When it comes to summer concerts, you can sum up 2016 with one word: Choices.
Has there ever been a year with so many venues competing for a slice of the pie in the Boise area? It’s good news for music fans, who have more options than ever. It also makes organizers work harder to ensure that prices are fair, beer lines aren’t too long — and that maximizing the consumers’ concert experience takes priority.
Dust off that low-back chair, slather on sunscreen and start marking your calendar. Here’s a look at what’s ahead.
Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater
16200 Idaho Center Blvd., Nampa. fordidahocenter.com
After being somewhat overshadowed in recent years, this 10,500-capacity amphitheater is enjoying a resurgence. With a huge Korn-Rob Zombie concert, not to mention The Warped Tour returning for the first time since 2011, Nampa will rock hard. Stay tuned for details about a still-unannounced electronic-dance-music (EDM) festival.
▪ Lecrae, Switchfoot: June 15
▪ Jacksons Country Stomp with The Band Perry, Eric Paslay, Jana Kramer, Chuck Wicks: June 16
▪ God and Country Festival with Andrew Palau, Ryan Stevenson: June 29 (free)
▪ Meghan Trainor, Hailee Steinfeld, Common Kings: July 14
▪ The Avett Brothers: July 25
▪ Korn, Rob Zombie, In This Moment: July 26
▪ Warped Tour: Aug. 11
▪ X-Fest featuring Breaking Benjamin, St. Asonia, Avatar, Shaman’s Harvest: Aug. 26
Outlaw Field at the Idaho Botanical Garden
2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. idahobotanicalgarden.org
Boise’s best-known outdoor concert venue opened early with Paul Simon, who sold out the 4,000-capacity venue. But it’s not all good news; Tears For Fears recently postponed its planned June 14 concert. If the Outlaw Field series finishes like it normally does, at least a couple of more concerts will be added in the coming weeks.
▪ Tony Bennett: June 2
▪ Phillip Phillips, Matt Nathanson, A Great Big World: July 14
▪ Josh Ritter, JJ Grey & Mofro: July 15
▪ Steve Miller Band: Aug. 21
▪ Needtobreathe, Matt Kearny, John Mark McMillan, Welshly Arms: Sept. 6
▪ Bonnie Raitt: Sept. 13
▪ Cyndi Lauper: Sept. 21
Summerfield Concerts at Memorial Stadium
5600 N. Glenwood St., Boise. summerfieldconcerts.com
Yo, baseball fans: Ever wonder what it would be like to sit in the outfield grass? Now you can. This modest four-show series doesn’t swing for the fence, but it’s making solid contact with the ball in its first year. Bonus: Lots of free parking.
▪ Leon Bridges, Solo Woods: May 30
▪ Boston w/Breakdown Boulevard: June 26
▪ Barenaked Ladies, OMD, Howard Jones: July 12
▪ Lord Huron, Trampled By Turtles: Aug. 17
Crooked Fence Brewing
3705 Idaho 16, Eagle. crookedfencebrewing.com/events
Formerly known as Crooked Flats, this Eagle brewery’s attractive site is presenting a handful of shows highlighted by the ’90s-themed Summerland Tour. One comforting guarantee: There will be local craft beer at these concerts.
▪ Blues and Bones Festival featuring Jake Leg, Ben Rice Trio, Mike Hammer and the Nails, Daniel Castro: June 11
▪ Midnight River Choir, Douglas Cameron, John Fricke: June 18
▪ Summerland Tour featuring Sugar Ray, Everclear, Lit, Sponge: Aug. 6
More outdoor options
▪ Alive After Five: Wednesdays June 1-Aug. 31, Basque Block, Boise. downtownboise.org
▪ Boise Music Festival featuring Coolio, Andy Grammer, Nelly, Daughtry: June 25, Expo Idaho, 5610 N. Glenwood St., Garden City. boisemusicfestival.com
▪ Rock the Village: Fridays July 8-Aug. 26, Village at Meridian. thevillageatmeridian.com
▪ Boise Blues Festival featuring Ana Popovic, Andy T-Nick Nixon Band, Smooth Avenue Band, BBS Scholars & Friends: July 17, Idaho Botanical Garden. boiseblues.org
▪ Sublime with Rome, Dirty Heads: July 22, Eagle Pavilion, Merrill Park, 500 E. Shore Drive, Eagle, cttouringid.com
▪ Canyon County Fair with Tracy Lawrence (July 29), Jon Nichols/David Ray (July 30): Canyon County Fairgrounds, 111 22nd Ave., Caldwell, canyoncountyfair.org
▪ Tour de Fat with Los Amigos Invisibles, Ssssnake!: Aug. 13, Ann Morrison Park, 1000 N. Americana Blvd., Boise. newbelgium.com.
▪ Blues and Bones Festival featuring Harlis Sweetwater Band, Lisa Mann, John Clifton Blues Band, Zack Quintana Band: Aug. 20, Eagle Island State Park, Eagle. bluesandbones.com
▪ Western Idaho Fair featuring Josh Turner (Aug. 23), Foreigner (Aug. 24), LoCash/Sawyer Brown (Aug. 25), Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (Aug. 26): Expo Idaho, 5610 N. Glenwood St., Garden City. idahofair.org
Pick up Scene magazine June 10 for a guide to outdoor music festivals in Idaho’s rural and mountain destinations, plus concerts at major regional venues such as The Gorge in Washington and Usana Amphitheatre near Salt Lake City.