Words & Deeds

Vote now: Which concert needs to come to Boise most? U2? Springsteen? Madonna?

Singer Bono of the band U2 performs at Twickenham Stadium in London in July. Will U2 ever come to Boise?
Singer Bono of the band U2 performs at Twickenham Stadium in London in July. Will U2 ever come to Boise? Invision/AP

After promoting concerts for 24 years in the Treasure Valley, Creston Thornton has gotten used to the question.

Why hasn’t so-and-so ever performed in Boise?

It follows him into restaurants. Taps his shoulder at sporting events. Shows up in his Eagle household.

“My wife always asks about Madonna,” says Thornton, who is president of promoter Live Nation’s mountain region. “Why haven’t I brought Madonna yet? I get from my daughter and the kids — Pink. Why haven’t I brought Pink? And I get from my older friends, like, AC/DC.”

But, dude, really. Why haven’t you?

“It’s not from lack of trying!” Thornton says, laughing.

Last week, Thornton had to break the news to Boiseans that Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band had postponed a Nov. 7 concert at Ford Idaho Center.

It got me thinking: Which performer that has never been to Boise would we love to see here most?

Cast your vote. There’s a poll below this column.

If you’ve lived here long enough, you’ve seen huge names. Eric Clapton. The Rolling Stones. Fleetwood Mac. Roger Waters. The Eagles. Rod Stewart. Neil Diamond. Elton John. Cher. Jimmy Buffett. Kenny Chesney. Taylor Swift. Metallica.

Even acts that you wouldn’t think have been to Boise? Um, they have. Break out tattered ticket stubs from 1988 and 1992, and you can prove that AC/DC and Garth Brooks headlined in Boise. Coldplay, too — in 2003. Jay-Z was here that same year. Beyonce followed in 2007.

That’s why those names are not part of my poll, which includes some of the largest-grossing tours in the last year or two.

You know who is listed in the poll? Paul McCartney. Earlier this year, there was even discussion of a July stadium date for McCartney on Boise State’s blue turf, Thornton says.

It didn’t work out. (Argh, right?)

Sir Paul is among a handful of performers that Thornton imagines would do eye-popping numbers here.

“McCartney, Pink, AC/DC, Bon Jovi and The Boss? Those would be, like, rub my hands together,” Thornton says.

(And, yes, Bon Jovi was here in 1989.)

Because of their size, some acts would probably have to be Albertsons Stadium shows or bust. McCartney or Madonna. Possibly U2.

(Come on, Boise State. Make it happen!)

On the other hand, who would have imagined Mick Jagger strutting inside the Idaho Center in 2006? Never say never.

As the biggest names in the touring industry get older, the chances to witness rock royalty keep dwindling. Tom Petty’s unexpected death underscores the importance of seeing your favorite act now. I’m grateful that I went to see Petty at Taco Bell Arena in 2014.

Bob Seger is 72. He’s undergoing treatment for a vertebrae problem. Will the Detroit rocker be able to reschedule his postponed date at the Idaho Center? “Hoping to be back on the road very soon,” Seger says on his website.

If you’re a fan, you’d better seize the opportunity if Seger does perform in Nampa.

Walter Becker of Steely Dan died in September. That same month, Aerosmith canceled the last four dates of its South American tour when singer Steven Tyler had “unexpected medical issues.”

“Rod Stewart may be doing his last tour,” Thornton continues. “Neil Diamond’s possibly doing his last tour.

“We’re kind of coming to the end of this whole era of music.”

I’m curious to see who wins the Boise poll. If it’s Justin Bieber or Ed Sheeran, maybe a new era has already arrived.

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