Words & Deeds

Kids, here’s why you should give Dad the gift of Tool this Father’s Day

Artist and singer Maynard James Keenan, shown here performing with Puscifer, will bring prog-rock band Tool to Nampa in June.
Artist and singer Maynard James Keenan, shown here performing with Puscifer, will bring prog-rock band Tool to Nampa in June. Invision/AP

Junior? It’s time to learn to be a man. Surprise Dad with a different sort of Tool this Father’s Day.

With the Grammy-winning art-metal band returning to the Ford Idaho Center on Sunday, June 18, this isn’t the year to spend a quiet afternoon playing catch with Pops in the yard.

Smash the piggy bank against your forehead. Count those pennies on the floor. Seats cost $69.50 or $89.50 plus fees.

When the Tool show goes on sale at 10 a.m. April 7 at ICTickets outlets, organizers expect tickets to fly. Tool last played the Idaho Center in 2007. Tickets were $39.50 and $49.50. The concert drew about 6,500 fans.

That was then.

“It’s a whole different thing,” says Creston Thornton, president of promoter Live Nation-Mountain Region. “The last tour, 10 years ago, it was big, but it wasn’t like this. There’s such a resurgence for this band.”

Based on calls and interest, the Idaho Center is beefing up staffing on phones and box-office windows. The building is encouraging fans to buy online and streamline the process by preregistering and updating their ICTickets account information. There’s an advance direct link to the Tool tickets page.

About 9,000 fans will be able to attend. Tool’s staging and video screens, which deliver the band’s disturbing, acid-trippy visuals, shrink the arena’s normal capacity of 10,800.

Unfamiliar with Tool? Think Pink Floyd for headbangers. Casual alt-rock fans know Tool’s dark ’90s radio hits “Sober” and “Prison Sex.” Tool followers are diehards. They strain their brains over the meaning of complex, skull-crushing songs such as “Forty Six & 2.” (Is it about human chromosomes? Religion? Fatherhood?) They hunger for a new Tool album, which the tightlipped group hasn’t delivered since 2006.

Tool is one of the last major acts still conspicuously absent from streaming music services. Tool also doesn’t hit the road particularly often. Eccentric frontman Maynard James Keenan devotes his time to side projects such as A Perfect Circle and Puscifer.

It all makes the prospect of experiencing Tool live more intense.

The night before Tool makes its Boise-area stop, the group will headline the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington.

Tool outdoors? At night? That sounds potentially awesome. If you could still get a ticket ... .

“To see The Gorge sell out 22,000 tickets in less than an hour,” Thornton says, “is insane.”

Online: Toolband.com, ICTickets.com.

Other major concerts

▪  Summer is getting closer, which means Outlaw Field is trickling out its schedule. The latest announcement: Michael Franti & Spearhead will return for a concert Thursday, Sept. 14. The towering rocker played Outlaw Field in 2015. I saw him last summer at the Huckleberry Jam at Tamarack Resort, where he delivered an uplifting, high-energy party.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. concert go on sale at 10 a.m. April 7 for $36.50 at Ticketmaster.

▪  Also outdoors: The Head and The Heart, who will visit the Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater on Friday, Aug. 11, with Gregory Alan Isakov and Blind Pilot. Tickets are $36 and $45 at ICTickets when they go on sale at 10 a.m. April 7.

▪  Singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot is headed back to Boise. He’s been booked for a concert Saturday, June 10, at the Egyptian Theatre. There will only be 720 tickets for that show, which starts at 8 p.m. and includes two sets with an intermission.

The Lightfoot concert goes on sale at 10 a.m. April 7 for $45, $75 and $100 at Ticketfly.

▪  But topping the high-end ticket price this week? Blues-rock guitar master Joe Bonamassa. He’s returning to the Morrison Center on Saturday, Oct. 7. You’ll pay anywhere from $89 to $149 at Ticketmaster — also starting at 10 a.m. April 7.

Huckleberry Jam lineup

Tamarack Resort will feel like Funkytown during the last weekend in July.

In its third year, The Huckleberry Jam festival will showcase an array of funk and jam bands including moe., Galactic, Lettuce, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and Con Brio. The festival near Donnelly takes place July 28 and 29, with a couple of bands performing July 27 at the campgrounds for early arrivals.

Huckleberry has always catered to jam-band enthusiasts. But in the past, it’s also provided nods to the mainstream with headliners such as Ben Harper in 2015 and Brandi Carlile and Michael Franti in 2016.

This year’s philosophy is more jammy, less mainstream — and all about wearing the soles off your dance Tevas.

Online: TheHuckleberryJam.com.

Michael Deeds: 208-377-6407, @michaeldeeds