Concerts rarely sell out anymore, so the fact that tickets are gone for the Barenaked Ladies show Aug. 2 at the Idaho Botanical Gardens Outlaw Field is a healthy sign. It should be music to our ears.
Unless, of course, you are a purist. In that case, you stick a finger down your throat at the concept of fans clamoring to see the Canadian rockers without lead singer and primary songwriter Steven Page, who bailed in 2009.
Truth be told, some Idahoans probably bought tickets to see one of the opening acts on this solid package, which also includes Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd and the Monsters and Cracker.
But lets face it: Missing singers dont seem all that important nowadays.
Journey, which will perform Aug. 4 at the Idaho Center Amphitheater, hasnt included iconic frontman Steve Perry for more than a decade. Hes been replaced by a Filipino nightclub crooner found on YouTube.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited, which is coming to the Western Idaho Fair and Sun Valley Pavilion in August, has milked John Fogertys tunes for years.
The list of missing persons goes on: Styx has no Dennis DeYoung; Foreigner lacks Lou Gramm ...
(Missing Persons, by the way, played shows last year with singer Dale Bozzio.)
I used to go out of my way to criticize. Years ago, Creedence Revisiteds management got irked when I wrote that people should buy a ticket to their show and make P.T. Barnum proud.
But slowly, Ive learned to accept reality: Fans just want to have fun. In many cases, that means reminiscing and not worrying about whos actually on stage.
Nobody really cares about a band desecrating its legacy, right? Right?
Besides, recruiting a new, younger vocalist often makes classic-rock groups sound better.
Heard Crosby, Stills & Nash lately? Im not suggesting they recruit a new Stills or anything. Just saying.
Gritting my teeth, I will admit that it only seems fair that a band be allowed to rock on when a singer leaves, as was the case with the Barenaked Ladies. In fact, they deserve props for not trying to replace Page. Instead, singer-guitarist Ed Robertson assumed full frontman duties.
And what about dead men? Can Alice in Chains or Sublime with Rome be blamed for touring? What about Boston with that Home Depot singer?
Bottom line: 4,000-capacity Outlaw Field is sold out on Thursday. Whether its a cover band, a tribute band or a Canadian band sans a key singer-songwriter thats a cool thing. Even if I do have to suppress my music-snob gag reflex.
DRINK UP, IDAHO
In the most recent Scene magazine, I wrote about the amount of booze being purchased from the Idaho State Liquor Division by bars.
In the Treasure Valley, Barbacoa spent more than any other business in fiscal year 2012: $261,443.
However, Idahoans arent necessarily barflies.
In fiscal year 2008, 25 percent of the money spent on purchases from the Liquor Division was by bars. That number has fallen to 20 percent in 2012, says the Liquor Divisions Tony Faraca. That means 80 percent of the cash came from Idahoans (and border-crossing Washingtonians) buying at liquor stores and mixing cocktails at home.
Nationwide, drinkers are being lured away from beer and wine by increased marketing and new, flavored spirits, Faraca says.
Youve got cupcake vodkas and cotton-candy vodkas, he says. Theres lots of cocktails being created using these flavored spirits. Its pulling in a whole new segment of drinkers into cocktails that didnt exist previously.
TV CHANGES AT 6 AND 9
You may have noticed that Paul Gerke recently replaced Amanda Maynard as sports director at KIVI Channel 6 (ABC) and KNIN Channel 9 (Fox). Gerke pronounced ger-kee moved to Idaho from Alpena, Mich.
This past week, the stations morning meteorologist, Kyle Gravlin, did his final forecast. Hes moving to Texas. Weekend anchor Bob Anthony will fill in until a replacement is found.
IN SCENE AUG. 3
Beer columnist Patrick Orr tours Sockeyes new brewery in west Boise.
Sci-fi movie Total Recall gets remade with Colin Farrell in the lead role.
Outdoors writer Pete Zimowsky looks at the best campgrounds for kids.
Michael Deeds column runs Fridays in Scene and Sundays in Life. Email: mdeeds@ idahostatesman.com. Twitter: @IDS_Deeds