Music News & Reviews

Road trips: Outdoor concerts and music festivals in Idaho, Utah, Washington

It’s tough to beat the view at the Gorge Amphitheatre, which is about seven hours from Boise.
It’s tough to beat the view at the Gorge Amphitheatre, which is about seven hours from Boise.

Whether you want to drive one hour or several hours, music beckons from the mountains.

There are laid-back, dependable Idaho veterans such as the Summer Music Festival at Roseberry and the Yellow Pine Music and Harmonica Festival. On the other hand, second-year newbies The Huckleberry Jam and Mountain Home Country Music Festival offer bigger names.

And if you’re looking to get out of the Gem State entirely, tons of outdoor concerts await you in relatively nearby Salt Lake City or at the scenic Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Wash. — a true bucket list venue.

Launder that sleeping bag and start planning your summer.

Stanley Sawtooth Mountain Musicfest

Mountain Village Resort, Stanley, mountainvillage.com

▪  June 18: Shane Smith & The Saints, John D. Hale, Rust on the Rails, Two Tons of Steel, Matt Skinner Band, Kenny Saunders

▪  July 2: Suzy Bogguss, Carrie Rodriguez, Bri Bagwell, Eilen Jewell, Jeanne Jolly, Kimberly Dunn, Sweet Lillies

Eilen Jewell in Idaho City

July 10, Idaho City Amphitheater (behind Idaho City rodeo grounds), eilenjewell.com

The Americana singer-songwriter and her band, plus an opener. “We want to see what it is like to have a concert in Idaho City,” Jewell says. “Will people come up from the valley? Will locals be excited and support live music in the community? Hopefully the answer is yes. The goals for us are to learn from the experience and get people excited about concerts up there. If that happens, then one day in the future, we can host a music festival on my family land in Idaho City.”

Summer Music Festival at Roseberry

July 14-16, about a mile east of Donnelly, thesummermusicfestival.com

Featuring The Lil’ Smokies, Spring Fever Bluegrass Band, Jeff Austin Band, Jon Wayne & The Pain, Scott Pemberton, more.

Mountain Home Country Music Festival

July 29-31, rural Elmore County (30 minutes from Mountain Home), mountainhomefestival.com

Country music and camping at this large-scale festival. More than 20 acts including headliners Brantley Gilbert, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean, plus Colt Ford, Randy Houser, Tyler Farr, Pam Tillis, Old Dominion, more.

Yellow Pine Music and Harmonica Festival

Aug. 5-7, Yellow Pine, yellowpinemusicandharmonicafestival.org

Drive 150 miles north of Boise to hear killer harmonica jams, party down and camp for three days. This unique Idaho event is rolling into its 27th year.

Jazz on Jug Mountain (at McCall Jazz Festival)

Aug. 6, southeast of McCall, curtisstigers.com

The outdoor component of the fourth McCall Jazz Festival (Aug. 3, 5, 6) is, according to organizers, at “a beautiful new location with lots of shade, great food and beverage featuring Curtis Stigers, Paul Wells, The Sneider Brothers, Emily Braden, Matthew Fries, Cliff Schmitt and more on stage for an unforgettable night of jazz.”

Huckleberry Jam

Aug. 11-13, Tamarack Resort, Donnelly, thehuckleberryjam.com

In its second year, this laid-back mountain-town festival delivers another excellent lineup: Michael Franti, Brandi Carlile, Lake Street Dive, Robert Randolph, Beats Antique, more. Don’t forget to take a free ski lift ride.

Braun Brothers Reunion Festival

Aug. 11-13, Challis Community Stage, Challis, braunbrothersreunion.com

Get ready for the town population to double in size (at least). Performers include Micky and the Motorcars, Alejandro Escovedo, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Turnpike Troubadours, Cody Canada and the Departed, Hayes Carll, Reckless Kelly, Paul Thorn, Jonathan Tyler, more.

Sawtooth Valley Gathering

Aug. 19 and 20, Sawtooth Valley Pioneer Park, Stanley, sawtoothvalleygathering.com

Twenty-plus performances on two stages with a wide variety of music and acts including Scott Pemberton, Fruition, Hot Buttered Rum, Free Peoples, Blue Lotus, Gipsy Moon and lots of Idaho bands.

Sun Valley Pavilion

300 Dollar Road, Sun Valley, Facebook or sunvalley.com

Covered pavilion seating plus open grassy area.

▪  Collin Raye: June 28

▪  The Midtown Men: July 3

▪  Sun Valley Summer Symphony: Aug. 1-18

▪  Foreigner: Aug. 20

▪  Vince Gill w/Amy Grant: Aug. 30

▪  Kelli O’Hara, Nathan Gunn: Sept. 2

▪  Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real: Sept. 5

River Run Lodge

520 River Run Drive, Ketchum, sunvalleycenter.org

▪  Mavis Staples and The James Hunter Six: July 29

▪  Emmylou Harris w/Ian Janco: Aug. 8

▪  Lake Street Dive and Gregory Alan Isakov: Aug. 17

The Gorge Amphitheatre

754 Silica Road NW, George, Wash., livenationvenue.com/gorge-amphitheatre, ticketmaster.com

About a seven-hour drive from Boise. Breathtaking view of the Columbia Gorge canyon.

▪  Paradiso Festival: June 24, 25

▪  Phish: July 15, 16

▪  Dead & Company: July 23

▪  Watershed Festival (Weekend 1): July 29-31 SOLD OUT

▪  Watershed Festival (Weekend 2): Aug. 5-7

▪  Dave Matthews Band: Sept. 2-4

Usana Amphitheatre

5150 S. 6055 West, West Valley City, Utah, usana-amp.com

20,000-capacity outdoor venue just outside of Salt Lake City.

▪  Steely Dan w/Steve Winwood: June 14

▪  Jason Aldean: June 24

▪  Boston: June 25

▪  Bret Michaels w/Ratt, Dokken, Warrant, Lita Ford: July 9

▪  G-Eazy, Logic, YG & Yo Gotti: July 10

▪  Pitbull: July 12

▪  The Piano Guys: July 16

▪  Korn, Rob Zombie: July 20

▪  Keith Urban: July 21

▪  Weezer and Panic at the Disco: July 26

▪  Florida Georgia Line: July 29

▪  Slipknot, Marilyn Manson: Aug. 9

▪  Josh Groban: Aug. 20

▪  Journey and the Doobie Brothers: Aug. 21

▪  5 Seconds of Summer: Aug. 26

▪  Lynyrd Skynyrd: Aug. 27

▪  Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Cheap Trick: Aug. 29

▪  The Dixie Chicks: Sept. 2

▪  Black Sabbath: Sept. 11

▪  Def Leppard w/REO Speedwagon, Tesla: Sept. 16

▪  Dierks Bentley: Sept. 17

▪  Blink-182: Sept. 22

▪  Mumford & Sons: Sept. 26

▪  Luke Bryan: Sept. 30-Oct. 1

Cactus Petes Outdoor Amphitheater

1385 U.S 93, Jackpot, Nev., ticketmaster.com

▪  Fiesta Carnaval Latina w/Paul Rodriguez: June 24

▪  Fiesta Carnaval Latina w/Ramon Ayala: June 25

▪  Chicago: July 10

Red Butte Garden

300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, redbuttegarden.org

Many of the shows at this 3,000-capacity amphitheater are sold out in advance. Here are concerts that had tickets remaining at press time. Bonus: Red Butte Garden is a BYOB venue.

▪  The Monkees: June 16

▪  Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros w/Preservation Hall Jazz Band: June 20

▪  case/lang/veirs: July 8

▪  JJ Grey & Mofro, Josh Ritter: July 14

▪  Boz Scaggs: July 19

▪  Gary Clark Jr.: July 31

▪  Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos, North Mississippi Allstars: Aug. 7

▪  Culture Club: Aug. 8

▪  Pablo Villegas performs Aranjuez with the Utah Symphony: Aug. 11

▪  Kacey Musgraves: Sept. 8

▪  Needtobreathe: Sept. 13

▪  Jason Isbell: Sept. 15

Michael Deeds: 208-377-6407, @michaeldeeds

Arts festivals

Pick up Scene magazine June 17 for a guide to summer arts festivals in Idaho.

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