Words & Deeds

These two bands coming to Boise had 24 Top 40 hits. One hasn’t been here in 19 years.

Are you a fan of ’80s music? Do you STILL want your MTV?

ExtraMile Arena wants to transport you back in time.

Rock bands Journey and The Pretenders will perform a concert there May 20, 2020. That’s a Wednesday. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at Ticketmaster — mostly for $59.50-$149.50, although there are some higher prices for front-row seats or VIP packages. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., music starts at 7 p.m. An opening act will be announced later.

Journey is no stranger to Boise. The band’s last Idaho visit was in 2018, when it played at the Ford Idaho Center with Def Leppard. The year before that, it rolled into Boise State’s arena with Asia.

The Pretenders, on the other hand, are long overdue. The English-American group’s last Treasure Valley show was in 2000, when it opened for Neil Young in Nampa. (“Can you imagine, six weeks seeing him every night?” Chrissie Hynde said, before dropping to her knees and kissing the dusty Idaho Center stage.)

As most fans realize, both bands have had personnel shake-ups since their heydays. Journey frontman Steve Perry is long gone, replaced by younger soundalike Arnel Pineda. But the rest of Journey’s classic, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lineup remains intact. Gen-Xers and baby boomers still eagerly pack seats to hear hits such as “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Open Arms,” “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” and “Faithfully.”

Swaggering vocalist Hynde still stomps with The Pretenders, which is key to this double-bill tour. She’ll belt out pop-rock anthems such as “Back on the Chain Gang,” “Brass in Pocket (I’m Special)” and “Middle of the Road.” The Pretenders even still get played on Boise’s newest radio station, Magic 97.9, which spins their 1994 ballad “I’ll Stand By You.”

Depending on which source you trust, Journey has sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 to 100 million albums worldwide. The Pretenders? Around 25 million. Journey hit the Top 40 with 18 songs. The Pretenders did it six times.

In other words, better stop hollering at your kids (or grandkids) a few days in advance and save your voice. You’re going to want to sing along the entire night.

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Michael Deeds is an entertainment reporter and columnist at the Idaho Statesman, where he also has been a sportswriter, entertainment editor and features editor. Deeds co-hosts “The Other Studio,” a one-hour music show, at 8 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.
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