LIVE: Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes @ Empire State Plaza, 7/4/15

July 24th, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Price Chopper has presented New York State’s annual Fourth of July Celebration at the Empire State Plaza in Albany every year since 1976, but this year there was one big change.

The steps of the NYS Museum are being overhauled this summer, which means that the stage was re-located to the north end of the plaza in front of the State Capitol Building. And because the museum steps have traditionally been utilized as seating for the celebration, it also meant that the crowd was packed into a considerably smaller viewing area than in years past.

But with musical headliners Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes – who had played inside the plaza at The Egg just a few months ago – yes, we were definitely havin’ a party, even before the fireworks filled the sky.

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LIVE: Kim Waters @ Empire State Plaza, 7/8/15

July 21st, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg
Kim Waters

Kim Waters

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

WHO: Kim Waters
WITH: Alex Bugnon and the Jazzy Four
WHEN: 5pm Wednesday, July 8, 2015
WHERE: The Empire State Plaza, State Street, Albany
UPCOMING: The Black Arts & Cultural Festival at the Empire State Plaza from 12noon-7pm on Saturday, August 1 featuring headliner Will Downing, the Prince of Sophisticated Soul. Admission is free.

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

June 30th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg
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: The Features @ the Empire State Plaza, 6/10/15

June 23rd, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg
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: Eddie Money @ Empire State Plaza Convention Hall, 8/13/14

August 25th, 2014, 2:30 pm by Greg
Eddie Money

Eddie Money

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Hey, you know, we kinda like Eddie Money, but we’re a little burned out on the guy…

His performance at the Empire State Plaza Convention Hall – moved indoors from the Plaza due to the weather forecast – earlier this month was his second time headlining the New York State Food Festival in just the past four years. And it was Money’s seventh (at least) annual summer tour stop in Nippertown…

Do we really need to hear “Two Tickets to Paradise” every summer?

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LIVE: Jeffrey Osborne @ the Empire State Plaza, 8/2/14

August 11th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Jeffrey Osborne was on hand as the headliner for the recent African American Family Day festival at Albany’s Empire State Plaza, and at the age of 66, his silky soulful voice sounds as inviting as it did back in his hit-making days.

Osborne offered a number of throwback tunes from his tenure as the frontman with L.T.D. back in the ’70s, mixing them in with his solo hits from the ’80s. His band was mighty funky, and after about a half-dozen songs, Osborne stepped offstage and regaled the crowd as he wandered through the audience, singing all the while and shaking hands with his fans.

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LIVE: Bootsy Collins / Shaggy @ the Empire State Plaza, 6/18/14

June 25th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg

Review by Greg Haymes
Video by Timothy Reidy

With The Egg as a backdrop, it certainly looked as though the Mothership had indeed landed on the Empire State Plaza last Wednesday evening, as the electrifying starchild o’ funk Bootsy Collins and his crew led the crowd through classic Parliament-Funkadelic chants, from the opening “We love the funk, gotta have the funk” to the closing “It’s official, family approved, one nation under a groove.”

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LIVE: Living Colour @ Empire State Plaza, 6/4/14

June 10th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
Corey Glover (photo by Rudy Lu)

Living Colour’s Corey Glover (photo by Rudy Lu)

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Rudy Lu
Additional photographs by Richard Brody, Stanley Johnston

When the Governor Nelson Rockefeller regime built the Empire State Plaza back in the ’60s, it displaced and destroyed a huge and vital chunk of the City of Albany’s neighborhoods. So it was with no small sense of irony that Living Colour ripped into “Open Letter (To a Landlord)” on Wednesday night from the stage on the very same plaza.

“Now you can tear a building down
But you can’t erase a memory
These houses may look all run down
But they have a value you can’t see…”

Whether the band had any idea about the concert site’s history or not is moot. The song was virtually written to be played on that stage, and the added weight of the ESP’s history imbued the ferocious anti-gentrification anthem with a weight that it probably doesn’t carry at most Living Colour concerts.

Then again, maybe they did know exactly what they were singing about – and where they were singing it. Vocalist Corey Glover kicked off their show by declaring, “We finally made it to the Capital, and we’re ready to burn it down.”

And, burn, baby, burn, they did. At least musically speaking.

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