Posts Tagged ‘Andrzej Pilarczyk’

LIVE: Johnnyswim @ The Egg, 6/23/14

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Johnnyswim
Photographs by Andrezej Pilarczyk

Johnnyswim – the Nashville-based husband and wife team of Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano – made their Nippertown concert debut recently with a passionate, charming performance at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre in Albany.

Backed by their band, Sudano (the daughter of the late disco superstar Donna Summer) and Ramirez took the stage in support of their recently released debut album, Diamonds, and like their album title, they simply sparkled in concert.

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LIVE: Lord Huron @ Alive at Five, 7/10/14

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Lord Huron (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Lord Huron (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Photos by Stanley Johnson and Andrzej Pilarczyk
Video by Timothy Reidy

Originally a solo project for singer-songwriter Ben Schneider, the Los Angeles-based indie folk band Lord Huron has grown into a full ensemble, and the band made quite an impression last week in their Nippertown debut at Jennings Landing in Albany. Headlining the latest installment of the free Alive at Five concert series, Lord Huron is touring in support of their debut album, Lonesome Dreams, and they’ve landed such choice gigs as South by Southwest, Outside Lands and Lollapalooza.

Opening the show was Saratoga singer-songwriter MaryLeigh Roohan, who came armed with an all-star batch of backing musicians for her set in support of her latest album, Skin and Bone.

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LIVE: Queens of the Stone Age @ the Palace Theatre, 7/13/14

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
Queens of the Stone Age

Queens of the Stone Age

Review by B. Patrik
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

As fantastic as last year’s Queens of the Stone Age comeback album …Like Clockwork was (and I’d argue it was the best album of 2013, bar none), it came nowhere close to the exuberance, energy and raw rock ‘n’ roll thrill of the band’s performance Sunday night (July 13) at the Palace Theatre in Albany.

In fact, none of the band’s six studio records can hold a candle to its live show, and that’s saying something. For more than a decade now, QOTSA guitarist, vocalist and mastermind Josh Homme has collaborated on record with some of the best in the business. …Like Clockwork alone featured stellar performances from Foo Fighter and drummer extraordinaire Dave Grohl, former QOTSA and Kyuss bassist Nick Oliveri, the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, Mark Lanegan, Trent Reznor and Elton John.

For nearly two hours the five-piece band slammed away at songs from throughout its career, including a whopping eight of the 10 cuts from …Like Clockwork. And not only was nothing lost in the translation of these songs­­­ – in most instances, something was gained.

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LIVE: Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival @ SPAC, 6/29/14 (Day Two)

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
The Eddy Palmieri Orchestra (photo by Rudy Lu)

The Eddie Palmieri Orchestra (photo by Rudy Lu)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu
Additional photographs by Richard Brody, Cheri Bordelon, Andrzej Pilarczyk, J Hunter

“We’d like to close our set…” altoist/alt-jazz music mogul Tim Berne began his intro to “Static,” earning a hearty laugh from the Gazebo Stage crowd. True, Berne and his whip-smart quartet Snakeoil – Dave Douglas Quintet pianist Matt Mitchell, reedman Oscar Noriega and (making his second appearance at the Gazebo that weekend) percussionist Ches Smith – had just turned our heads around several times with 15 minutes of free-form madness to kick off Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival’s Sunday bill at SPAC, but there was no way these guys were going to play one tune for 45 minutes… right?

Well… sort-of right: “Static” turned out to be a careening multi-chapter suite that had the ensemble alternating off-its-head rubato with wildly complex melodies and figures – some pounding, some silky soft – that only seemed to lift the soloists to dizzier and dizzier heights. Noriega’s bass clarinet repeatedly traveled the distance between sub-sonic and shrieking, sometimes taking over the foundation so Mitchell could have room to express himself. If Smith played a straight beat, then I missed it, because when the deranged-looking stick figure wasn’t soloing, he was on the fill whether he was on drums or vibes. (Surprisingly, Smith’s vibes work was extremely tender in places.) Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence may have spun the Gazebo like a roulette wheel to close the Saturday bill, but Berne’s off-world excursions made Brown’s explorations seem simple in comparison.

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LIVE: Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Fest @ SPAC, 6/28/14 (Day One)

Monday, July 14th, 2014
Ronnie Earl (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Ronnie Earl (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Additional photographs by Richard Brody and J Hunter

You had to feel for Lew Tabackin. Second on the bill at Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival’s Gazebo stage, the veteran multi-instrumentalist arrived just in time to watch the Marc Cary Focus Trio laying waste to the place with “Taiwa,” drummer Sameer Gupta’s extraordinary East/West mash-up that recalls fusion giants Return To Forever – only with a wicked groove RTF never, ever achieved. Tabackin was expressionless as he watched, but his thoughts had to run along the lines of “I’ve gotta follow this? Really?” (Tabackin later met the fate of artists who substitute effort for ideas.)

“The music is radiating us,” Cary enthused after the piece. “It’s inspired us!” And it had to: Cary and his partners got to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center via an overnight train ride from Washington DC, only arriving in Greater Nippertown that morning. But Cary was celebrating 20 years as a leader, and his band was down with the program and each other. The first 10 minutes of the Focus Trio’s mind-blowing set was completely off the cuff, as Cary built beautifully byzantine structures with Gupta and bassist Rashaan Carter. They switched from bottomless rubato to the Jackie McLean’s hard-bopping “Appointment in Ghana” without taking a breath, and “CD Changer” tossed pieces from 10 of Cary’s early compositions and sent them right at our heads. Cary had the crowd so riveted, they applauded him whenever he switched from acoustic piano to Fender Rhodes – kind of like if the gallery at a golf tournament applauded Tiger Woods whenever he switched from a 5-iron to a sand wedge.

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LIVE: The Gaslight Anthem / White Denim @ Upstate Concert Hall, 6/19/14

Monday, July 14th, 2014
Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem

Review by Joel Reed
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

All this time I’ve been trying to figure out how White Denim and the Gaslight Anthem ended up on Upstate Concert Hall’s stage on the same night. Sure, they’re both hard-rocking bands with growing followings (with the Gaslight Anthem’s growing larger, faster), but you could say that about lots of bands. I just typed in the right combination of words to find my answer: they have the same booking agent. No doubt he was filling holes in schedules, perhaps hoping to turn followers of one into new fans of the other.

That might be hard to pull off though, as the band’s differences far outshined their common business arrangements. In the evening’s opening set White Denim challenged the audience to keep up with their fast playing, dense lyrics and rapid time-signature shifts, while they demonstrated a broad sweep of influences from southern rock to prog, the Grateful Dead to Led Zeppelin, with some quirky regional underground and punk thrown in.

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LIVE: Dwele @ Alive at Five, 6/26/14

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

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Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Mirk took the stage first, warming up the Alive at Five crowd with some choice catalog nuggets, and a preview sampling of Run, the band’s new album that was still a couple of days away from official release. Then Detroit’s Dwele fired up the folks, too, capping off a righteous R&B Night.

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LIVE: Goo Goo Dolls @ SPAC, 6/15/14

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
Goo Goo Dolls

Goo Goo Dolls

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Natives of the Queen City of the Great Lakes (that would be Buffalo, of course), Johnny Rzeznik and Goo Goo Dolls made one of the fastest big-stage turn-arounds of the year, headlining at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs just two months after packing The Egg for an acoustic show.

This time around, they also brought with them the hard-rockin’ Daughtry and Plain White T’s, who served up their own acoustic opening set.

No matter how you slice it, that’s a long way from the days when the more punk-oriented, garage-sloppy Goo Goo Dolls were bashing it out at 288 Lark…

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