Boise Festivals and Events
Alive After Five - Where the Best Show Ain't on Stage
Alive After Five is a nearly perfect event. Held Wednesday evenings from June through September, this free downtown shindig on The Grove never fails to draw a crowd. And for good reason. Billed as a way for folks to kick back and socialize in the middle of the weekly work grind, it has a lot of good things going for it:
- Beer, beer, beer The flavors vary depending on the sponsorships and such, but there's always a tasty microbrew in the bunch. For the post-5PM crowd on a hot Boise evening, a quality beer or two from Widmer Brothers really hits the spot.
- Good music The Alive After Five planners always do a fantastic job of bringing in quality artists from a variety of genres. Past summers' acts have included big names such as The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, The Asylum Street Spankers, Trampled by Turtles, The Gourds, Beausoleil, Whitey Morgan, and Fitz and the Tantrums. Plus, the organizers are continuing what they started a few years ago by having local bands open for the out-of-town headliners. Not only does this give our local acts a little exposure, it also helps people realize that there really are some talented artists making good music in this town.
- People watching I dare you to find a better place to people watch in Boise. If you don't believe me, attend two or three Alive After Fives in a row. You'll start to notice a regular cast of interesting characters, and you might even come up with your own names for these folks. Chinese Tai Chi Granny is one, as is Hula Hoop Girl. But my favorite is Shirtless Dancing Guy, who seems to materialize out of the Boise urban fog with his comboy hat and spray mister when Alive After Five starts. Isn't it strange how free live music is the piper's song for America's formerly invisible counterculture? If it takes all kinds to make the world go round, we're spinning at double velocity here in our little corner. By the way, if you see Rod Stewart's Ghost (AKA Rod from Rod's Limos, or AKA Randy Fowler), make sure you tell him that Crandal says hi.
- Atmosphere There's something for everyone. Young professionals can have a few beers, socialize with friends, and try to work the meat market scene. Older professionals can have a microbrew with their co-workers and complain about the work they supposedly just left behind. Parents with small children can have a ball dancing to the music in the open area in front of the stage, or they can go splash around in the nearby fountain. Those looking to relax or debate the finer points of philosophy can sit in the shade and complain that the music is too loud.
- Amenities They set out lots of plastic chairs that you can move into the shade or up by the stage, so you can get as comfortable as you want. Heck, bring a picnic if you want. You won't be the only one. And they even have plenty of porta potties.
Alive After Five would be a perfect event if they rectified two things. One: food choice. They have one or two different food sponsors every week, and if you don't happen to like whatever they're peddling, tough luck. And two: They cut it off at 8PM, which is a shame because when the music's really good and so is the beer, the party's just getting started by then. So my advice: grab something to eat on the way over, and know where you're going when it's over.
|Event:||Alive After Five|
|Where:||The Grove, downtown Boise|
|When:||Wednesdays June-Sept, 5pm-8pm|
|Website:||Downtown Boise Association|
|Why I love it:||Beer, music, and the social scene. Sounds like fun because it is.|