The pitter-patter of rain, Clapton and the ghost of Hendrix

I just hung up with Peter Jackson, the Idaho Center's former assistant director. Peter also is the tour manager for Eric Clapton and a really great guy. They were being driven via Cadillac to the Comcast Center for an outdoor concert in Mansfield, Mass.

In the background, I could hear the voices of Clapton and guitarist Doyle Bramhall II. They were in the back seat. "They're talking about Jimi Hendrix," Peter told me. "And it's raining."

It makes me smile to know that Slowhand is chatting with a friend about Hendrix in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon. I guess that's what guitar players do.

Concert review: Rush, June 3, Idaho Center

When the opening notes of “Tom Sawyer” descended like a UFO landing on the Idaho Center, a shudder coursed down the spine of the darkened arena.

During moments like this, Rush lived up to its name.

In its first Treasure Valley appearance in more than a decade, the Canadian power trio delivered a marathon concert — two sets that lasted more than three hours on its “Snakes & Arrows” tour.

The rich sound created by three men was awesome to experience. Not only was Rush’s immensity near-breathtaking, but the band executed its ambitious music with CD perfection. These were true musicians.

Concert review: LeAnn Rimes, June 2, Idaho Botanical Garden

Two big questions hung over Monday evening’s concert with LeAnn Rimes.

Would her voice be up to the task? Rimes had canceled her prior two gigs — opening slots on Kenny Chesney’s tour — because of an inflamed vocal cord.

Perhaps more important, what would the experience be like at Boise’s newest outdoor concert location? This was the main curiosity for anyone interested in future events on Outlaw Field outside the Idaho Botanical Garden.

Rimes, 25, belted out the answer to the first question in song, reminding everyone why she jettisoned to star status when she was just 13.

Last night's "Other Studio"

—Garbage, "Only Happy When It Rains"
—Pieta Brown, "Sonic Boom" (June 4 Alive After Five)
—The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, "My Soul To Keep" (June 11)
—Bumpus, "Wasting Time," "The Reason" (June 18)
—Chicago Afrobeat Project, "Superstar #7" (June 25)
—LeAnn Rimes, "Family"

"The Other Studio" airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM "The River."

Weekend update: Rimes, Wilco, Sara Evans, Built To Spill

UPDATE JUNE 2: See Built To Spill below.

—Country-pop singer LeAnn Rimes expects to perform Monday, June 2, at the Idaho Botanical Garden even though she's canceled two gigs this week for health reasons. Still, it’s sort of a bummer, since it suggests she might not be at 100 percent for Boise.

—Don’t forget: Wilco tickets went on sale this morning for the Aug. 20 show at The Winery at Eagle Knoll. Based on how tickets moved during the first two or three hours at the Record Exchange — briskly but not at warp speed — there’s little danger that this concert will sell out. The Winery supposedly can handle about 2,500 fans.

Nugent! Candlebox! Puddle of Mudd!

We're busy putting together a special Scene summer guide, so my blogging may be sparse for a couple of days. But here are the latest club shows confirmed around town. UPDATED May 29:

Wayne Hancock, June 18, Grizzly Rose. "The master of hillbilly swing" headlined Alive After Five last year.
Phantom Planet, CANCELED: Just remember, actor Jason Schwartzman STILL isn't in this alt-rock band anymore.
Legendary Shack Shakers, July 11, Knitting Factory. Another smallish touring band migrates from Neurolux to the 1,000-pound-gorilla club in town. We'll see if the hillbilly-punk fans follow.

Sunday night's "Other Studio"

-David Cook, "Time of My Life"
-Carrie Underwood, "Last Name"
-R.E.M., "The One I Love"
-Beck, "Chemtrails"
-New Order, "Love Vigilantes"
-Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, "Billy, Don't Be a Hero"
-Pearl Jam, "Last Kiss"
-Donna Jean and the Tricksters, "All I Gotta Say"
-She & Him, "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?"

"The Other Studio" airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM "The River."

ZZ Top to play Idaho Center Amphitheater

Bearded, shaded, guitar-twirling rock icons ZZ Top will roll into Nampa's Idaho Center Amphitheater for a mid-week dose of Texas boogie Aug. 5.

A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, ZZ Top created a smoldering, bluesy sound in the ’70s that morphed into stylized mainstream rock in the ’80s, resulting in MTV saturation and Top 10 hits such as “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Legs” and “Sleeping Bag.”

Tickets to the 7 p.m. concert will be available as reserved or general admission. Prices are $29, $39 and $49. The show goes on sale at 10 a.m. May 30 at ICTickets. UPDATE: The pre-sale has started at www.ictickets.com. Password: LEGS

Big Easy, Knitting Factory, tomato, tomahto

Thousands of Treasure Valley music fans have been waiting anxiously for details on when The Big Easy Concert House will change its name to the Knitting Factory. Um, yeah.

Too bad, you're getting the info, anyway.

The club plans to put up the new "Knitting Factory" sign and officially acknowledge the changed moniker on June 21. That's the day of the Reverend Horton Heat/Supersuckers/Nashville Pussy concert. (Talk about a seriously rockin' lineup ... .)

P.S. Does anyone know if Nashville Pussy took its name from Ted Nugent's between-song motormouthing on the "Double Live Gonzo" recording of "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang"? Just a guess.

Anime epic "Bleach" coming to Edwards 21 for two nights

If you don’t quite “get” anime — those high-pitched Japanese cartoons that occasionally freak you out on late-night TV — perhaps seeing it on a larger screen will help?

“Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody” — based on a popular animated series by Japanese artist Tite Kubo — will be shown at 7:30 p.m. on June 11 and 12 at Edwards 21 Cinemas in Boise. The action film is dubbed in English ... not that it will help you have any idea what’s going on.

The plot has to do with unidentified beings called “Blanks,” as well as Soul Reapers and a potential clash between the World of the Living and Soul Society. As the slightly easier-to-grasp Scooby-Doo might say, “Zoyks!”

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