Looking Back at Alive @ 5

August 12th, 2010, 12:01 pm by Greg

Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Yes, Albany’s Alive @ 5 concert series concluded last week. It’s all wrapped up for another season. Gone. Adios. Don’t head down to Riverfront Park today expecting to hear more live music.

But if you’re feeling nostalgic about the summer, here’s a quick look back – in photos and reviews – at some of the 2010 Alive @ 5 shows:



BOYZ II MEN on June 24



EDDIE MONEY on July 22

FRAN COSMO on August 5


LIVE: Gin Blossoms @ Alive at Five, 7/1/10

July 9th, 2010, 4:00 pm by Greg

Gin Blossoms
Love that power-pop.

And when it’s cut with a hint of melancholy like the Gin Blossoms do it, it’s even better.

But there was something about the Gin Blossoms’ performance at Albany’s Riverfront Park that just didn’t connect. Robin Wilson seemed to just be going through the motions. He didn’t seem to be emotionally invested in the songs. And he just didn’t seem to be enjoying his time on stage.

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LIVE: The Original Wailers @ Alive at 5, 8/13/09

August 14th, 2009, 2:11 pm by Greg

Junior Marvin

Junior Marvin

The great Bob Marley died in 1981, but before he did, the members of his band made him a promise to carry on not only his music, but also his message of peace and unity.

And the Original Wailers made good on that promise in Albany’s Riverfront Park on Thursday, August 13 at the final Alive @ 5 concert of the 2009 summer season.

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LIVE: Tower of Power @ Alive at 5, 7/30/09

July 31st, 2009, 2:30 pm by Greg

Larry Braggs

Larry Braggs

Still going strong after more than four decades, Tower of Power blew into Albany’s Riverfront Park on Thursday, July 30, for the latest installment of the Alive @ 5 concert series.

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Parade of Shoes: Are You Ready, Boots?

July 13th, 2009, 4:58 pm by Sara
The boots of Katie McKrell at Alive @ 5, Albany, July 9, 2009

The boots of Katie McKrell, of the McKrells, at Alive @ 5, Albany, July 9, 2009

LIVE: Black 47/Kevin McKrell @ Alive at 5, 7/9

July 10th, 2009, 1:55 pm by Greg

Let’s face it, Black 47 guitarist-bandleader Larry Kirwan isn’t really much of a vocalist. But what he lacks in the vocal nuance department, he more than makes up for with his sheer overpowering passion.

You can read my review of the Black 47/Kevin McKrell Alive at 5 show from Albany’s Riverfront Park in the Times Union.

Larry Kirwan

Larry Kirwan

Back in 1993 when Black 47 made their Nippertown debut at Bogie’s, they whipped up quite a swirling mosh pit in the crowd. On Thursday, the beer-soaked audience played it considerably cooler with only a bit of a jig or an occasional bout of step-dancing breaking out in front of the stage.

Which is not to say that Kirwan and company played it safe or toned it down any for their free, family-friendly performance. In fact, it was a bit of a surprise when they launched into their encore – the hilarious but definitely not G-rated “I Got Laid on James Joyce’s Grave.”

Meanwhile, Kevin McKrell – the Capital Region’s King of All Things Celtic – put together the Hard Road Ceili Band, a real all-star group of musicians featuring his daughter Katie on vocals and bodhran, exotic percussionist Brian Melick, bassmaster Rick Bedrosian, guitarist Brian Gibney and fab fiddler-vocalist Sara Milonovich.

Sara Milonovich and Kevin McKrell

Sara Milonovich and Kevin McKrell

They’ve all played with McKrell at various times over the years, but all six musicians had never actually played all together until this show. And as an opening act at a free outdoor concert, if you can get the crowd to sing along, as they did on “All of the Hard Days Are Gone” – an original song, no less – then you know you’ve got something special going on. Quite an auspicious debut, indeed. Expect to hear more from them in the coming months.

LIVE: The Outlaws @ Alive at Five, 6/18

June 19th, 2009, 3:44 pm by Greg
(Photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

(Photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Even though the Marshall Tucker Band was forced to cancel their Alive at Five appearance, it’s good to see that the Guitar Army – southern rock division – is still alive, as last-minute replacement headliners the Outlaws rode through downtown Albany on Thursday, June 18.

Real Good for Free: Alive @ 5

May 21st, 2009, 7:55 am by Greg

It’s a five o’clock world when the whistle blows,
No one owns a piece of my time…

Downtown Albany’s free outdoor summertime Alive @ Five concert series kicks off on Thursday, June 4 with John Popper and Blues Traveler. Woodstock guitarslinger Jim Weider – the guy who took over Robbie Robertson’s guitar chair in The Band – brings his own band Project Percolator to town to open the show.

That’s the first of an expanded, 11-show series that takes place at the Riverfront Park amphitheater in Albany’s Corning Preserve every Thursday at 5pm through August 13 when it all wraps up with a righteous reggae celebration featuring the Original Wailers with Bearin’ Peace.

Best of the bunch? I’m betting on the Neville Brothers, who are making a return appearance following their 2004 Alive @ Five show. Of course, I admit to having a particular bias towards Aaron and his brothers that has often made me swoon.

I saw them perform onboard a New Orleans riverboat on my honeymoon, and they made me attempt to impress my lovely new bride with dance moves that I had no idea were even in my repertoire.

Several years later, I ventured over to Pearl Street in Northampton, Mass. with my buddy and now bandmate Micheal Eck, and we found ourselves at a post-concert soiree in Northampton Hotel where Aaron was seated at the upright piano, regaling the intimate crowd with handful of solo songs before wrapping it up with a heart-stopping rendition of “The Mickey Mouse Club Theme Song.”

Then again the Original Wailers could certainly stir up a memorable memorial to the great Bob Marley. And Vermonters Grace Potter and her band are working with Midas-touched produced T Bone Burnett on their upcoming album, so I wouldn’t sell them short.

And I’ve been a fan of the uncompromising Irish-rockers Black 47 since bandleader Larry Kirwan and his band made their Nippertown debut in 1992, stirring up quite a mosh pit at Bogie’s.

Here’s the complete slate:

June 4: Blues Traveler/Jim Weider’s Project Percolator

June 11: The Platters/Cornell Gunter’s Coasters/Wylder

June 18: The Marshall Tucker Band/Jefferson Thomas

June 25: Grace Potter & the Nocturnals/Deni Bonet

July 2: The Village People/the Refrigerators

July 9: Black 47/Kevin McKrell & the Hard Road Ceili Band

July 16: Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra/Sensemaya

July 23: Hotel California/Aloud

July 30: Tower of Power/the Out of Control Rhythm & Blues Band

August 6: The Neville Brothers/Mingo Fishtrap

August 13: The Original Wailers/Bearin’ Peace

As always, the rain site for each show is the parking lot under the I-787 overpass at the Corning Preserve Boat Launch. But it’s such a horrible place to hear a show that let’s all keep our fingers crossed that none of the shows – or at least none of the good ones – have to re-locate.

Holly & EvanCaffe LenaJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantAdvertise on Nippertown!Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association Capital District Habitat For Humanity