Posts Tagged ‘Albany’

LIVE: Maxi Priest @ Empire State Plaza, 6/24/15

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
Maxie Priest

Maxi Priest

Photographs by Stanley Johnson

WHAT: Capital Concert Series’ Reggae Night
WHO: Maxi Priest
WITH: Morgan Heritage and Jemere Morgan
WHERE: Empire State Plaza, Albany
WHEN: Wednesday, June 24, 2015

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LIVE: Mike Gordon @ The Egg, 6/19/15

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

gordon1

Review and photographs by Bryan Lasky

Mike Gordon might be the name that gets people into the seats, but the band is what keeps people in those seats at shows. His latest band – featuring Scott Murawski on guitar; John Kimock on drums; Robert Walter on keys; and Craig Myers on percussion – have gelled together beautifully in the short time they have been playing together on this early summer tour.

Gordon is, of course, well known from Phish, but his solo outfit is where he gets to show off his writing chops, as well as his considerable ability to front a band. He does this not by being the main focus point, but rather by sitting back and allowing himself to be engulfed within the band.

Not only was the music great, but the visuals in The Egg’s Hart Theatre were tremendous. Using light projectors to display various images along the walls of the venue, it often felt as though the crowd was transported inside a dream for more than three hours, while the band tore through songs and jams. The Egg has never looked so amazing during a show. Particularly nice surprises during the evening were the covers that the band rolled out during each set, including Fiona Apple’s “Sleep to Dream” and Beck’s “Black Tambourine,” both played as though the band had written them themselves, rather than some of the best songwriters of the past 20 years.

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LIVE: The Features @ the Empire State Plaza, 6/10/15

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
The Features

The Features

Photographs by Stanley Johnson, Timothy Reidy

WHO: The Features
WITH: The Vaccines and Stellar Young
WHAT: The Capital Concert Series
WHERE: The Empire State Plaza, Albany
WHEN: 5pm on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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LIVE: Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion @ The Egg, 6/16/15

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
Ginger Baker

Ginger Baker

Review by Brett Williams
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Once, in days of yore, Peter Edward “Ginger” Baker was the tall, gaunt, fire–maned maniac who provided the rhythmic backbone to Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton in Cream. His style, brewed of equal parts feverish aggression and jazz–oriented precision, earned him a reputation as a drummer that has only ever been exceeded, arguably, by his reputation for drug use on a Keith Richards kind of scale, and for his legendarily nuclear blow-ups with band-mate Jack Bruce.

That was Ginger Baker then.

Ginger Baker now is a haggard, bespectacled septuagenarian. His distinctive red hair is a (mostly) tame shock of white. He has a degenerative spinal condition. He has COPD from a decade’s long, unrepentant smoking habit. He admits to being exhausted and in pain after every performance. My companion for the show, a drummer and ER nurse, spent most of the second set alternately admiring Ginger’s flam technique, and reviewing CPR in his head, just in case Mr. Baker was stricken mid-song (and it seemed a close-run thing whenever he stood up).

Yet two things about Ginger Baker remain undiminished. First – although it was never really on display Tuesday night – he remains, by nearly all accounts, a grumpy, grumpy man (he did tell us to shut up once, for applauding too much). Second – and this is the important one – he can still drum.

God, can he drum.

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LIVE: Jocelyn Arndt @ the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, 5/22/15

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
Jocelyn Arndt

Jocelyn Arndt

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

WHO: Jocelyn Arndt
WITH Hard Soul, the Holly & Evan Band, Kayla & the Tellers
WHERE: The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany
WHEN: Friday, May 22

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LIVE: Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit @ The Egg, 5/22/15

Monday, June 15th, 2015
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Memorial Day is more than just an extra day off from work or an afternoon to fire up the grill and welcome summer…

Kicking off the big Memorial Day weekend at The Egg’s Hart Theatre, singer-songwriter Jason Isbell honored those who have served in our armed forces with a terrific triptych of tunes early on in his two-hour show. With his solid but unobtrusive four-piece backing band, the 400 Unit, slamming into arena-rock assault mode, Isbell launched into the delicate balance of honor and hostility in “Decoration Day” from his days with the Drive By Truckers, digging in and turning up the heat with a fiery slide guitar solo. “Tour of Duty” showcased the country twang aspect of the band, while “Dress Blues” was a personal and anguished remembrance of a young soldier and father-to-be, who didn’t live to see his 22nd birthday. “There’s red, white and blue in the rafters/And there’s silent old men from the Corps/What did they say when they shipped you away/To fight somebody’s Hollywood war?”

Perhaps Isbell plays those songs every night when he’s out on tour, but they echoed and ached with a deeper resonance on this night.

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LIVE: Rebuild Nepal Benefit Concert @ the Low Beat, 5/16/15

Friday, June 12th, 2015
Super 400

Super 400

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Local 518 musicians came together once again to help those in need. The Low Beat in Albany hosted the Rebuild Nepal Benefit Fest last month to raise money for the victims of the recent devastating earthquakes in Nepal.

The line-up of bands who performed included Troy power trio Super 400, surf-fuzz combo Kimono Dragons, rock wunderkinds Dearest Vendetta, funk powerhouse Victory Soul Orchestra, country-blues troubadour Henry’s Rifle and indie faves Bear Grass.

All proceeds from the concert benefited the Shikshya Foundation Nepal, which is committed to supporting long-term, sustainable rebuilding efforts.

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Five Reasons to See The Bad Plus Joshua Redman @ Alive at Five Today

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

JoshuaRedman

Story by J Hunter
Drawing by Charles H. Haymes

NUMBER FIVE:
At this time of year, you usually only see second-generation tenor man Joshua Redman and the infamous acoustic trio The Bad Plus at places like Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, where the price of a 1-day lawn pass is $60 and inside seats go for $85 a pop – and that’s before you throw down for whatever expensive-but-worth-it drinks and vittles are for sale. Alive at Five is a free show. Do the math.

NUMBER FOUR:
This dizzying pairing is like one of those one-off comic books where superheroes you normally never see together – Superman and Spider-Man, for instance – have a hellacious fight before joining forces and defeating some amorphous super-villain. This show pairs an artist and a band that have cut separate (but equally brilliant) swathes through the jazz world over the last 20 years. The only villains on hand at Jennings Landing will be heat and humidity, and we’ll all be fighting them.

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