There was never any doubt that The Cure coming to Boise was a big deal. I knew fans would get excited.
Just not quite this excited. “BAAAABR. IM DYING,” commented a particularly pithy user on the Idaho Statesman’s Facebook page. It was among dozens of freakouts and hundreds of shares that piled up after I blogged about the June 2 concert coming to CenturyLink Arena.
Thousands and thousands of page views later, The Cure was Monday’s most-read article at IdahoStatesman.com. It was nearly twice as popular as the day’s second-place finisher.
At 9:15 a.m., 94.9 FM The River started spinning The Cure songs every 90 minutes. (The British band’s biggest hits are ’80s classics such as “Lovesong,” “Just Like Heaven” and “Friday I’m in Love.”) Program director Tim Johnstone posted Cure videos on his Facebook page.
“My friends are stunned,” Johnstone says. “Stunned.”
So why is it so earth-shattering? Maybe because The Cure has never performed here. At various points an influential part of goth, new wave, alternative rock and other labels eschewed by singer Robert Smith, the group doesn’t tour the United States often. Many Idahoans already had bought tickets for The Cure’s performance June 3 in Salt Lake City — a big deal unto itself.
A relatively miniscule 4,874 seats will be available at CenturyLink. Multiple-night-stands at huge venues in cities such as Los Angeles and New York have sold out in advance.
The public on-sale for Boise is at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18. But a presale 24 hours earlier sold more than half the arena already. That said, don’t fret: Plenty of great seats were held for the public on-sale.
“The excitement level — I knew it would be there,” says Creston Thornton, owner of Eagle promoter CTTouring. “But this is a monster.”
Luring The Cure to Idaho wasn’t easy. Thornton wrote emails that were forwarded to Smith in an effort to sell him on Boise. The process took a month, Thornton says. (Among the points he made: Downtown Boise is hipper than you think. And Depeche Mode, a British band that shares fans with The Cure, sold almost 8,000 tickets here in 1998. (And that was in Nampa, at the Idaho Center.)
The Cure’s sonic calling card is a gloomy yet accessible sound. It’s the sort of era-driven music that jettisons nostalgic Gen-X brains back through time, straight into college dorms, high-school hallways and middle-school cafeterias.
Thornton says he saw The Cure at 16,000-capacity Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre as a teenager in Orange County. It was 1986. Clearly, bringing The Cure to Boise means more to him than just making a buck as a promoter.
“People are fanatical about this band,” he says. “To see people this pumped, it’s really cool.”
Marcus Eaton: From Italy to Boise
Marcus Eaton definitely got re-energized by a recent tour in Italy, but he’s thrilled to be home again for the holidays.
The singer-guitarist — who moved from Boise to Los Angeles in 2012 — will headline a two-night stand Dec. 27 and 28 at the Sapphire Room at the Riverside Hotel, 2900 Chinden Blvd. (The first night is sold out.)
Concertgoers flock to the intimate, seated Sapphire Room to listen. Not to text. Not to blab over drinks. Just to see pristine live music.
Eaton got a little spoiled by that sort of attentiveness after five weeks in Italy during October and November. His first album in nearly five years, “Versions of the Truth,” has been released there by Italian label Route 61, which helped organize the tour.
Eaton got lots of press. Newly earned fans went home and followed Eaton on Facebook.
It was his third, and most gratifying, trip to perform in Italy.
“The Italian thing was just unbelievable because you see how it should be,” he says. “People are just totally into it. They get it.”
It’s just one of the highlights of a fascinating last few years for the singer-songwriter. After meeting David Crosby, Eaton wound up joining the folk-rocker’s band as a guitarist and backing singer. Eaton co-wrote songs on Crosby’s 2014 album, “Croz.” Crosby even sings on Eaton’s new album.
Fans will be able to purchase Eaton’s new CD at the two Boise shows. Or they can buy it at marcuseaton.bandcamp.com. Another bonus: His father, Steve Eaton, will open at the Boise gigs. Many Boiseans know Steve Eaton as a jazzy pianist, but he’ll sing original songs and play guitar in this setting: “His old original stuff is amazing,” Marcus says.
One thing is obvious: Marcus Eaton’s passion to make music and keep moving forward has never been stronger.
“I hope I can find the opportunity to find my audience in the U.S.,” Eaton says. “... It’s been very, very difficult. But the sun’s kind of breaking through the clouds here, I think.”
Michael Deeds: @michaeldeeds