LIVE: Ed Sheeran @ the Times Union Center, 5/13/15

May 15th, 2015, 12:00 pm by Greg
Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

It was the fastest sell-out in the 25-year history of Albany’s downtown arena. And when British popster Ed Sheeran stepped out on the stage of the Times Union Center on Wednesday evening (May 13), the roar of the predominately young female fans who snapped up the tickets told the whole story.

Opening with “I’m a Mess,” the ginger-haired 24-year-old singer-songwriter performed with confidence and a casual, audience-friendly attitude as he melded his pop style with a decided hip-hop edge. And he did it all by himself – no band, no pre-recorded backing tracks and other than a wall of video screens, no stage set of any kind. It was just a guy, his guitar and his looping station.

And as it turned out, that was all that he needed. It takes a special kind of solo performer to captivate a sold-out crowd in a hockey rink, but Sheeran did just that, playing his hits (including his brand new single, “Photograph”) as well as album tracks, along the way dropping in bits ‘n’ pieces of cover tunes that ranged from Bill Withers to Iggy Azalea, from Stevie Wonder to 50 Cent.

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LIVE: The J. Geils Band @ the Times Union Center, 12/2/14

December 8th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
Peter Wolf

Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

I never took a course in Physics, so I’ve always been somewhat flummoxed by Newton’s Law which says something like, “A body in motion tends to stay in motion.” Then I saw Peter Wolf fronting the J. Geils Band at the Times Union Center last week…

Once he hit the stage and launched into “Hard Drivin’ Man” (following the band’s opening around-the-horn, instrumental rave-up of “Sno-Cone”), Wolf simply could not stop moving.

11 songs.

50 minutes.

Dancing… Twirling… Testifying… Stalking the stage. Shaking those skinny legs and all. Wearing his sparkling, sequined jacket, he was like a human mirror ball. Or a glittering Tasmanian devil.

And the man is 68 years old…

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LIVE: Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band @ Times Union Center, 12/2/14

December 8th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg
Bob Seger

Bob Seger

Review by Dan Hogan
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

In age of tribute bands and auto-tune pop stars, it is refreshing to see that Bob Seger is still out on the road. Bob is 69 years old now, and he is touring behind a new album, but I was part of the packed Times Union Center crowd that came to hear his hits from the 1970s. We would not be disappointed.

For over 50 years, Bob Seger has been a staple of American Music. As a kid, I still remember the first time I heard the Bob Seger System’s “Ramblin,’ Gamblin’ Man” on WKBW-AM in Buffalo. What was that, I wanted to know?

On the strength of the albums “Beautiful Loser,” the hugely successful “Live Bullet” and “Stranger in Town,” Seger would go on to be a huge star in the mid to late ’70s. I hadn’t listened to his music in quite a long time, but the double-bill with the J. Geils Band was enough to make me curious. Looking around the arena, I saw a crowd that looked a lot like me that was here to have a good time listening to those hits of the ’70s.

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LIVE: Justin Timberlake @ the Times Union Center, 7/16/14

August 5th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg


Review and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

Maybe it was seeing Justin Timberlake so soon after Paul McCartney, who had electrified the sold-out Times Union Center crowd 11 days earlier with three emotionally powerful hours of Beatles, Wings and solo songs.

But something about the first portion of Justin Timberlake’s sold-out show at the Times Union Center just felt flat, even though the devoted JT fans who filled the arena were primed to scream every time the pop heartthrob glanced out into the audience or busted a flashy dance move. Yes, it was an estrogen fest.

The show started with Timberlake and his army of musicians, singer and dancers rising up from underneath the stage — in front of JT markers that looked like gravestones — for the soulful first number, “Pusher Love Girl,” the opening track from the singer’s latest release, The 20/20 Experience.

Although he followed with “Rock Your Body” and “My Love” — two surefire club hits — they both felt surprisingly lethargic. A too-dark stage set maybe, or an arena show performed too many times without variation. Or maybe Timberlake’s slickness just felt less than genuine after having seen McCartney, who sang “The Long and Winding Road” with heart-choking emotion, as if he wrote it yesterday. Totally unfair comparison, I know.

The show did pick up right before the intermission, during the light-hearted “Summer Love” and the love ballad “Until the End of Time,” the latter featuring Timberlake at a white grand piano on the lip of the stage, as the arena lit up in a sea of cellphones.

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Kanye Quote of the Day #1

February 3rd, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

Kanye West

“I am God’s vessel. But my greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.”

– Guaranteed genuine quotations from the mouth of Kanye West, who makes his Nippertown debut at the Times Union Center in Albany on Wednesday, February 19

Another New Concert Announced for the Times Union Center

August 6th, 2013, 9:00 am by Greg

Donny and Marie Osmond

Well, it seems like only yesterday that we announced a new, upcoming holiday concert at the Times Union Center in Albany. Oh, that’s right, it was only yesterday.

But now we’ve got a new one to announce…

She’s a little bit country, and he’s a little bit… oh well, never mind. That’s right, America’s beloved singing siblings Donnie and Marie Osmond are headed into the Times Union Center with their Donny & Marie Christmas Tour at 6:30pm on Sunday, December 15.

Priced at $49.50, $59.50, $79.50 & $125, tickets are scheduled to go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 16.

LIVE: Fleetwood Mac @ the Times Union Center, 6/19/13

June 26th, 2013, 1:00 pm by Greg

Review by Bokonon

“Go Your Own Way.” “Second Hand News.” “Big Love.” “Never Going Back Again.” “Not That Funny.” These are songs for boys.

“Gold Dust Woman.” “Landslide.” “Dreams.” “Sara.” “Silver Springs.” These are songs for girls.

Songs for boys are quirky, hiccupping and driving. Songs for girls are swirly, gossamer and spinning.

Songs for boys are better. Get over it.

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LIVE: Tiesto @ the Times Union Center, 2/20/13

February 25th, 2013, 3:00 pm by Greg

 Tiesto @ the Times Union Center, 2/20/13 (photo by Michael Seinberg)

Photographs by Michael Seinberg

Downtown Albany was throbbing to the beat on Wednesday night as the Club Life College Invasion Tour took over the Times Union Center in Albany for a marathon bash headlined by Tiesto, with support from the likes of Quintino and Tommy Trash.

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