Best Of

Best of Music & Entertainment

Best Radio DJ or Team
Best Radio Station
DAVE, KEN AND MOLLY; KZZU
Radio morning teams are a special breed. When the chemistry is right, the teams stay together for decades and listeners truly start to feel like those voices coming through their speakers are part of their family, not just part of their morning routines. Our readers have loved Dave, Ken and Molly's show for years, and they're the main reason 92.9 FM KZZU is our readers' favorite station this year, too. (DN)
BEST RADIO DJ OR TEAM
2nd PLACE: Jay & Kevin & Slim, 99.9 FM
3rd PLACE: GA (Gary Allen), 94.5 FM
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Diane Michaels, 95.3 FM KPND, Sandpoint
BEST RADIO STATION
2nd PLACE: KYRS Thin Air Radio 92.3 FM
3rd PLACE: Rock 94.5 FM
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: 95.3 FM KPND The End, Sandpoint

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Alicia Hauff photo
Readers love Indian Goat's filthy rock sound.

Best Band, Originals
INDIAN GOAT
Indian Goat is absolutely filthy in the way that's a badge of honor for true rockers. The Spokane duo's fuzzed-out massive blues riff attack embodies a sweat-drenched, beer-swilling, flag-waving, head-banging attitude. And when Indian Goat takes the stage, that molotov cocktail explodes in an energetic blaze of heavy glory. There's a reason these guys have won this category more than once. (SS)
2nd PLACE: Super Sparkle
3rd PLACE: Nixon Rodeo

Best Band, Covers
THE RISING
Legendary newsman Ron Burgundy may play a fiery jazz flute, but KHQ anchor Sean Owsley plays a mean guitar. As the frontman for The Rising, Owsley sometimes rushes from reading the evening news to take the stage at venues like Barrister Winery with his rock trio. The group plays light, upbeat versions of classic favs (from Elvis and Cash to Prince and George Michael) to spark nights of dancing and sing-alongs. (SS)
2nd PLACE: The Cronkites
3rd PLACE: The Rub

Best Escape Room
UNIT 55 HORROR GAMES
If you've ever watched one of the Saw movies and thought to yourself, "Hey! That looks fun!" then Unit 55 Horror Games is probably your type of thing. This isn't your standard escape room. Unit 55 isn't just about using teamwork to solve puzzles. Founded by the Spokane-based haunted attraction company the Haunt Cartel, this escape room in Spokane Valley is a horror-immersion experience, complete with set design and actors. Unit 55 also regularly changes its escape room themes to keep challenges fresh and spooky. (QW)
2nd PLACE: Think Tank Escape Rooms
3rd PLACE: Escape
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: 59: Escape Adventures, Post Falls

Best Kids' Birthday Party Venue
MODERN DREAMERS SLUMBER CO.
If you're hoping to plan a birthday party that your child will never forget, Modern Dreamers Slumber Co. can help. Choose a theme, let Modern Dreamers set up the luxury slumber party of your kid's dreams and then let its staff take it all down the next morning. No fuss and a ton of fun for your kid and their friends. (MP)
2nd PLACE: Wonderland Family Fun Center
3rd PLACE: Pattison's North Roller Skating Center
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Triple Play, Hayden

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Young Kwak photo
Hey, Deece, we didn't forget you!

Best Local Comedian
DEECE CASILLAS
Spokane-based comedian Deece Casillas made a lot of comedic hay out of the Inlander forgetting to invite him to the winners party when our readers named him their favorite local comedian a few years back. We're really going to try to remember him this year, since he earned this spot by getting creative through the pandemic when stand-up stages went dark. Casillas' pivot to podcasts and videos helped Inland Northwesterners get some laughs when they needed it most. (DN)
2nd PLACE (tie): Dan Cummins, Bryan Albrandt, Harry J. Riley

Best Local Play of the Past Year
LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, SPOKANE VALLEY SUMMER THEATER
Take the classic and beloved story of the Ingalls' family's westward journey by covered wagon, add some music and lyrics, and ta-da! — you've got one of the catchiest and most wholesome musicals to ever grace the stage. The Spokane Valley Summer Theater filled seats nightly during its run of this show embracing the beauty and bravery of America's pioneer era. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Corpus Christi, Stage Left Theater
3rd PLACE:
No Clue!, Blue Door Theatre

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Young Kwak photo
Allen Stone is back in Spokane.

Best Singer/Songwriter
ALLEN STONE
After cutting his teeth locally, R&B soulster Allen Stone made a name for himself on the national stage while a Seattleite. But now that he's moved back to our neck of the woods, we can fully claim his booming and emotive voice as our own. Whether backed by a dynamic band or performing stripped-down solo (as he did on his 2021 album, Apart), it's always a treat to see him belt out the jams. (SS)
2nd PLACE: Blake Braley
3rd PLACE: Karli Ingersoll

Best Touring Broadway Musical of Past Year
MEAN GIRLS
There have been far too many good Hollywood films turned into middling Broadway musicals, so when a production actually retains the original's charm and even adds something on the live stage, audience members (and our readers) take note. Broadway in Spokane's Mean Girls actually made fetch happen when the long-delayed show hit the First Interstate Center for the Arts stage. (DN)
2nd PLACE (tie): Anastasia, Fiddler on the Roof


Best Concert of Past Year
PRIMUS AT THE PAVILION
"It was a great show! The band was JAMMING!" (Julie M.); "I went to one concert... only Les Claypool could get me out of quarantine... AND IT WAS WORTH IT!" (Zana M.)
2nd PLACE: Allen Stone residency at Lucky You Lounge
3rd PLACE: Death Cab For Cutie at the Pavilion

Best Record Store
4000 HOLES
"Lots of classic titles." (Merrie W.); "The best variety and Bob is the BOMB!" (Kami H.); "So awesome I don't think anyone else exists!" (Dale B.)
2nd PLACE: Resurrection Records
3rd PLACE: Groove Merchants

North Idaho's Best Record Store
THE LONG EAR, COEUR D'ALENE
"Classic business, has been around forever. You can't go wrong!" (Maddie N.)

Best Bowling Center
LILAC LANES
"Clean and nice. Great equipment, well maintained — food and drinks are good, too!" (Richard B.); "Friendly, with great lanes and good food." (Marc W.)
2nd PLACE: North Bowl
3rd PLACE: River City Lanes, Post Falls

Best Movie Theater
AMC RIVER PARK SQUARE 20
"Nothing beats the Dolby theater!" (Hannah H.); "Twenty screens, comfy chairs and good staff." (Angela J.); "Comfortable seating. Lots of room. Cool place to go see a movie." (Kent J.)
2nd PLACE: The Garland Theater
3rd PLACE: The Magic Lantern
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Hayden Discount Cinema

Best Live Music Venue
LUCKY YOU LOUNGE
"Great booking, great shows... amazing!" (Zana M.); "Great bands, and they [followed] Covid protocols!" (Melissa B.); "They're the best!" (Taylor V.)
2nd PLACE: The Knitting Factory
3rd PLACE: The Pavilion

NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Nashville North, Stateline

Unity in the Community @ Riverfront Park

Sat., Aug. 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
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