Michael Deeds: Charity concerts liven up holidays

mdeeds@idahostatesman.comDecember 15, 2013 

Giving to charity rocks — and nothing beats being able to physically rock out while writing that check.

Maybe that’s why Boise’s annual Concert for Cause and Xtreme Holiday Xtravaganza are so popular. Here’s the scoop on my two favorite holiday fundraisers in the Treasure Valley.


During the last decade, 94.9 FM The River’s annual Concert for Cause has raised about $170,000.

This year’s show — Wednesday at the Knitting Factory — will be headlined by Spokane-raised singer-songwriter Tyrone Wells. He’ll be joined by opener Steven McMorran of Los Angeles alt-rock band Satellite.

Four dollars from each ticket sold goes to the Women’s and Children’s Alliance, plus proceeds after expenses. There’s also a silent auction before the concert. But the big earner is the live auction, which happens between sets.

Hot auction items include guitars autographed by John Mayer and Fun, a ski package, and a trip to Las Vegas to see Cirque du Soleil’s “The Beatles Love.”

The hard-core River-listener highlight is a special compilation CD that includes the year’s best performances from the station’s “Listener Lounge,” a series of on-air mini-concerts.

“Whoever buys that CD gets two seats to every River session we do the following year,” program director Tim Johnstone says. “Sometimes, that’s 30 sessions.”

Having witnessed the intimate gig Imagine Dragons did in May, I can attest to the coolness of that.

• Silent auction at 6:30 p.m., music at 8, Dec. 18, Knitting Factory, 416 S. 9th St., Boise. $20. TicketWeb.


The good: The eighth annual Xtreme Holiday Xtravaganza raised more than $100,000 last year for homeless shelter Interfaith Sanctuary.

The bad: You likely aren’t going, unless you’ve bought a ticket. All three nights are sold out. (You do have one more shot at getting tickets: The Statesman is giving away a pair of tickets to each of the Xtravaganza’s three performances. Enter to win at IdahoStatesman.com/contests. The deadline is Dec. 18.)

“We need the Egyptian to be three times as big,” singer and host Curtis Stigers says.

That’s not going to happen. So Stigers will be grateful, he says, if you instead consider donating to the Adopt-a-Family Giving Program or Avenues for Hope Camp. Find out more at InterfaithSanctuary.org.

“Apparently, they’re short on everything this year. We gave $100,000 last year, and still the need is so great,” Stigers says. “They’ve got so many families there that they’re still pressed.

“There are only so many tickets we can sell, unfortunately.”

Fans who attend the Xtravaganza will be treated to fun from The Fool Squad, plus holiday joy and unpredictability from an array of musical acts. Some of this year’s highlights include Eilen Jewell, Emily Braden, Oinkari Basque Dancers and a.k.a. Belle. About 20 acts perform each night.

At fund-raising auctions, concertgoers will be able to bid on private house shows by Stigers and Bill Coffey. “Bring your checkbook,” Stigers urges. “We’re happy to do them, but we don’t do them for cheap.”

• 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21-23, Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., Boise. InterfaithSanctuary.org


It’s all-over-the-map night for Tim Johnstone and me. We’ll talk about Boise folk-rock band Hollow Wood, spin new music from Roseanne Cash, and consider new box sets from The Clash, The Beach Boys and more.

“The Other Studio” airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.


Brrr-ing on winter beer! We taste test seasonals from Treasure Valley breweries and give them a winter grade.

Michael Deeds’ column runs Fridays in Scene and Sundays in Life. He co-hosts “The Other Studio” at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River and appears Thursdays on Channel 6 News. Twitter: @IDS_Deeds

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