Posts Tagged ‘SPAC’

LIVE: Steely Dan @ SPAC, 8/31/14

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

SteelyDan2

Review by Kirsten Ferguson
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Steely Dan dubbed their latest tour – which came to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on August 31 after travelling across North America for much of the summer – the “Jamalot Ever After Tour.” No real subtlety there – assuming that by “Jamalot” they meant their big band of wizard-proficient musicians and vocalists would stretch way out on jazzified, solo-filled versions of their songs, which were culled primarily from the group’s ‘70s studio recording heyday.

But “jam” also implies an element of spontaneity and, no, this was a carefully scripted affair, based on a fairly predictable formula and set list honed over the group’s last several tours – heavy on the (admittedly brilliant) tunes from the multi-platinum Aja (“Black Cow,” “Aja,” “Josie,” “Peg”) and FM staples like “Hey Nineteen,” “Reelin’ in the Years,” “My Old School” and “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number.”

Steely Dan masterminds Donald Fagen (keyboards and vocals) and Walter Becker (guitar) now embrace touring in a way they never did in their more studio-focused early days, but given their reputation as control freaks in love with extreme precision and technical proficiency, it’s no real surprise that they would approach their live show the way they do now – with a highly polished band of pros who showcase their jazz-pop prowess by taking solos throughout the night, lit under a rotating spotlight.

Concert-goers were still making their way to their seats as the 11-piece backing band – minus Fagen and Becker – opened with the Latin-flavored instrumental cover of Ray Bryant’s “Cubano Chant.” Then the two somewhat curmudgeonly looking lead guys arrived – Fagen taking his hunched seat behind the keyboard for “Black Cow” and “Aja,” the latter song featuring a Fagen keytar solo, a sax solo by Walt Weiskopf and a drum solo by Keith Carlock.

(more…)

Advertisement

LIVE: Florida Georgia Line @ SPAC, 8/30/14

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Florida Georgia Line (photo by Tim Mack)

Photographs by Tim Mack

Florida Georgia Line – the country dude duo of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard – weren’t the headliners at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s penultimate concert of the summer (that was Jason Aldean), but it sure sounded like they were judging by the volume of the crowd’s response.

The FGL bros are still riding high on the double-platinum success of their debut album, Here’s to the Good Times, and they delivered a high-energy, country-meets-rock-meets-hip-hop, whiskey-swiggin’, keep-the-party-rolling set.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Win FREE Tickets to SPAC’s Saratoga Wine & Food Festival This Weekend

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

The Saratoga Wine and Food Festival
The Saratoga Performing Arts Center has wrapped up another summer of concerts, but there’s still one more big event on the calendar this weekend before SPAC closes the gates on the 2014 season.

The Saratoga Wine & Food Festival takes over the SPAC grounds this weekend for three days of dining and drinking.

(more…)

LIVE: The Zac Brown Band @ SPAC, 8/24/14

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Zac Brown Band

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

No question about it, the Zac Brown Band is one of the biggest groups on the today’s contemporary country circuit, and they delivered a two-hour super-smackdown of a concert at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs last weekend.

But their concert – which included a number of cover songs stretching from Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” (without a piano, by the way) – also begs the question: Just how do you define country music these days?

(more…)

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.

(more…)

LIVE: Rascal Flatts @ SPAC, 8/3/14

Thursday, August 7th, 2014
Rascal Flats

Rascal Flatts

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

It was a country-pop triple-header at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center last Sunday night. Headlining the big bash was Rascal Flatts, and lead vocalist Gary LeVox led the band through a hit-filled hour and a half in the Saratoga spotlight.

Grammy Award-winning pop singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow has shifted to the country end of the music spectrum without changing her sound at all. Her hour-long set featured such hits as “All I Wanna Do,” “Soak Up the Sun” and “Every Day Is a Winding Road.”

(more…)

LIVE: The Moody Blues @ SPAC, 8/4/14

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues

Review by Don Wilcock
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Of all the rock legends from the ’60s still performing, the Moody Blues are the best at stopping time. Justin Hayward’s lyrics are inspired by the romantic British poetry of Byron, Keats and Shelley blended with classical music buoyed by Hayward’s perfectly executed rock guitar that, if anything, has more edge than it did back in 1967. It’s a sumptuous and lush sound that made the band the most blatantly British of a cadre of rockers, the rest of whom were selling American roots music back to the colonies half a century ago.

At Monday night’s Saratoga Performing Arts Center performance, drummer Graeme Edge announced that the band had just celebrated their 50th anniversary the night before. They ended their first set with one of their newest songs, “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” a mid-’80s hit. They built their second hour-long set around ever more familiar waves of hits that included “Isn’t Life Strange” from Seventh Sojourn; their first American hit from Days of Future Passed, “Tuesday Afternoon;” “Higher and Higher” with Edge on vocal from To Our Children’s Children’s Children; “Singer in a Rock and Roll Band” from Seventh Sojourn; and they encored with “Ride My See Saw” from In Search of a Lost Chord. Most songs prompted repeated standing ovations from a crowd of all ages, and they closed with their signature song “Nights in White Satin” from the 1967 breakout album Days of Future Passed.

(more…)

Holly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!Albany PoetsArtist Charles HaymesHudson SoundsLeave Regular Radio BehindKeep Albany BoringBerkshire On StageThe LindaAustralian Cattle Dog Rescue Association