Concert review: Joe Walsh, Revolution Center, Aug. 22


Update: Wondering about the sound? Parking? How many bathrooms? Today's Scene cover story about the Revolution Center is here.


With age, comes patience.

You wouldn’t have known it from the seemingly endless stream of baby boomers griping that they didn’t have chairs. (Always the case at an over-50 show with limited festival seating.)

But Joe Walsh knows it. And much like a concert by his other little band, The Eagles, Walsh’s show required patience before he took 1,800 fans on a rockin’ nostalgia ride.

“Welcome to opening night!” he proclaimed, adding a quirky Walsh-ism that drew laughter. “What a good idea.

First song: “Welcome to the Club.” It was appropriate — and typical of the set’s first half. Although the initial 45 minutes were entertaining (particularly the James Gang’s “Walk Away” and the title track to his latest album, “Analog Man”), they felt a little like an engine warming up. At 64, Walsh may not be a whirlwind on stage, but his unique, high-pitched singing voice remains pure. And his guitar prowess? Still smooth, satisfying and heavy on the whammy bar.

Unrestricted by the disciplined Eagles, Walsh let his backing singers handle vocals on a tribute to Levon Helm (“I Shall Be Released”) and uncorked a mind-blowing, lava-lamp jam of “Turn to Stone,” fiddling with his ax like he was in his bedroom.

That’s when the concert morphed into a party. Fans exploded as Walsh launched into “In the City,” made rich by his nine-piece backing band. (Two drummers and a percussionist? Yes!) Then Walsh busted out his immortal “Funk #49” James Gang groove.

Uh-oh. Here we go.


“Life’s Been Good” sent the room into a soul-releasing, euphoric singalong. You didn’t need to say a word to the stranger next to you; just sing about your Maserati and smile back. Walsh bounded to each side of the stage, ripping notes from his guitar. He did a one-legged Chuck Berry hop. Walsh’s dancing back-up singers couldn’t wipe the grins from their faces. (Life’s been good? Yep. What a job they have!)

By the time Walsh encored with “Rocky Mountain Way” and “Life in the Fast Lane,” he looked like he’d given the night everything he had — sweaty, buoyant and spent.

Just like his audience.


Go here for photos from the Walsh concert and opening night of the Revolution Center.

Check out tomorrow's Scene magazine for a cover story about the venue itself. If you're wondering, yes — the sound in the room was solid.



I don't have to hear joe walsh commercials on EVERY radio station 8 times an hour anymore. Could be worse, we could still be listening to george thoroughbad commercials at the same rate...

Now that the airspace is available you can instead hear a

commercial about a tire shop or the next new diet


Yes now they will have more room to put more rap (hip hop) stuff on. You know, the junk that some people call music. Who doesn't like Joe Walsh?

How many hip-hop stations was that ad on?

It was on a couple COUNTRY stations...


You fry wants with that?

An okay opening act for the Revolution

Joe Walsh played a great music show for Boise fans last night. His voice and guitar skills are still amazing. He was a solid pick to open the Revolution Concert House. What was less amazing was the overhyped and overpriced "VIP" tickets offered by Revolution. For three times the price of a regular ticket (an extra $100 per ticket), "VIP" fans were given a separate entry door and access to an upstairs seating (or should I say standing) area. Yup. That's about all you got for the extra Benjamin. Are you kidding me, Creston Thornton? I recently attended a Ringo Starr concert in Salt Lake City that offered VIP parking and special entry door for an extra $25. That was reasonable. Oh, and did I mention that this VIP area doesn't have a designated smoking area? Revolution will give Boise a lot of great music acts and for that I am grateful. Just don't rip off the fans with the special "VIP" pricing that is ridiculously overpriced. My VIP ticket should have provided a special area closest to the stage on the grould floor as well as the upper balcony seating area. That might have made the VIP tickets worth the extra money. Shame on you, Creston!


Even for a $50/ticket it was too much.
Cactus Pete's has a similar great show coming up- tickets $20/25/30.

Here's a recent recap-
two weeks ago I paid less that $2 for a Coors Light at a music venue
Last week I paid $4 for Coors cans/bottle
Last night, Revolution sold Coors can/bottle for $5 a can. Notice I did not buy one.
The band was awesome!!! Sound system was great.

The venue needs some work. More bartenders. Cheaper drink prices.

How many in attendence were freebie tickets by radio contests, etc?

Out of curiosity

Thanks for the comments. I agree, the sound was pretty dang good, especially for an opening night. Part of it was because the sound engineer didn't try to blow the ceiling off the place with volume.

Out of curiosity, who does Cactus Pete's have coming up that's on the level of Joe Walsh? Inquiring minds want to know. I scanned the schedule, and I'm stumped.

As for drink prices, yeah, it is what it is. I haven't done a specific comparison between the Revolution and Knit, but go to a concert house — or a Hawks game, or the Western Idaho Fair, etc. — you're basically paying around $5 for a Coors Light. If you're paying $2 at a "music venue," it's actually a bar with a stage. At least those were 16-ounce cans (and draft cups) at the Revolution. I've seen 12-ounce draft cups elsewhere, which doesn't fool anyone. Bottom line, beer prices sting, but that's the business nowadays. Concessions is where the profit is made.


That "level" would be a PAST hit maker still making the rounds.
He's not exactly Aerosmith.
How many of the audience PAID for a ticket?

And as the review clearly states, his recent stuff did not spark the audience and not until the oldies did The Deeds feel the Funk.

The big hits were him as a part of a band. His "level" is just like Glen Frey and Don Henley where they are 1 part of a bigger band.

And I think "that level" of PAST hit makers includes
The Bellamy Brothers for sure - 20 #1s, 20+ albums, and STILL together.
Blue Oyster Cult (for their fans)
even Lorrie Morgan/Pam Tillis for the Country fans.

Maybe not on the same level for you, but since you are more a head-banger Deeds, it's understandable why you are stumped.

I did like it. Was singing all night long.
But then, I'm not sure I would pay $160 to see anyone from a 100ft away... Well, maybe Jesus if he were in concert.

Ah, OK ...

Look, I love me some Cactus Pete's. But this "level" comparison — when it comes to ticket prices — is a math thing. Blue Oyster Cult and the Bellamy Brothers ("Let Your Love Flow," yeah baby!) aren't on the same level based on the fact that they can't command as high of a guarantee as Walsh. Promoters won't pay it. Walsh is worth more in ticket revenue.

That said, I do remember seeing Blue Oyster Cult rock Bogie's in 1999. Tickets were $12. And they played The Big Easy for an $18.50 ticket in 2002.


i hear what you are singing.

I also think it's a promotors game- give lots of tickets away to radio in exchange for ads and bump up the price for the paying customer.

sell 1,000 @ $50 or 2,000 @$25 Or some mix of that.
In any case- a promotor wants 2,000 people there, right?

It's all about money. That's just LIFE IN THE FAST LANE!

No man. Everything HOT is at Northern Quest in Spokane.


You fry wants with that?

Thanks, Joe!

for rockin' the opening of the Revolution Concert House!

Nice venue, great sound.

Parking was tight because of the fair, although when leaving we were able to get onto Glenwood within 30 seconds of starting the car. The 80's videos were grainy. And I couldn't see why anyone would pay much extra for VIP seating.

We'll be back.

Thank you Joe,

Thank you Joe for the great show.

My comment is to the Revolution Concert House. Please, we baby boomers do want a place to sit down, and a table to set our drink on so we can stand up and give Joe a well deserved standing applause. Look, we didn't snivel about the V.I.P. Ticket price, we simply wanted the value associated with that price. The $40 General Admission gave opportunity for those who wanted to get close, stand up and sway, and spill beers on the floor. We are 60 years old and have 60 year wives! We expected and deserved a little more class and that is why we were glad to pay the $160, for that is what we were expecting. I was even 40 minutes early and still no place to sit down!

If "second story" S.R.O. (Standing Room Only) is what you call V.I.P.; It is what I call S.H.M.U.C.K. and that is how I felt treated.

Put enough tables and chairs on both floors and sell those seats as Reserved V.I.P. I would be happy with that and that would make the price of that ticket worth a little more. Boise is my town too and I simply want to see these great musicians play without having to travel to the Gibson Amphitheatre in LA, the Peppermill in Wendover, the House of Blues in Vegas, etc. simply to have a place to SIT, without having to deal with some 6'7" guy in the Cowboy Hat muscle his way in front of us.

joe walsh

it was a great show!

at 53 years young i have to say that i was delighted to be able to stand on the floor close to the stage and watch joe play. as were many other "old folks" around me. maybe more tables/chairs in back, but leave us room to stand in front and dance. elevate the seating so it isn't an issue. i was pleasantly surprised with the sound, not so thrilled with the limited selection of booze or the prices ($9 for a Maker's, and no Jack?), but at least the pricing kept my consumption down and i suspect the selection will improve when the bar and wells get there. looking forward to seeing more shows at revolution-

Joe Walsh VIP Tickets

First, the good stuff. Joe was amazing! What a great opening show. Thank you for bringing him here and thank you Joe for coming! The sound was good. I liked how the place looked. The staff was very helpful and friendly. It’s wonderful to have this size venue in Boise.
Now, the not so good stuff.
When I first considered spending $149 for a ticket just because I’ve been a huge Joe fan for over 40 years (yes, I’m one of those boomers and no, I don’t want to see him with his “other little band”), I looked at the venue layout. I read the description “Includes raised viewing area, private no-host bar, and seating. This show only, VIP ticket holders will have access to the upstairs private lounge and balcony.” I assumed that between the VIP platform aka “raised viewing area” (what happened to that?) and the VIP balcony (two separate areas) there would be ample seating and room for 100 people. I knew that I could wander around at will if I felt like it, but wanted a seat available when I was ready to sit. I mean, who would want to pay that much to stand for three hours? Perhaps Mr. Deeds doesn’t think paying $149 a ticket warranted a seat (if, indeed, that much actually came out of his pocket), but judging by the look of disbelief on the faces of other VIP patrons when they saw what they’d paid for, I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Add to this the dismal liquor inventory and inadequate ventilation.
I realize there were difficulties and glitches because it was opening night, but that should be the vendor’s problem, not the customer’s. Please, Mr. Thornton, understand that treating your customers poorly is simply bad business.