Archive for the ‘LIVE’ Category

LIVE: Counting Crows @ SPAC, 8/15/16

Thursday, August 25th, 2016
Counting Crows

Counting Crows

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

For Counting Crows, it may not seem like a huge leap from the long defunct Saratoga Winners (where they made their Greater Nippertown debut) to Saratoga Performing Arts Center (where they continue to make almost annual appearances).

But over the course of their 25-year musical career together, frontman Adam Duritz & Co. have managed to maintain (and even grow) their fan base without becoming rock star cliches.

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LIVE: Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show @ Proctors Underground, 7/30/16

Thursday, August 25th, 2016
Mike Albanese, Dee Watson, Shane Torres and Ethan Ullman

Mike Albanese, Dee Watson, Shane Torres and Ethan Ullman

Review by Kathy Conway
Photographs by Ed Conway

The evening began with host and comedian Ethan Ullman announcing the celebration of the second anniversary of Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show, which has become a monthly fixture on the calendar at Proctors’ Underground in Schenectady. Applause was heard from folks attending the near-capacity show. Ullman segued into some of his personal experiences and touched on some political discussion – changing America one comedy show at a time.

First up was Schenectady comedian Dee Watson, whose use of self-effacing humor set the tone. This was going to be a fine evening; covering topics ranging from how larger people can gracefully navigate a subway turnstile to the style choices of big girls vs. small girls. It was readily apparent why Watson did so well at the Ladies of Laughter Contest.

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BEHIND THE SCENES: Slaid Cleaves’ Soundcheck @ Caffe Lena at the Grove, 8/5/16

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Slaid-Cleaves1

Story and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Joe Deuel, the sound engineer for Caffe Lena for over 20 years, greeted singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves and his accompanist Chojo Jacques and explained the intricacies of The Grove’s giant mausoleum-type soundstage where every whisper could be heard across the room.

The Maine-reared Cleaves, now Austin seasoned, came to Saratoga Springs with mandolin/fiddle maven Jacques in tow, to perform his music at The Grove, the temporary summer home of Caffe Lena on Lake Avenue, east of Broadway and the city’s downtown district.

While the iconic coffeehouse is undergoing some major renovations and expansion in its old hallowed space on Phila Street, the new sonic peccadilloes of The Grove have been surmounted to some extent by Deuel’s expertise, but it’s still a crap shoot considering the performance space’s marble floors and cathedral ceiling. Add some electric amplification to instruments and voices and the whole thing can go to hell in a hand basket in a heartbeat – as far as the sound mix is concerned.

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LIVE: The So So Glos / Stellar Young @ Rockin’ on the River, 6/29/16

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
The So So Glos

The So So Glos

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

The So So Glos
with Stellar Young
at Rockin’ on the River
in Riverfront Park, Troy
Wednesday, June 29

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LIVE: The Alex Meixner Band @ Shepard Park, 8/17/16

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

alex2

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

More like a carnival than a sit-down concert, the accordion squeezing Alex Meixner and his five-piece band were all over the musical spectrum, punching holes in it all the way as they traversed one song after another for two sets of serious polka-tinged, rock, country, heavy metal, punk, roots-Americana and whatever else you can think of. With a heavy dose of hilarity and a circus-like approach, as well as interludes of yodeling, juggling, dancing and, no joke, flying (standing in place, of course), the band thoroughly entertained the crowd of several hundred people at Lake George’s Shepard Park.

The band conducted a yodeling contest, bringing three young volunteers from the audience up on the stage. In the words of Meixner, they each exhibited “a New York attitude,” representing the best of the state and yodeling at its juvenile finest (earplugs optional), as one of them took top honors (as determined by the audience), walking off with a CD and other band merchandise.

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LIVE: Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band @ The Egg, 8/12/16

Monday, August 22nd, 2016
Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Blues-rockin’ guitarslinger Kenny Wayne Shepherd and his band roared into The Egg’s Hart Theatre recently and, yes, as you might expect, there were guitar solos galore. But there was also lots of intense interplay between the band members – especially KWS and vocalist Noah Hunt. Local 518 faves Sly Fox & the Hustlers opened the show with an impressive set of their own.

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LIVE: The Rattling Baddlies @ Lark Tavern, 7/18/16

Monday, August 22nd, 2016
The Rattling Baddlies

Matt Durfee & the Rattling Baddlies

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Dana Park – the little pocket park at the corner of Lark & Madison in Albany – is the site of a free summer-long concert series, but, of course, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate.

Last month’s second installment of the Dana Park Concert Series actually took place across the street at the rain site – the Lark Tavern. But the weather didn’t dampen the spirits of Matt Durfee & the Rattling Baddlies or of the opener Eric Margan.

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LIVE: The Chronicles / Thump Gospel @ Alive at Five, 6/30/16

Friday, August 19th, 2016
The Chronicles

The Chronicles

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

A pair of popular Local 518 bands teamed up for a recent Alive at Five concert in Albany’s Tricentennial Park to serve up double-header tribute concert.

The Chronicles romped through the soulful songbag of Earth, Wind & Fire, while Thump Gospel offered up instrumental interpretations of tunes from Michael Jackson’s vast catalog of hits.

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