This is one of those weeks where there are so many – too many – things to do, just on the concert front.
Blue Öyster Cult. Pat Benatar. Jake Shimabukuro. Arlo Guthrie. Manchester Orchestra. Los Lonely Boys. Steep Canyon Rangers. The Eli Young Band. Old school rock, old school folk, “Texican” rock, bluegrass and country.
Add to this a second tribute to Spokane’s own Mildred Rinker Bailey, the legendary jazz singer and member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, featuring Julia Keefe. Keefe, along with vocalist Heather Villa, will fete Bailey tonight in Spokane, at the Bing Crosby Theater. On Tuesday night, Keefe, herself a Nez Perce Indian, will team up with the NIC Jazz Ensemble and Cardinal Vocal Jazz for a free concert at North Idaho College’s Boswell Hall, 1000 W. Garden Ave.
Getting back to Blue Öyster Cult, it’s been a few years since BÖC has been in our area, performing their classic hits “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper,” “Burning for You” and “Godzilla.” One of their more memorable shows in the area may have been back in 1976, when the band was among the headliners at Nor’wester, a music festival at the Northwest Speedway at Stateline that was promoted as a West Coast Woodstock. Although they played their set, promoters pulled plug early after other headliners such as Bachman-Turner Overdrive never showed. The result? Hundreds of disgruntled fans rioted. Someone drove a 100-foot-crane into the empty stage. Others set fire to trucks and buildings on the site, causing roughly $250,000 in damage – a lot in 1976.
It’s beyond unlikely that there will be riots on Sunday night on the West Plains as the band performs at Northern Quest Resort & Casino. In short, don’t fear the Blue Öyster Cult.