You remember Saratoga Winners, don’t you?
It may not have been Nippertown’s most comfy and accommodating live music venue, but the Latham/Cohoes roadhouse brought the bands. The A-listers. And lots of ’em.
In the years leading up to its closing in September 2006, Saratoga Winners had primarily been the home to hardcore, punk and heavy metal bands. Not only did the nightspot play host to some of the biggest national and international hardcore acts, but it also nurtured the talents of countless young local bands over the years.
But its incarnation as hardcore heaven was only a part of Saratoga Winners’ rich musical legacy. Throughout its long history on the Nippertown club scene, Winners hosted performances by a diverse array of musicians, including Wilco, David Byrne, the Ramones, Melissa Etheridge, Peter Frampton, Aimee Mann, Iggy Pop, the Black Crowes, Ben Folds, the Replacements, Ministry, Widespread Panic, Meat Loaf, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, Paul Weller, Counting Crows, Cowboy Junkies, Hank Williams III, Adam Ant, Warren Zevon, the Dead Kennedys, and Robert Randolph & the Family Band – to name just a few.
Owner A. Salam closed the roadhouse back in 2006, but there were hopes that it might eventually re-open under new management. Of course, those hopes died when the nightspot burned to the ground on April 3, 2009.
But the spirit of Saratoga Winners will be rekindled on Saturday night as friends, fans, musicians and former employees gather at Michael’s Banquet House to re-live the good old days. Five hard-rockin’ bands will perform, including Project Retro, the Erotics, Sludge Factory and Uncivil Liberty, as well as Selfish Needy Creatures. Guitarslinger Mike Campese will also unleash his firey fretboard work in the bar area.
In addition, the $20 admission charge includes a buffet dinner. There will also be silent auctions and raffles. Proceeds will benefit two local animal rescue charities: Homes for Orphaned Pets Exist (H.O.P.E.) Animal Rescue in Wilton and Noah’s Kingdom Humane Society in Albany.
Doors open at 6:30pm; the first band hits the stage at 7pm.