Posts Tagged ‘Andrzej Pilarczyk’

LIVE: The Fray @ the Palace Theatre, 9/9/14

Monday, September 15th, 2014
The Fray

The Fray

Radio station 99.5 The River hosted its “Fall Night In” concert at Albany’s Palace Theatre this past Tuesday night, and while King Crimson was churning up a massive night of prog-rock over at The Egg, the Palace took on a more pop-oriented triple-bill with the Fray headlining the evening’s festivities in support of their latest album, Helios.

But it was A Great Big World – keyboardist-vocalist Ian Axel and vocalist-trumpeter Chad Vaccarino with their backing band – who all but stole the show with their omni-present hit, “Say Something” (co-written by Albany High grad Mike Campbell).

Pop singer-songwriter Andy Grammer opened the show, and brought out a bunch Local 518 friends and contest winners to sing along with him onstage for “Back Home.”

SECOND OPINIONS
Tom Templeton’s review at The Times Union

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LIVE: Louise Schulman & Bill Zito @ the Strand Theater, 8/23/14

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Louise Schulman and Bill Zito

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The first half of this New York City-based chamber duo’s recent performance at Schroon Lake’s Strand Theater was a mix of 18th century works by Christian Gottlieb Scheidler and Mauro Giuliani. But right in the middle of the repertoire during the first half of the concert was Peter Schickele’s “Windows,” composed in 1966. Of course, Schickele’s alter ego was the comedic P.D.Q. Bach, a fictitious younger relative of the great Johann S. Bach, part of that historical German classical-music triumvirate – Bach, Beethoven & Brahms – that still influences classical musicians today.

After a brief intermission, the second set kicked off with more Mauro Giuliani, followed by a contemporary nod to the late jazz and classical Argentinean legend, Astor Piazzolla. His composition, “Cafe 1930,” caused more than a few toes to tap the rhythm of the composition soulfully interpreted by violist Louise Schulman and guitarist Bill Zito.

Zito sat under the spotlights and tuned his acoustic classical guitar for two pieces of solo virtuosity. Schulman walked off the stage with her 16th century hand-crafted viola and joined the audience for a listen. The room took on a different atmosphere with two Spanish classical compositions by Enrique Granados and Isaac Albinez, both 19th century composers, that made Zito’s fingers fly up and down on the fretboard shaping a tonal spectrum that encompassed the dynamic extremes of sound from gentle subtlety to aggressive arpeggios.

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LIVE: Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival @ Corning Preserve Boat Launch, 9/6/14

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Catherine Rusell, Mark McLean and Matt Munisteri (photo: Rudy Lu)

Catherine Rusell, Mark McLean and Matt Munisteri (photo: Rudy Lu)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Andrzej Pilarczyk

After the rainout of 2012, the people behind the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival weren’t going to roll the dice again when a big green blob of weather was set to head Greater Nippertown’s way come festival day. And since Joshua Bell and the Albany Symphony Orchestra were playing at the Palace Theatre that night, the jazz fest moved to Alive at Five’s rain site – the parking lot of the Corning Preserve Boat Launch under the I-787 overpass. No way could you argue with the practicality of the move, but would people be willing to hang out under a highway for eight hours, even if the music was free?

The answer was a resounding “HELL, YES!” The Riverfront Jazz Fest is an established tradition now, and a little bit of rain (or, in this case, a little rain and a LOT of wind) wasn’t
going to keep people away. While the overall crowd was a little less than if the show had been at Jennings Landing, we saw the same flow-through of festival-goers that the Riverfront fest has seen in the past, and the usual group of hardcore supporters were sitting in their folding chairs when flamenco guitarist Maria Zemantauski took the stage and ran into the day’s only major issue: Acoustics. There’s no way to minimize the massive echo you get in that kind of space with normal sounds. Put those sounds through two stacks of amplifiers? Fuhgeddaboudit!

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LIVE: Chicago / REO Speedwagon @ SPAC, 8/19/14

Monday, September 8th, 2014
Chicago

Chicago

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk, courtesy of The Glens Falls Chronicle

Veteran heartland rock machines REO Speedwagon and Chicago have both been pumping it out for years, rolling into town in one combination or another (with the Doobies Brothers, Styx, Earth, Wind & Fire, Ted Nugent, etc.) for co-headlining shows.

At the Saratoga Performing Arts Center recently each band took the stage and ran through as many of their hits that they could cram into their set. You know the songs.

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LIVE: Luke Bryan @ SPAC, 8/17/14

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Luke Bryan

Luke Bryan

Remember the days not too long ago when the Saratoga Performing Arts Center simply couldn’t figure out how to sell tickets to country music concerts? Well, things have changed… and of course, so too has country music.

Luke Bryan, the reigning country music superstar, was back in the spotlight again last Sunday evening, after selling out approximately 25,000 tickets at SPAC last summer on his Dirt Road Diaries Tour 2013.

No surprise, the Luke-ster sold out SPAC once again with his That’s My Kind of Night Tour, featuring support acts Cole Swindell and Lee Brice.

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LIVE: Boz Scaggs @ The Egg, 8/5/14

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Boz Scaggs

Boz Scaggs

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

“Polite” is a word that you never want to read in a review of a rock concert. Or a blues concert. Or a soul concert.

But at The Egg’s Hart Theatre recently, veteran soul man Boz Scaggs was simply polite. He simmered, but he never reached the boiling point.

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LIVE: Jackson Browne @ the Palace Theatre, 8/14/14

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Jackson Browne

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

One guy…
One baby grand piano…
One massive display of nearly two dozen guitars…
And two sprawling solo sets that spanned nearly two-and-a-half hours…

It’s one thing to keep your options open, as Jackson Browne did as he glided through a concert at the Palace Theatre in Albany last week – especially a solo show, where he was free to radically alter his set list on a whim – or the crowd’s demand… and the crowd was mighty demanding, yelling out requests at every opportunity.

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LIVE: The Ghost Train Orchestra @ the Music Haven, 8/10/14

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
(photo by Stanley Johnson)

Ghost Train Orchestra’s Brian Carpenter (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Photographs by Stanley Johnson, Andrzej Pilarczyk, Richard Brody

The motto of the Music Haven Concert Series in Schenectady’s Central Park has always been “Join us in traveling the world one concert at a time.” And the 2014 series did indeed travel from Africa to Ireland to Cuba to Chicago to Louisiana. But in wrapping up their 25th anniversary season with the Ghost Train Orchestra, the series took a slightly different tact, traveling not around the globe, but rather back in time.

The brainchild of Brian Carpenter – composer, arranger, trumpeter, vocalist – the GTO draws from the deep well of jazz by such early 20th century bandleaders as Fletcher Henderson, Don Redman, Tiny Parham, Fess Williams, Charlie Johnson and others.

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