Will it be a revolution for Boises music scene? Time will tell. Either way, it definitely will start a war.
Revolution Concert House and Event Center, the new 2,200-capacity venue opening at Glenwood Street and Chinden Avenue in Garden City, announced its first eight events this week. Four, including grand opener Joe Walsh, go on sale June 22. About half these acts previously have performed at the 999-capacity Knitting Factory Concert House in Boise (or its predecessor The Big Easy), so its obvious that the venues will target some of the same shows.
Is competition a positive thing for concert fans? You can debate the effect on ticket prices. But I believe competition is always preferable. Eagle-based CTTouring, the promoter behind Revolution Concert House, already dukes it out with Knitting Factory Entertainment outdoors, anyway: CTTouring books the Eagle River Pavilion while Knitting Factory does the Idaho Botanical Garden. CTTouring is producing the Rockstar Mayhem Festival at the Idaho Center Amphitheater in a couple of weeks; Knitting Factory is doing the similar Rockstar Uproar Festival in September at the same venue.
And while each promoter undoubtedly throws darts at a photo of the other for bidding up the price of artists and potentially passing on that pain to consumers the most obvious result of two local heavyweights slugging it out is more choices in the Treasure Valley.
Does a large part of Revolutions initial music lineup feel like its plucked from your dads dusty eight-track tape collection? Dont sweat it. Thats by circumstance more than design.
Sure, Joe Walsh (Aug. 22), George Thorogood and the Destroyers (Sept. 26), Abba tribute Arrival from Sweden (Oct. 5) and Alice Cooper (Nov. 21) are rooted in the 1970s and 1980s. Fact is, baby boomer and Gen X money buys tickets just as well as 18-to-34-year-old dough.
Besides, admit it: Walsh is a pretty cool grand-opening show. The guy is nuts. And Michael Franti and Spearhead/Ziggy Marley (Aug. 28) and DJ Steve Aoki (Oct. 24) will help close the generational gap.
Revolution will book younger acts. It all depends on tour routing and, in some cases, check-writing competition from across town. Its no secret that My Morning Jacket, which will play the Idaho Botanical Garden, was on Revolutions radar.
At press time, Revolution was chasing a fall show by another well-known indie-rock band one arguably too big to play the Knitting Factory Concert House without a wallet-stretching ticket price. Thats whats exciting about suddenly having a midsized venue for Boise: more opportunities.
Revolution intends to open its arms to comedy, MMA fights, DJ dance nights much like the Knit, offering whatever people want to see, just on a larger-room scale. Knitting Factory already has shown a willingness to think creatively. (By the way, the Knit is hosting a Musicians Saving Lives blood drive July 16 with the American Red Cross.)
The cooking seminar and show from the Food Networks Robert Irvine (Nov. 18) illustrates just how open-minded Revolution plans to be and will need to be as both promoters butt heads in a cutthroat industry. Hey, chef Irvine, help us out: Whats that saying about, If you cant stand the heat ... ?
Uproar Festival, hitting Nampa on Sept. 25 as 100.3 FMs X-Fest, essentially is the hard-rock version of the July 4 heavy-metal MayhemFest. Uproar even did the same early-bird pricing: The first 1,000 tickets sold cost the least, the second 1,000 cost a bit more, the third 1,000 a bit more, etc. One difference? Uproar is taking longer than Mayhem to move through the discount tickets. At press time, nearly a week after it went on sale, you could still buy second-tier tickets at $35. Not bad ... assuming you dig Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind and Papa Roach.
Might we wind up seeing a Nickelback-style Groupon offer come September? Only, as Papa Roach barks, as a last resort. Training consumers to wait for cut-rate prices is not good business.
Thursday Thunder, the Boise Spectrums take on Alive After Five, kicks off June 28. Check my column in Sundays Life section for more.
Michael Deeds column runs Friday in Scene and Sunday in Life. He co-hosts The Other Studio at 9 p.m. Sunday on 94.9 FM The River.