This year at PearlPalooza in downtown Albany nine bands performed on two stages – alternating continuously throughout the day. Sponsored and hosted by 102.7 WEQX-FM, people were able to watch bands from all over the world perform on the main stage – Gentlemen Hall, Cayucas, Said the Whale and Crystal Fighters. Headlining PearlPalooza was Portugal. The Man.
And the local stage at the other end of the street played host to four popular Local 518 bands – Eastbound Jesus, Wild Adriatic, Stellar Young and Titanics.
With the best weather that a late-September day could give, the first band I had the pleasure of seeing was Santa Monica band Cayucas. With their music ranging from indie pop to surf pop, the three-piece band played a lively and relaxing set Saturday afternoon, including “Deep Sea” and their radio single “High School Lover,” from their recently released debut album, Bigfoot. If I had to compare their sound to any other band, I would say they sound very much like Vampire Weekend. People in the crowd soon made this connection, too, and every person I talked to really enjoyed their performance.
Yes, psychedelic pop-rockers Portugal. The Man are coming to Nippertown on Thursday (May 23) to play a couple of acoustic shows to preview their upcoming album, Evil Friends. Produced by Danger Mouse, the album is slated for release on Tuesday, June 4.
But you can’t buy tickets for the shows…
You can, however, win free tickets from local radio stations WEQX-FM and WEXT-FM.
On Thursday afternoon, the band will be playing a short (five songs or so) acoustic show at an undisclosed Albany location. The performance and chat with bandmembers will be recorded by WEXT-FM for later broadcast on their “Live @ EXT” radio show, and you can be in the audience if you snag tickets from WEXT-FM here.
Then at 7pm on Thursday at the Hollow Bar + Kitchen (formerly the Bayou Cafe) in Albany, Portugal. The Man will be playing an acoustic show sponsored by WEQX-FM. You can find out how to win free tickets by going to WEQX-FM’s website or listening to the station.
Oh, and by the way, WEXT-FM is also hosting another “Live @ EXT” show this week. The fab British folk-rock trio of sisters, the Staves, are headed into an undisclosed Albany location on Wednesday afternoon (May 22) in support of their newly released debut album, Dead & Born & Grown. Go here to enter to win tickets to this one…
It’s been a long time since I went to a “Festival” type concert, but at the urging of a friend who was calling me lame, I bought a one-day pass for Mountain Jam. When I looked at the schedule for Saturday, a couple of performers jumped out at me – Mavis Staples and the North Mississippi Allstars Duo, and a chance to see Gov’t Mule. So, this 54-year old headed up the mountain wearing a NYRA “Alabama” hat, a Buck Dharma Archive T-shirt and comfortable shoes. I packed one of the kid’s backpacks with everything I needed to enjoy the concert – a change of clothes, with a hoodie and heavy sweat pants for when it got cold, a camera, binoculars (never used them once), bug spray, sunscreen, Aleve, my medicine, a big water bottle and a flashlight. With a Coleman camp chair, I was ready!
We found a place a couple of hundred feet from the stage, and claimed (or so we thought) our ground for the day and began 12+ hours of music and people watching. The crowd was very diverse – families with very young kids up to people I would consider old. The weather was spectacular – sunny with a breeze and in the mid-70s – and as we got there, the Ryan Montbleau Band started playing. Never heard of them before, have no idea what any of the songs were called, but it was a vibrant performance that swung and rocked and fit the bright weather. The guitar player was excellent and had one of the best, if not the best solo of the day. These guys ended their set by saying they play house parties! I don’t know the names of the songs, but I am going to find out.
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