LIVE: Dead & Company @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, 6/21/16

June 22nd, 2016, 9:30 am by Greg

Back in October, the latest spin-off incarnation of the Grateful Dead launched their inaugural tour with a concert at Albany’s Times Union Center. The pieces didn’t quite all fit together perfectly, but there was no doubt that the new line-up of Dead & Company – featuring Grateful Dead alum Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann augmented with John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti – definitely showed promise.

On Tuesday evening (June 21), the band returned to Greater Nippertown for their debut at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, where the Grateful Dead still hold the record for the biggest concert crowd. And this time around, they lived up to the promise…

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SPAC: A Preview of Summer 2016 Offerings [Berkshire on Stage]

November 19th, 2015, 10:00 am by Sara
Renee Fleming (credit: Timothy White)

Renee Fleming (credit: Timothy White)

For the first time in five decades, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces upcoming summer programming prior to the holiday season with a special Holiday Collection promotion for early birds who like to buy their tickets at a savings. The Holiday Collection is a selection of nine incredible programs handpicked to help audiences celebrate the holiday season. Tickets will become available at at 10am on Monday, November 30, “Cyber Monday.” Scroll to the bottom for promotion details

“SPAC’s 2016 Anniversary Season is a celebration of the visionaries who brought SPAC to life and the community that sustained, enriched and expanded SPAC for five decades,” reads the SPAC press release announcing the season highlights. “As we celebrate 50 years, we must remember that the dreams of the future are as important as the history of the past. We pay tribute to our founders’ legacy by launching SPAC’s artistic future through innovative programming, once-in-a-lifetime special events, and world premieres by choreographer Justin Peck and composer Michael Torke. Together, we applaud our cherished resident founders George Balanchine, Lincoln Kirstein, Eugene Ormandy, and their world-renowned artistry.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: The Zac Brown Band @ SPAC, 9/6/15

September 28th, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Country music – or at least what passes for country music these days – dominated the 2015 summer at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center from opening show of the summer (Lady Antebellum on May 31) straight through to the end – the season-closing concert by the Zac Brown Band on Labor Day weekend.

Brown and the boys romped into SPAC in support of their new album Jekyll + Hyde, and just they had in 2012 and 2014, they attracted one of the largest crowds of the year, rockin’ and rollickin’ away the night.

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LIVE: Chicago / Earth, Wind & Fire @ SPAC, 8/29/15

September 21st, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The veteran horn-fueled band Chicago were one of the earliest rockers to grace the stage of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs back in the band’s ’60s & ‘early ’70s heyday.

And more recently, the baby-boomer faves have been a mainstay on the SPAC stage, teaming up for a summer tour with one or another classic rock band – Reo Speedwagon, the Doobie Brothers and, in this case, Earth Wind & Fire – for a regular Spa City double-bill.

So Chicago – still featuring the horn-fueled power of trumpeter Lee Loughnane and trombonist James Pankow, as well as original keyboardist-vocalist Robert Lamm – knows the drill. And rather than flip coin to determine who’s opening for who, they simply open and close the show with a full onslaught, double-band cluster-fuck.

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LIVE: The Doobie Brothers / Gregg Allman Band @ SPAC, 9/4/15

September 8th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

“Doobie, doobie, doo…”

Led by Tom Johnston, the Doobie Brothers rolled into the Saratoga Performing Arts Center last Friday (September 4) for the final weekend of the SPAC season, sharing the bill with the Gregg Allman Band and opening act Ruthie Collins.

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LIVE: Counting Crows @ SPAC, 9/1/15

September 2nd, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg
Counting Crows

Counting Crows

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Led by lead singer Adam Duritz, Counting Crows winged their way back to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs on Tuesday night (September 1), with Citizen Cope and Hollis Brown opening the show.

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LIVE: Joe Bonamassa @ SPAC, 8/10/15

August 31st, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

OK, raise your hand if you remember the days when Smokin’ Joe Bonamassa was a chubby prepubescent kid firing up his big, bad blues guitar licks at Local 518 clubs like Pauly’s Hotel and Bogie’s long before he was old enough to legally drink there?

Well, things have certainly changed for the Utica guitarslinger, who made his Saratoga Performing Arts Center debut earlier this month.

Bonamassa and his band – fueled by master drummer Anton Fig (who played with Felicia Collins at Schenectady’s Music Haven the previous night) and keyboardist Reese Wyans (a key member of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double trouble) – burned through their Three Kings show, a tribute to blues guitar giants Albert King, Freddie King and the one and only B.B. King.

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LIVE: 5 Seconds of Summer @ SPAC, 8/26/15

August 28th, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg
5 Second of Summer

5 Seconds of Summer

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

It was the big boy-band bash of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s summer concert season. And it was a huge happy 24th birthday party for 5 Seconds of Summer drummer Ashton Irwin, who was enthusiastically serenaded by his bandmates and the largely young, female crowd.

Yes, the loooong wait was finally over (tickets for the concert went on sale more than a year ago), and the Australian pop-punk band had arrived in the Spa City with almost as much fanfare as American Pharoah.

Following an opening set from Hey Violet, 5SOS pumped out plenty of their hits, a sneak preview of their upcoming album Sounds Good Feels Good (highlighted by “Permanent Vacation” and their current single “She’s Kinda Hot”) and a few select covers (including Green Day’s “American Idiot” and an encore of the Romantics’ “What I Like About You”).

And what did the crowd like about 5SOS? Just about everything…

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