Heading inland, the options for summer entertainment don't dry up. It's all wide-open spaces, and the options for summer music entertainment are just as vast as the landscape. From cow town rodeo festivities to the angriest and most disturbing strains of metal imaginable, a few tanks of gas can take concertgoers just about anywhere they'd like to go.
Boise Music Festival
Popular music of every stripe gets a turn at the Boise Music Festival. Pop-rockers Train headline, running through its litany of hits, including 2001's "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)." Sir Mix-a-Lot will continue glorifying butts and rapper Sky Blu is unquestionably going to encourage people to "Pop Bottles." Some somber folk music sneaks there, too, with Lee Dewyze, while Kelleigh Bannen's confessional country opens the day's festivities.
Boise, Id. $20-$50.
A metal counterpart to the punk-inspired Vans Warped Tour, the Mayhem Festival, counts bands from each of the genre's far-flung corners. Avenged Sevenfold grinds through its mix of metal and hard rock on the main stage after Korn rages with a hip-hop inflected take on aggressive music. An even more MC-focused troupe, Bodycount, which features rapper turned actor Ice-T, will barrel through a set assured to include its controversial "Cop Killer," while death metal figureheads Cannibal Corpse offers the festival's goriest lyrical take on metal. None of this is for the faint of heart.
Nampa, Id. $49.50 in advance. $55 day of show.
The Summer Music Festival at Roseberry, Idaho
July 17-July 19
Rendering American roots music with West African instruments, including the 21-stringed kora, makes North Carolina's Toubab Krewe an odd fit at most festivals. But its appropriation of standards, like Leadbelly's "In the Pines," suits a bill that includes country and bluegrass artists that would be comfortable at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry. Country band The Black Lillies, bluegrassers Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, as well as the folksy Tony Furtado all render the history of American roots music in contemporary terms.
Roseberry, ID. $15-$55.
The Festival at Sandpoint
Aug. 7-Aug. 17
Set near Lake Pend Oreille, one of the largest and deepest lakes in the United States, anthem-prone folk-rock upstarts The Head and the Heart appears alongside the California-based, bluegrass and pop-infused Nickel Creek. Contrasting with those more bucolic acts—and the lakeside setting—are a pair of New Orleans ensembles. Trombone Shorty merges NOLA big band instrumentation with a dash of soul singing, while versatile percussionist Stanton Moore and his besotted funk act, Galactic, inject the proceedings with some extended, jazzy explorations. There's even a family concert Aug. 10 and a fireworks finale soundtracked by the Spokane Symphony Orchestra on Aug. 17.
Sandpoint, Id. $6-$64.95
Sept. 6-Sept. 13
Get a country dose of barrel racing, steer roping and bull riding along with thousands of belt-buckled fans at one of Oregon's best-known rodeos. There's a historical pageant, tracing settlers' interactions with native cultures, too. The 104-year-old event isn't just a draw for its competitions and parades, though. Veteran Nashville songwriting duo Big and Rich serve as the Round-Up's headliner this year, relating tried and true country stories with an added bit of comedic flair. Opening for the duo, Texas native Cowboy Troy merges country swagger with a hip-hop delivery. Let'er buck!