Words & Deeds

You voted, Boise. Here are the concerts you want the most

Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam performed at the Idaho Center in 2000, but that didn’t stop readers from requesting a return visit.
Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam performed at the Idaho Center in 2000, but that didn’t stop readers from requesting a return visit. Invision/AP

Last week, I posted an online poll asking readers which concert that hasn’t been to Boise needs to come here.

The top five vote getters: U2 (29 percent), Madonna (16 percent), Bruce Springsteen (14 percent), Paul McCartney (10 percent) and Pink / The Who (tie, 5 percent).

Two things struck me.

First of all, reader response was inherently flawed. I knew this going in. Lots of people commented on Facebook but presumably didn’t read the column or vote. So they didn’t understand that the poll was only for acts that had never been here.

Secondly, the recent poll about chain restaurants coming to Boise has racked up more than four times as many votes. Wow. I’m not sure what that says about us, Idaho. Can’t talk about it, anyway. Mouth will be too full of that new Arby’s Venison Sandwich.

Creston Thornton, president of promoter Live Nation’s mountain region, shared the column and poll on Facebook. He got plenty of requests that bands do repeat performances.

“A lot of people on my Facebook page were saying Guns N’ Roses now that they’ve gotten back together,” he says. “A lot of people want Pearl Jam back. Metallica, also.”

The U2 victory was not a surprise. But Thornton thought Springsteen and Bon Jovi might finish even stronger than they did in the poll or comments. (Bon Jovi did not qualify for the poll. Sorry, they did a 1989 concert here.)

“I think those are sellout shows,” he says.

Thornton wasn’t fazed that Pink and Justin Bieber didn’t finish stronger. Perhaps the demographic that voted skewed older?

On the other hand, Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion didn’t fare well, either. Those are older demo concerts.

“Those are still big shows,” Thornton says.

AC/DC wasn’t included in the poll because they played here in 1988. But AC/DC would be massive — maybe even U2 huge, Thornton says. “Boise’s a rockin’ town.”

The good news: All these concerts are possibilities, he says.

“I don’t think anything’s off the table. Based especially on some of the bigger acts that we’ve been continuing to bring over the years. And the bigger Boise gets, the more acts that are going to come here.”

As I mentioned last week, an act the size of U2 might require Boise State to take initiative and do whatever it can to throw down the red carpet onto the blue turf.

“I think you could look at the numbers and try to figure out 11,000, 12,000 people in the round at one of the arenas,” Thornton says. “But a show like U2 — in the production they’re carrying on this tour — would have to be a stadium show.”

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