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Ton Lokal

It’s outdoor concert season for the Metroland fan-at-large

by Timothy Reidy on June 12, 2014


It was the last weekend of April. It was exhausting and thrilling. Some fine art was on show in Troy that Friday, punctuated by photos at the Fulton Street Gallery and Spiritual Cylinders at the Way Back Gallery. Moving to Albany, the Ellen Sinopoli dancers got Physic-al in their approach to that night’s performance at University at Albany. The new dance was very experimental in scope. Black Taxi filled out the night at Red Square. This was a fine start to MOVE.

Charmboy rocks the bandshell.

Saturday brought another interesting MOVE Music Festival; you never know what fully to expect there. The two late-evening performances at Red Square were noteworthy. Shinobi Ninja brought an energy rarely matched at the Square. Going from hip-hop to metal and jumping all about, they gave it their all, until they were forced to quit. The local audience were more up for MIRK, and Mirk delivered the beautiful music. It was the best show of that day, and the music plus the performance were dynamic.

Wildwoodstock brought together many bands for charity on Sunday. Most had an upright bass. Erin Harkes played there per usual, and I got to see her back in Albany as the closing act of MOVE Festival at McGeary’s for some low-key fun to end the evening.

May was a busy month for me. First Friday showcased a fun typography exhibit at the College of St. Rose, followed by a double Canadian bill at the Hollow. Sam Roberts Band rocked hard and got the crowd going (more than me) that night. Openers Current Swell brought out some slide guitar and got the party started.

Seeing Black Mountain Symphony at Harmony Lounge was fun, as the dancing crowd ate up the infectious jams that Saturday Night. Nanola has been getting some good Sunday shows, such as Megafauna from Texas. Bluesy rock and hot licks were the story from them that afternoon.

Albany’s Tulip Fest was fun but not very spectacular. Mike Doughty would have been better off being the opener, and matched Rebel Darling‘s vibe, but he did not provide the continued energy to get past Rubblebucket‘s crowd-busting vibe. The local acts were solid on Saturday, but not spectacular. A solid time was had by all the mothers that saw Five Alpha Beatdown. While there were no boxed presents for Mom, there was still plenty to text about that sweaty night. The Kimono Dragons were scary good with their catchy surf tones, while the Pistolwhips scored big with a lo-fi rock set. Sunday at Tulip Fest was even better on the lakehouse stage as the North and South Dakotas and the Chronicles got some sweet sets together. The Lucky Jukebox Brigade got through their set in fine form, while shorthanded.

Bruce Springsteen brought his 19-piece E Street Band to Albany and did very well with the high hopes of the audience. He ran out of songs during the middle of the set and was “forced” to take requests and dance with members of the audience. “Badlands” was the better part of his set, along with “High Hopes” and “Shackled and Drawn.”

Rubblebucket at Tulip Fest.

A rained-out Food Truck Festival brought me out to see M.R. Poulopoulos and Michaela Anne in Esperance. The two acts were able to sing over the frogs and brought their folk to the folk. Luckily, I was able to see Wild Adriatic that weekend at Lake George. The band sounded in top fashion and the addition of Pat on keys really works. With new and older songs, the foursome kept the love of the sparse but attentive crowd.

A Memorial Day weekend British invasion was in store for Albany on Friday, and Deluka delivered the pop to the Hollow. The Wonderbeards were nice but not well placed on this bill.

CAC Woodside brought me back to the South Troy hills for the first time since Restoration Fest. The place was literally shaking during the craziness that is the Disposable Rocket Band. Walking X-Ray played their best show ever and Moon Magick was easier to spot doing their sonic soundscapes. Power Animal Systems was basically some performance art, and amazingly there was enough time to go dance crazy to Extreme Animals at the end of the show.

My next long weekend started to go up in smoke at Vapor Night Club. Titanics got the party started with Pink Floyd-sounding dance numbers, especially “Cars.” They are now super catchy. MIRK played a long set getting us ready for their album release. After the show, I was able to catch the Rodeo Barons at One Caroline Street and was very impressed by the long countrified songs and crazy guitars. Amazing songs were on aural display at One Caroline for a fine nightcap.