A few weeks ago, I claimed that summer doesn’t start in Boise until Alive After Five does.
Let’s clarify: Summer doesn’t start until the fountain in the center of the Grove Plaza is gushing at Alive After Five.
Nothing says “outdoor party in Boise” like watching children fling water at each other with plastic beer cups.
Politically correct? OK, not exactly. But it’s a huge smile-bringer at the free Wednesday concert series, which begins its 26th year on June 6.
The fountain isn’t always turned on this early in June, but here’s good news: It’s scheduled to blast this week. That way, music headliner Maia Sharp won’t face the extra pressure of having everyone stare at her instead of the splashing kids.
Who am I kidding? Half of the “concertgoers” at Alive After Five don’t notice there’s a band in the vicinity. It’s largely a social event — and a fun one. Consequently, the Downtown Boise Association really isn’t obligated to book super-well-known performers.
Still, Alive After Five always produces a few standouts. Listeners of 94.9 The River will be familiar with Sharp. Her 2005 song “Red Dress” was a hit at Triple A radio formats. The River will start playing her latest single, “Me After You,” on June 4.
Local rock group Workin’ on Fire will open for Sharp. Alive After Five runs from 5 to 8 p.m.
Make plans to attend Alive After Five on July 11 if you want your hair blown back by rock, blues, funk and soul. That’s when Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears will roll in from Texas.
Dig James Brown? You will love this gritty guitar-and-horns attack. Easily the biggest name on Alive After Five’s schedule, Black Joe Lewis will be hard for the wine-sipping masses to ignore.
FIVE WIVES FACE PALM
Idaho enjoys looking ridiculous to the rest of the nation. It’s a tradition.
So it should come as no surprise that we made the news again. Why? Because you can buy Five Wives Vodka in Utah, where it’s manufactured, but not in the Gem State. Not in a bar. Not in a liquor store.
The Idaho State Liquor Division thinks the vodka’s name, a reference to polygamy, is offensive to Mormons.
Isn’t ALL alcohol supposedly offensive to Mormons?
Something tells me that our state’s liquor bosses are more uptight than most Mormons around here.
The liquor bottle’s label also sent state regulators into an apparent tizzy. The Salt Lake Tribune described it as five “19th century women in petticoats holding kittens near their lady parts.” The artwork comes from a picture of the Barrison sisters, a vaudeville act in the 1890s.
Welcome to Idaho: Trapped in the 1890s.
As long as liquor here is state-controlled, we risk this sort of silliness. Not only that, but because of limited shelf space, tons of liquor brands won’t be available here — not to mention free-market pricing on the brands we are offered.
Irked by Five Wives’ banishment? Buy a “Free the Five Wives” shirt at ogdensownstore.com. Or run down to an Idaho grocer and grab a six-pack of Utah-made Polygamy Porter, the similarly marketed beer with the label featuring multiple wives and the slogan “Why have just one?” The state doesn’t control beer.
Quaff it until you forget all about Five Wives.
Polygamy Porter was sold out at the Boise Co-op earlier this week. That should tell you just how offensive it is to Idahoans.
Æ Indigenous performed several times in Boise in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The band, fronted by singer-guitarist Mato Nanji, was part of a resurgence of young blues-rock ax-slingers.
Nanji is the only remaining original member of the blues-rock group — now a trio. But, man, can he still slay a Stratocaster. He conjures up the spirits of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan with every note.
Indigenous will perform Wednesday, June 6, at the New Frontier Club, 116 E. Broadway Ave., in Meridian. The Plateros open at 9 p.m. Cover is $10.
Æ Singer Chris Isaak is coming July 20 to the Eagle River Pavilion. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 8, for $35 lawn, $49.50 reserved seat, $99.50 VIP at Ticketfly.
TONIGHT IN THE ‘OTHER STUDIO’
I’ll preview summer concert season and spin music from standout acts.
“The Other Studio” airs from 9-10 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.
COMING IN SCENE JUNE 8
Æ Savor summer at our patio brunch picks in Boise.
Æ Daisy’s Madhouse takes the next step in its development as a theater company with a five-show season.
Æ Will sci-fi flick “Prometheus” live up to the hype?
Michael Deeds’ column runs Fridays in Scene and Sundays in Life. Email: mdeeds@ idahostatesman.com. Twitter: @IDS_Deeds