Words & Deeds

Michael Deeds: Readers provide history of concerts at Boise State stadium

Last week, I wrote about the idea of Albertsons Stadium hosting concerts — specifically, concerts more ambitious than the April 11 show by pop singer Jordin Sparks after the Broncos spring football game. Say ... Paul McCartney?

In that column, I posed a question: Was the Sparks gig really the first stadium show in the entire history of Boise State?

By 9 a.m., I had my answer. Actually, lots of answers, thanks to readers who emailed with names such as “Boise old timer.”

I’d like to thank them for the fascinating history lesson. And since I’m on vacation this week, printing some of the responses seems like a fun way to fill this space. From my inbox:

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I went to a Canned Heat concert around 1973. It was great, don’t remember any others there, most others like Uriah Heap and Neil Sedaka were in the old gym.

• Charlie Daniels played the stadium about 25-30 years ago. And I think there was someone else, too, about that time, but I can’t remember who it was.

• I have a clear memory of two “concerts” at BSU Stadium, and I’m sure both were in the new concrete stadium, though at least one was likely before the blue turf was installed. Some sort of city event, perhaps Fourth of July, featured The Pointer Sisters. I know because one of my kids won some sort of door prize and had to walk out to get it. Also, I’m sure Carole King did a concert once, likely as a benefit for some cause. I remember her new man came riding out in bucksins on a white horse.

• Carole King did an outdoor affair there around 1980. Let a bunch of balloons fly to start — on a perfect evening.

• This is not the first concert at the stadium, but is first on “the blue”. I was a freshman in 1971 and I saw Poco, Canned Heat, and Cold Blood. The stadium was 1 year old. I recently retired after 42+ years at BSU, the last 15 at Taco Bell Arena. I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to exact years, but it must have been between 1970 and about 1983.

• I remember a few in the late ’70s. They would set up the stage on the turf facing the west side of the stadium. I remember a Charlie Daniels Band show there around the time that “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” was a big hit. There was an Allman Brothers Band show in there too. They also had a local “Battle of the Bands” in there around that time. A local band that emphasized Foghat covers won ha ha.

So there you have it. How about it, Boise State? Can we get this party started again in 2015?

Of course, one reader claimed almost not to want McCartney to visit Albertsons Stadium:

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As nice as it would be to get The Cute One to Boise, I’d almost hate to have it happen. I caught his shows last summer in Missoula (yes, really) and SLC. At both shows I was close enough (3rd row) to have him notice me waving his current LP (yes, really), “New.” At the end of the SLC show, he pointed to one of his security guys to grab it so he could sign it for me ... If he ever comes to Boise, how am I gonna top that story?

Michael Deeds co-hosts “The Other Studio” at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.

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