The good news: Boise’s concert scene is alive. The bad news: Your wallet is dead meat.
After a slow past several weeks for concert announcements, promoters went nuts and announced a slew of shows coming in early 2017. Just in time to drain your bank account before Black Friday.
All the shows listed below go on sale Friday, Nov. 18, unless otherwise noted, and include advance-ticket prices.
If you’re a rap fan, January will be good. Hip-hop act and social activist Talib Kweli will return to the Knitting Factory on Jan. 27 ($21). And rapper Juicy J is headed to the Revolution Center on Jan. 29 ($25-$29.50).
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Alt-rock (not alt-right) band Young the Giant will roll into the Knit on Feb. 3 ($25). Alt-country singer Lydia Loveless will perform at Neurolux on Feb. 6 ($16).
Have the time of your life. Go to all four performances of “Dirty Dancing — The Classic Story on Stage” March 4 and 5 at the Morrison Center ($50-$75). Or skip that final night to see Southern rockers The Cadillac Three at the Knitting Factory on March 5 ($17.50).
Fans of Lake Street Dive have waited eagerly for the terrific group to return to Boise after a 2015 performance at Tour De Fat in Ann Morrison Park. Charismatic singer Rachael Price and the rest of the quartet will headline the Knitting Factory on March 13 ($20).
After postponing a September country show because of a medical emergency, the Josh Abbott Band will play March 18 at the Knitting Factory ($12). And indie-rockers Grouplove will visit the Knit on April 8 ($25). (The group’s song “Tongue Tied” was featured in an iPod Touch ad a few years ago. Trust me, it is burned in your brain whether you realize it or not.)
Tony Bennett played Boise this year. So why not bring on Johnny Mathis? He’ll only be 81 when he sings at the Morrison Center on April 27 ($55-$150, on sale Monday).
Lastly, Christian singer Chris Tomlin will cruise into Taco Bell Arena on April 30 with a bunch of guests ($15-$69.75).
10 Barrel wins battle
Feel free to raise a toast if you enjoy hanging out at 10 Barrel Brewing Co. in Downtown Boise.
Most Boiseans had forgotten about the legal drama — me included — but a district court recently ruled in favor of 10 Barrel after a challenge from the Idaho Beer and Wine Distributors Association.
Shortly after the Bend, Ore.-based company announced it was being purchased by Anheuser-Busch in 2014, Gem State distributors raised a fuss. They posited that 10 Barrel no longer qualified as a small brewery because, between 10 Barrel’s multiple locations — not to mention Anheuser-Busch’s huge output — it produced more than 30,000 barrels annually. Consequently, they argued, according to Idaho statute, 10 Barrel shouldn’t be able to operate its Boise brewpub.
Nope. The pub stays open. The Joe IPA keeps flowing.
Black Friday tech deals
If you’re craving a tech toy, it’s hard to ignore Black Friday. As a card-carrying gadget nerd and cheapskate, here are some of the deals jumping out at me.
▪ This year’s popular big-ticket items are 4K Ultra HDTVs. Nobody really needs one. But Best Buy opens at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. That’s when you can stampede the place for a 49-inch Toshiba 4K for $199.99. Granted, that’s a small screen to appreciate the resolution of 4K technology, but hey: Bragging rights are bragging rights. Target opens an hour later and will sell a 50-inch Hisense 4K for $249. Never heard of Hisense? For $249 for 4K, who cares? Walmart opens at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving and has a 55-inch Philips 4K for $298. You can go bigger on these 4K screens and find great deals, but you’ll pay more. Hate crowds? The websites of many retailers, including these, launch their bargains at 12:01 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.
▪ Still own a last-generation gaming console? Microsoft is making it tempting to finally punt your Xbox 360. From Thanksgiving through Nov. 28, grab an Xbox One S starting at $249. The Xbox One S is the latest, greatest version of the Xbox One. (Don’t buy the One. Get the One S.)
▪ Need a tablet? Amazon is making it silly not to grab one. They’re knocking $30 off the already alluring $89.99 price for a Fire HD 8, making it $59.99 on Black Friday. If want to be cheaper (and smaller), the regular Fire tablet will be reduced from $49.99 to $33.33. That’s bananas. Are you an E-reader? The Kindle drops from $79.99 to $49.99.
▪ Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping provides near-instant shopping gratification. Plus, you get access to a massive library of streaming music and video (that you’ll possibly never use). Still, paying $99 for a year of Prime stings. Here’s a Band-Aid. New Prime members get to sign up for $79 one day only: Friday, Nov. 18.