Summer Outdoor Concerts 2006 

A few places to find great music this season

One of the best things about summer is outdoor concerts, baby. Whether you like classical, hip-hop, metal or experimental music, standing around listening to a live musical performance with a bunch of other people who share your love is one of the joys of the warm months. This summer, the concert lineups are outstanding, so you might want to spread your two-week vacation around a bit to make sure you catch it all.

Starting this weekend, there's the Eagle Island Experience Festival on May 19, 20 and 21 at, of course, Eagle Island State Park. On Friday, events start at 4 p.m. and there's music by the Cosmic Family Band, Phoenix and Afterbuffalo, Farmdog and the Dukes of Ted. On Saturday, the fun starts at 9 a.m. and along with all the workshops and games, you can enjoy performances by New Monsoon, Free Peoples, Xander Green, Eleven Eyes, Jupiter Holiday, Jimmy Bivens and Rifka. Come back on Sunday at 9 a.m. and you'll be treated to the Red River Pow-Wow Association, Travis Ward, Buckskin Bible Revue, Spudpickers, Travelin' Travis, Great American Taxi with Vince Herman (of Leftover Salmon), Taarka and Cairo Fusion. Tickets are $5 per day or $10 for a three-day pass, (children 12 and under get in free) and can be purchased at Terrapin Station, Eyes of the World or here at Boise Weekly.

Of course, one of the best ongoing outdoor shows, Alive After Five, brings high-caliber music right into the heart of downtown Boise. The first show is June 7 and is going to set the tone for the rest of summer when David Andrews Band takes the stage. If you want a good seat (read: place to stand) get there early, because the Grove is going to be packed full of people. The other acts on tap for Wednesdays through September include (in order): Mingo Fishtrap, Illsauce, Hot Buttered Rum, Taarka, Old School Freight Train, Jim Morris, Robbie Fulks, The Biscuit Burners, The Derailers, Dirty Martini, Warsaw, Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys and Little Big Man. That leaves a couple of Wednesdays unaccounted for, but Boise Weekly is a sponsor of Alive After Five, so check back each week for updates.

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts offers a summer concert series that's will also draw huge crowds. Public Radio opens for Blue Highway on June 24, Beau Soleil and Michael Doucet perform July 27 and on August 27, Rosanne Cash and special guest Jerry Douglas will surely put on an amazing show. And last, but so not least, on August 31, Bonnie Raitt and Keb' Mo' round out the series in grand style. Ticket prices and venues vary, but all shows start at 7 p.m. Contact Sun Valley Center for the Arts for more information at (208) 726-9491 or visit

The Ste. Chapelle Winery also offers a great summer concert series each summer. Just like last year, Steve and Marcus Eaton kick off the Winery series on Father's Day (June 18), with a special performance. Fat John Nemeth comes back to wow us all on June 26 and on July 2, Red, White and Blue Grass and the Buckhorn Mountain Boys help celebrate Independence Day. July 9 is special with Cherie Buckner and Billy Mitchell putting on a Gene Harris Memorial Concert and Stars on the Water play their special island-style music on July 16. August 13 is a performance by jazz musician Chris Cain, Caliente plays their fiery Latin sounds on September 24, and October 1 brings the concert series to a grand close with Highstreet. All concerts are $10 per person (children 13 and under are free) and music is from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Visit for more information.

In July, the first Sawtooth Music Festival will be held in Stanley, with proceeds benefiting the Stanley Community School. Free Peoples, Blue Turtle Seduction, Farmdog, Fred Crabtree among others will provide music from noon until dark at Pioneer Park in Stanley. Adults get in for $20, people 55 and older get in for $15 and children 12 and under are free. Camping is permitted for $5 per vehicle. Visit for more information.

There are plenty of other terrific outdoor concert series happening this summer--look for Loserpalooza, Rock the Mountain and more. One I'm especially looking forward to is the Sasquatch Festival at the Gorge. I realize it's not being held locally nor does it feature local acts, but a number of people from around here are going (myself included), so it definitely bears mentioning.

The Sasquatch festivities start on Friday evening, May 26, and include Nine Inch Nails, Bauhaus, HIM, TV On The Radio, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, deadboy & the Elephantmen, Wolfmother and the Trucks. On Saturday, the party gets started earlier, so there's time for all of the amazing acts, spread out across three stages: Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, the Flaming Lips, the Shins, the Tragically Hip, Neko Case, Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Gomez, Rogue Wave, Sam Roberts, Constantines, Architecture In Helsinki, Bedouin Soundclash, Band of Horses, Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Matt Costa, Tim Seely, Korby Lenker, Common Market, Slender Means, David Ford, Elvis Perkins and Brett Dennen. My concert partner and I will then drive back to our motel and try to get some rest, because on Sunday, Sunday, Sunday (May 28), we'll be treated to another intense round of heavy hitters, including Beck, Death Cab For Cutie, Queens of the Stone Age, Matisyahu, the Decemberists, Nada Surf, Arctic Monkeys, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Blue Scholars, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, We Are Scientists, Chad Vangaalen, the Heavenly States, Damien Jurado, Jamie Liddell, Ben Lee, Rocky Votolato, Laura Veirs, Mercir, the Village Green, Headphones, Big Japan and Big City Rock. Whew! Check for more information.

So have your sunglasses, sunscreen and picnic basket at the ready, because there are plenty of terrific outdoor concerts to keep you entertained all summer long.

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