Boise makes lots of lists ranking the best places to live.
But best places to rock?
Now that the Rolling Stones have given the Treasure Valley the nod, you might assume that the sky is the limit when it comes to future concerts.
And it is. But, realistically, the Stones "A Bigger Bang" tour won't have a meteor-like impact on anything — except 10,000 or 11,000 wallets.
"The Stones are probably as big as any act in the world," says Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of Pollstar, a trade magazine covering the concert industry. "That doesn't necessarily mean that U2 or Paul McCartney will roll into town soon."
Not soon. But, possibly, later.
Credit for bringing the Stones goes to Philadelphia-based arena management company SMG, which has been employed by the City of Nampa to handle the Idaho Center since October 2005. Idaho Center General Manager Craig Baltzer works for SMG.
It helps to have connections. The Treasure Valley has neither the population base nor the 20,000-seat arena to make it a high-profile concert stop.
But past successes by the Eagles, Eric Clapton and Cher — and, soon, the Stones — make us more than a blip on the live-music map.
"If you prove the market area will support an act like the Stones and draw a large enough crowd to generate a lot of money, that gets everybody's attention," Bongiovanni says. "And suddenly, playing Boise or Nampa is ... not a ridiculous idea."
Local promoter Bravo Entertainment secured a hold date for U2 at the Idaho Center late last year. But the tour wound up routing elsewhere, meaning ... maybe next time.
When it comes to secondary markets like Boise, concert fans just have to be patient.
"It's always a waiting game," explains Paul Thornton, president of Bravo. "It's 'Get Eric Clapton' and 'Get Tom Petty,' but you get them after they've kind of realized that they need a break from primary markets this year."
Even a band like the Rolling Stones can only play the major cities so many times before it risks drying up the well.
"You can't keep playing New York and L.A. over and over again," Bongiovanni says. "You've got to get out and play the rest of the country if you're going to be around that often."
The Stones will play Dodger Stadium after the Idaho Center. But the "Bigger Bang" tour also will visit Missoula, Mont.
(Kind of gives hope to Butte for a possible REO Speedwagon show or something, doesn't it?)
Years ago, I would have mocked any Idahoan suggesting a concert from the Stones, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Buffett, Barbra Streisand, even The Who.
"You can never say never," Thornton says.
Except for Madonna. I'd bet the farm — heck, every farm in Nampa — against the Material Girl ever getting a whiff of the sugar beet factory.
STONES TICKETS: Organizers are proceeding as if the public on-sale to the Nov. 14 Rolling Stones concert at the Idaho Center will be 10 a.m. Aug. 7 at ICTickets. No on-sale date has been announced formally, nor have ticket prices. But expect tickets to cost from about $60 to $350. A firm on-sale date and prices are expected to be set today or Monday. "It will be soon," Baltzer promises.
MOVED: The Aug. 22 Doobie Brothers/Little River Band show at Warm Springs in Sun Valley has been moved to River Run. ... The Nickel Creek show Aug. 12 at Warm Springs in Sun Valley has been moved to The Big Easy in Boise.
MAS TEQUILA: If you're over 21 and one of the first 100 people to buy a shot of Cabo Wabo tequila Wednesday at The Big Easy's "Club Fresh," you'll get a free ticket to the Aug. 8 Sammy Hagar concert at the Idaho Center Amphitheater.