winter and things are wicked slow for both live music and new releases, we have gotten a taste of what the next few months will bring to this fair city. Rest assured there will be much, much more announced in the coming weeks, but for now, why not take a moment to briefly highlight acts that have already committed (that I care about, anyway).
16th – Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Revolution Concert House
Most folks recognize their biggest hit “Boom Boom”, but this band has quite a bit more to offer. Their music has always centered on a respect and admiration for the blues, although they are not strictly what I would call a “blues band”. Regardless, their latest two albums (2014’s Black Beehive and 2017’s New World Arisin’) are both consistently enjoyable affairs and should carry the night with some old favorites mixed in for good measure. I’m looking forward to seeing them for the first time, even if it is in the acoustic nightmare that is this old grocery store.
31st – Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band – Idaho Center Arena
Indeed, the legend you (and your grandparents) love is making his first (and I bet you, final) Idaho appearance. This has been on my radar since he originally announced a 2018 show way the Hell back in 2017, only to postpone due to health issues. True to his word, this was not canceled and the rescheduled date is approaching. Yes, he is getting up there, but his voice still sounds like good ol’ Bob and his Silver Bullets haven’t forgotten how to play the hits. Mom is even flying in for the occasion, which is wonderfully fitting for a Seger show, don’t ya think?
2nd – Start Making Sense – The Olympic Venue
Turns out I will be seeing two shows with El Madre, since the idea of catching a well-reviewed Talking Heads tribute band for $15 at one of my favorite venues is one that I just can’t pass up. No, David Byrne is not walking out on that stage, but this dude at least wears gray suits in their band photos. I have a hunch this will be a blast, and one can only hope they’ll dabble in some underappreciated tunes like “Love -> Building on Fire”, “The Big Country”, “Life During Wartime”, and “What A Day That Was” as well as the hits.
8th – Jim Breuer – Revolution Concert House
You may only know him as “Goatboy” or from his role in Half Baked (“No, bro… Billy Bong Thornton”), but the dude has got the funny and I am stoked for this night of stories, laughs, and music(?). He opened for Metallica recently and I hear it was a hoot.
10th – Hippo Campus – The Egyptian Theatre
I don’t know this band well other than their debut EP but hear that they are incredibly fun to catch live, and I dig anything at The Egyptian. So, ya, I’ll be there – what else are you gonna do on a Sunday night in February?
4th – Bad Suns – Knitting Factory
Yes, that’s right, the Knit. Far as I can tell this is the first confirmed show in what will be a completely remodeled version of the ol’ standby (that some of us still call The Big Easy). Oh, and also Bad Suns play an enjoyable brand of rock-influenced pop, or maybe pop-influenced rock. Either way, I have it on good authority that their live set is worthwhile.
7th – Young the Giant – Knitting Factory
Speaking of pop/rock, these guys crushed it on their 2018 album Mirror Master and when I got the invite to check this show I didn’t take long to agree. Check out the show, check out the aforementioned album, and then call your folks. They’d love to hear from you.
17th – Atmosphere – Knitting Factory
These guys have been on my “haven’t seen, should” list for some time, and they are about to get removed from it. Hailing from Minneapolis, and at it for over twenty years now, this hip-hop duo is best known for their tracks “Sunshine” and “The Best Day”. Their latest album is hit and miss, but the “hits” show how great they can be. With a hefty catalog of music to pick from, I expect a solid show even though I am always leery of live rap music (been burned too many times, folks).
18th – Citizen Cope (and DAVID RAMIREZ) – Knitting Factory
This is my pre-Treefort highlight of the spring announced so far. Mr. Ramirez is one of the best young and underappreciated songwriters and will be a treat to see, and several people have told me that Cope is dope also (sorry, had to).
20th – 24th – Treefort Music Festival VIII – The Entire Downtown Scene
This festival has been written about before on this blog, and will be again, so I’ll keep it short. With less than half of the eventual list announced, I am already stoked to see Black Mountain, Built to Spill, Mt. Joy, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, Cy Dune, Nappy Roots, Eureka California, Rubblebucket, Mandolin Orange, and Cedric Burnside.
5th – Weezer / Pixies – Idaho Center
What should be the best show of the spring took a precipitous nosedive for me when I learned that this is a seated affair. What?!??? Are you out of your minds??? I will probably break down and buy a ticket, but oh my that was a bummer…