The Local Lens: Dashboard Anthem @ Frog Alley Brewing, 7/11/2020


As we move from secret concerts in barns, garages, locked venues, and fields, and we tiptoe back into live music, we are emerging to find a whole new world than we knew before.

Photo by Stephanie Bartik

This weekend, I was able to get out from the cloak of secrecy, of shooting at ‘undisclosed locations’ with maybe 10 people in the entire area, including the band, the sound and the lighting dudes.

I felt as a solitary confinement prisoner finally being released and coming out to see the sun shine for the first time in 112 days.

We are finding that while we are getting back to the venues, albeit outdoor only, we now have a different set of rules.  “RULES” in Rock and Roll?  Who would ever have imagined we would be at this point?

“You must stay in your seat. If you do get up, you must wear a mask.  No dancing, no mingling.  Just sit.  You may order food, however, expect a limited menu.  You can drink—don’t forget to tip the servers running around in the 90° sun, also with masks”—But you know what?  Even with the Rock and Roll Rules, people are going out.

Deciding music with restrictions, is better than no music at all.

Photo by Stephanie Bartik

Everyone is trying to adapt.  The fans, resigned to dance in their seat, and do more talking than listening; the bands, who get their energy from the dancers and the cheering fans, are now taking the roll of a staged show rather than interactive party atmosphere.  The band photographer who feeds off the energy of the bands’ excitement, is now strapped to a chair, unable to move around, looking for “THAT SHOT”, trying to bend sideways in their seat, so every photo does not look the same as the 25 frames before, and if only we could have a hand signal to ask the bass player to just nudge over a bit, so it doesn’t seem as though the microphone is up his nose…indeed, a different world.

I was able to catch Dashboard Anthem at Frog Alley Brewing Company, 108 State Street, Schenectady, NY, on Saturday night, July 11, 2020. To make things even more strange, the usual band members weren’t all present tonight.

Photo by Stephanie Bartik

Instead of Dan Coler, Kevin Brandow (of the Refrigerators) filled in on lead vocals, Pete Vroman was on guitar, Eric Schwanke took Bass, Vocals, Jason Ellenbogen was seated at Drums/vocals, and Rich Romano (recently with Skeeter Creek) was on guitar

The night was filled with plenty of RUSH songs, captured spot on, by Kevin, as well as classic covers of REO speedwagon, Kansas, Aerosmith, Foreigner and more.  And a special guest closed out the show, local legend of the band Legend, Joe Schepis. 

The crowd was large, tenants from the condos above the brewery were treated to a free show and were seen watching from the balconies.
(This would definitely be a selling point for me to live there!)
Also, the King and Queen of the local music enthusiast group, The Chillers (Gene Colwell and Tamara Owen Peer) had their entourage there as well.
The staff did a great job with keeping the rules enforced, in a professional, nonconfrontational way, using gentle ‘reminders’ if they saw someone not complying with the standards.

Photo Gallery by Stephanie Bartik

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