Words & Deeds

Guess which band had the biggest crowd at the Western Idaho Fair?

Audience numbers for Foreigner hit 9,234. But it wasn't the biggest grandstand draw in 2016.
Audience numbers for Foreigner hit 9,234. But it wasn't the biggest grandstand draw in 2016. Boise

Another Western Idaho Fair is in the books, which means it’s time for our annual dissection of Idaho music tastes.

When it comes to the grandstand concerts, it usually boils down to one thing — rock versus country — and the competition is always fierce.

Husband-and-wife rockers Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo definitely had fans jonesing for “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Love is a Battlefield.” Last year, they canceled their show the week before the fair. But this year’s increased anticipation — and the fact they gigged on a Friday — still wasn’t enough to earn the honor of biggest grandstand draw.

In 2016, that title goes to (drum roll, please) country singer Josh Turner, who pulled in a whopping 13,000 people. On a Tuesday, no less.

Here are attendance numbers for this year’s fair, which wrapped up Sunday. To gauge attendance, organizers use a clicker counter. When fans leave, more are allowed to enter. Just for fun — and because I’m the only nerd who keeps track of this stuff — I’ve also posted the attendance numbers for the past three years. Acts are listed in their order of performance.

• • • 

2016

Josh Turner – 13,103

Foreigner – 9,234 (Note: If you’re wondering why founding member Mick Jones was not on stage, I’m told it’s because he has been dealing with cardiovascular issues and wasn’t able to perform.)

Sawyer Brown/LoCash – 6,157

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo – 11,582

• • • 

2015

Jerrod Niemann — 2,900

Theory of a Deadman — 4,200

Gary Allan — 8,900

Queensryche — 4,500

• • • 

2014

Seether — 6,500

Montgomery Gentry — 8,200

Doobie Brothers — 9,800

Thompson Square — 7,900

• • • 

2013

Los Cuates de Sinaloa — 2,500

Kutless — 4,000

Foreigner — 9,000

The Guess Who — 3,500

Brantley Gilbert — 9,000

Clay Walker — 6,500

• • • 

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