Be Here Now: The Ashley Pond Band @ Alive at Five

For the second consecutive week, it looks like there’s a shake-up in the original line-up for the Alive at Five concert series in Albany’s Riverfront Park.

Last week, the Outlaws stepped in to replace the Marshall Tucker Band after the wife of Tucker’s singer Doug Gray passed away, forcing the band to cancel the NY leg of their tour to return home.

This week singer-songwriter-violinist Deni Bonet and her band were slated to open the show for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at 5pm on Thursday, June 25, but Bonet won’t be playing after all.

Here’s how she explains the situation:

“As most of you know, I was booked to appear on the bill next week with Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, for the City of Albany’s Alive at Five concert series – the concert was billed as ‘Girls Night Out’, and the events department were excited about putting such a strong bill together.

Yesterday, my manager received a pretty distraught phone call from a
representative of the City (he was genuinely upset), to say that despite us having had this on the books for months, AND a signed contract, Grace Potter’s management had refused to allow me to be on the bill, and wanted to choose their own opening act. This is less than a week to go before the show! So now I’m writing to you all to say that unfortunately, I won’t be appearing on Thursday in Albany.

According to the City, they pleaded with the Grace Potter people for a week, but her management representative refused to give a reason, other than they wanted to choose an act of their own. The City events dept. have promised me a replacement show as soon as they can find a suitable event, so I hope we’ll have something to tell you before too long. Just thought you’d want to know the kind of bullshit that occurs all too often in this crazy biz of music.”

Fortunately, that’s turned into quite a lucky break for the homegrown Ashley Pond Band, who have been quickly signed up to replace Bonet on the bill. The APB just released their stunningly good new album, “The Warning,” two weeks ago.

(photo by Matthew Mac Haffie)

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11 Responses to “Be Here Now: The Ashley Pond Band @ Alive at Five”

  1. HojoHiFive says:

    Grace Potter is weak and knew Deni would have blown her off the stage. She underestimates the power of Ms. Pond. Knock it out of the park Ash!

  2. Sara says:

    I think you’re absolutely right; why else would they shove Deni off the bill and then hire a local band? It would make sense if they already had a supporting act on thir tour but they’re just afraid of being upstaged. And not doing a very good job of covering up that fear.

  3. AndyG says:

    Well, I’m not going to pile on GP&N, but the buzz hasn’t matched what I’ve heard either live or recorded. IMHO. This is a great break for Ashley, though!

  4. Melvin says:

    Sounds like the problem is with ALB jumping the gun… not GPN. All national acts reserve the right to aprove or deny the opener no matter who the promoter is.
    I’d rather see APB anyway personally.

  5. Michael Mackey says:

    National acts may reserve the right to choose their opener, but waiting until one week before the show to throw a hissy fit? That’s just unprofessional and rude.

    Looking forward to seeing Ashley Pond.

  6. Greg says:

    I’ve got to agree with Hojo, hoping that Ashley rips it up bigtime. It’s certainly a great break for her, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

    On the other hand, the manner in which Potter has dissed Deni is simply unacceptable. The Alive at Five line-ups were announced right after the Tulip Festival six weeks ago. And if Potter – or her people – had a problem with the booking, they had plenty of time to make their opinions known before now.

    Deni is certainly no slouch, musically speaking. She was an original member of the cast of the public radio show “Mountain Stage” and played SPAC as part of the Lillith Fair tour.

    Anyway, if you want to get a chance to see what Deni can really do, she’ll be playing with her full band down at the Rosendale Street Festival in Rosendale (near Woodstock) at 8pm on Saturday, July 18. It a free, five-stage, two-day (July 18-19), totally free musical blowout – check it out.

    And by the way, this isn’t the first time that Potter has strutted her big rock-star diva attitude locally. She was slated to play in Washington Park in Albany two years ago, but the show was rained out. When she was invited to play indoors at Tess’ Lark Tavern instead, she refused. The Kamikaze Hearts – who had been scheduled to be her opening act in the park – did play at Tess’ that night, and they were great, pouring on a two-hour show. Potter, meanwhile, was drinking out in the tavern’s front room.

    ‘Nuff said.

  7. notyourwaitress says:

    You left early – she was waaaaaay drunk and got thrown out for being loud, belligerent and obnocious.

  8. Greg says:

    And apparently caught in the middle of this whole fiasco, the City of Albany Special Events Office is pretty much just playing it straight down the middle by stating as simply as possible on their website:

    “Please note the lineup change for June 25 Alive at Five: Ashley Pond Band will now open the concert.”

    See it here:

  9. Melvin says:

    is there any kind of fact that GPN approved Deni and then threw a hissy fit? or are we just making an assumption because the promoter announced the bill so GPN must have approved it?
    GPN wanted to select the opener on their own well before the show was even announced.. the city probably booked Deni without seeking GPNs approval. thus the promoters fault, not the headliner!

    GPN couldn’t play at Lark Tavern because the tavern could not fulfill the technical requirements for the band let alone have room to even set up their gear.

  10. Melvin says:


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