Words & Deeds

Guess which band had the biggest crowd at the Western Idaho Fair in 2017?

In 2016, Foreigner drew 9,234 fans to the Western Idaho Fair.
In 2016, Foreigner drew 9,234 fans to the Western Idaho Fair. Statesman file photo

Does Boise love rock ‘n’ roll? Or around these parts, do ladies love country boys?

The Western Idaho Fair ended Sunday, which means it’s time for our annual breakdown of the free grandstand concerts.

Organizers usually split the shows between rock and country. (They’ve got us figured out, Idaho.) More often than not — at least in recent years — a country act is the biggest draw.

To estimate attendance, fair employees use a clicker counter. If a performance is full, when a few fans leave, a few more are allowed to enter.

Here are the numbers:

▪  On Tuesday, former “American Idol” winner Scott McCreery performed for about 6,100 country fans.

▪  On Wednesday, ’80s hitmakers Huey Lewis and the News proved the heart of rock ’n’ roll is still beatin’ with 12,200 concertgoers. “What a great show,” says Western Idaho Fair Director Bob Batista. “It’s one of the better shows I’ve seen.”

▪  Joan Jett & the Blackhearts braved wind and rain to perform for 6,700 fans on Thursday — a number that would have been bigger without good ol’ Idaho weather.

▪  But this year’s winner? Long-haired country boy Trace Adkins. The prospect of shakin’ their booties to “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” lured 12,800 fans Friday. That’s not including the folks who hung out in the bleachers behind the stage listening to the music.

Trace Adkins sold the most beer, too. “Lots of beer!” Batista confirms.

Adkins isn’t the biggest draw in Western Idaho Fair history. Last year, for example, Josh Turner piled up 13,103 fans — on a Tuesday night.

Just for fun, here are attendance numbers for the prior four years. Acts are listed in their order of performance.

• • •


Josh Turner – 13,103

Foreigner – 9,234

Sawyer Brown/LoCash – 6,157

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo – 11,582

• • •


Jerrod Niemann — 2,900

Theory of a Deadman — 4,200

Gary Allan — 8,900

Queensryche — 4,500

• • •


Seether — 6,500

Montgomery Gentry — 8,200

Doobie Brothers — 9,800

Thompson Square — 7,900

• • •


Los Cuates de Sinaloa — 2,500

Kutless — 4,000

Foreigner — 9,000

The Guess Who — 3,500

Brantley Gilbert — 9,000

Clay Walker — 6,500

• • •

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