Mischievous musicmakers the Bloodhound Gang say they'd rather not play in Boise, Idaho, than bow to a promoter's demands that they rein in their stage antics and leave out the show's fiery finale.
The band said Wednesday (December 5) it has canceled its Monday show at Boise's Riverside Ballroom after receiving a six-page fax from promoter Bravo Entertainment detailing the behavior it did not want the band to repeat.
"The band decided to cancel this date rather than conform to the community's conservative standards by compromising their integrity and level of entertainment in their live shows," the Gang said in a statement issued through their publicists.
In the memo, Bravo Entertainment warned that "Boise, Idaho can be a very conservative community" and that some of the Bloodhound Gang's stage antics would likely be in violation of Idaho state law.
Bravo said it was particularly concerned about recent shows in which the Bloodhound Gang paid or encouraged audience members to expose themselves or vomit, urinate or defecate onstage. The promoter, which said it could have been found liable for the band's questionable behavior, also asked the band not to perform the finale to its show closer, "Magna Cum Nada," during which the band typically torches various gear.
"We truly believe artists should be free to express themselves at their shows," Bravo Entertainment co-owner Paul Thornton said Wednesday, "but if we don't take due diligence and make sure that one of the acts we book is not going to break the law, then we could be held responsible.
"We tried to be as proactive as possible," he added, "and we hoped that the band would sign the addendum and agree not to have people taking off their clothes or urinating onstage. We hoped that they would agree to that, and were shocked when they didn't."
Bravo Entertainment had been under pressure by local officials about the show, which was originally scheduled for Boise's Western Idaho Fairgrounds Expo Building but moved to the Riverside Ballroom two weeks ago.
The Idaho Statesman reported that Ada County Commissioner Roger Simmons denied licensing the venue because of past problems with the promoter, including noise-ordinance complaints related to a past Santana concert and a Vans Warped Tour stop also handled by Bravo.
Thornton said lawyers for Bravo were preparing to file a formal complaint against Simmons with the Idaho attorney general's office, but had no plans to seek a civil suit. Bravo has alleged that Simmons denied the license in a closed meeting without consulting of other two county commissioners, which is a violation of the state's open-meeting laws.
"Those allegations are absolutely false," Simmons said Wednesday (December 6). "Everything was done legally, as I was the only commissioner in town when the issue came up. But the decision had nothing to do with the band.
"I do find it interesting," he added, "that a promoter who has been handling the concert for the past two months would suddenly come in at the last minute and say that he is just finding out what the Bloodhound Gang is all about. It seems that the Ada County Commission is being dragged into a situation that obviously involves just Bravo and the band."
As for the Bloodhound Gang, the group is slated to wrap its North American tour on December 14 in Vancouver, British Columbia.