More than five months ago (that’s way back in November), we announced that Levine’s pop group Maroon 5 would be rolling into Albany’s downtown arena on Saturday, November 21. Now, Blake Shelton’s website has announced that the country music star is slated to land at the same venue just a week later on Thursday, September 29. (There’s been no official word about the concert yet from the Times Union Center.)
So who’s going to draw more fans? Or is the real question, “Who’s going to make more money?”
“The only thing there is to say
Every silver lining’s got a touch of grey
I will get by, I will get by
I will get by, I will survive…”
Yes, for one night last week, Albany was the center of the jam-band universe as Dead & Company launched their maiden tour at the Times Union Center, before heading down to NYC for their big two-night Halloween weekend stand at Madison Square Graden.
Carrying on the Grateful Dead spirit and vast song catalog, Dead core members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir teamed up with keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, bassist Oteil Burbridge and guitarslinger John Mayer for the sprawling two-set show that touched on most facets of the band’s rich musical history.
Of course, blues and pop hitmaker Mayer was the big X-Factor, but in fact, he slipped into the classic Dead sound with aplomb on guitar, and from his first lead vocal on “Cold Rain and Snow” to the encore of “Touch of Gray,” in which he shared the lead vocal chores with Weir, it was clear that he had done his homework.
“Are you ready to be transformed, Albany?,” Bruce Springsteen shouted in full preacher mode. He had just led his sprawling, 16-piece E Street Band through a rousing rendition of the party-in-the-face-of-despair anthem “Mary’s Place,” an hour into his nearly three-hour concert at the Times Union Center on Tuesday night.
It wasn’t a rhetorical question…
Of course, by then most of the fans at the sold-out concert had already experienced a transformative moment or two. Maybe it was when he simply shouted, “Guitar!,” in the middle of the opening INXS cover “Don’t Change,” and Nils Lofgren and Tom Morello both stepped forward to join Springsteen as a choreographed, front-line guitar army. Maybe it was at the end of “No Surrender” when Springsteen turned his back on the audience and raised his guitar up high over his head, shaking a ferocious blast of feedback from it. Maybe it was “Badlands,” the first full-blown, Church of Rock & Roll sing-along of the night. Of course, it wasn’t the last…
“So the next day I went to the studio with Daft Punk, and I wrote ‘I Am a God,’ cause it’s like, yo! Nobody can tell me where I can and can’t go. Man, I’m the No. 1 living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose; I am Jim Morrison; I am Jimi Hendrix.”
“I think that’s a responsibility that I have, to push possibilities, to show people, this is the level that things could be at. So when you get something that has the name Kanye West on it, it’s supposed to be pushing the furthest possibilities. I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus.”
There was a hefty amount of nostalgia running through John Fogerty’s marathon concert at the Times Union Center on Sunday night. Before the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman came on stage for the two-hour-plus show, a backdrop screen displayed a montage of video clips and photographs from the ‘60s and ‘70s: flyers from sold-out CCR gigs and old interviews with Fogerty wearing various shades of flannel plaid and a mop of brown hair.
He hasn’t changed much since then: same hair, same flannel.
“It was probably the Everly Brothers, I think. Yes, probably the Everly Brothers. Or if not them, then it might have been something by Cliff Richard & the Shadows.
“But the first music that I ever remember hearing was broadcast from a commercial radio station in Luxembourg. I used to listen to it on an old crystal radio set.”
Mick Fleetwood slips behind the drums once again at 8pm on Wednesday (June 19) to fuel mega-platinum rockers Fleetwood Mac in their return to the Times Union Center in Albany. Tickets are $37.50, $65, $95 & $125.
Steven Tyler has jumped the shark so many times – I mean, really, Burger King commercials? – that it’s sometimes difficult to remember that he is indeed still one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most charismatic frontmen.
On Friday night at the Times Union Center, Tyler and guitarslinger Joe Perry exploded into the opening “Draw the Line” at the far end of the runway, smack dab in the middle of the crowd. It’s a bit of staging that most bands throw in toward the middle or end of their set in an effort to establish a sense of intimacy in a big arena-rock show. But Aerosmithstarted the show there and then just kept on ratcheting it up notch after notch as the show continued for nearly two hours.
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