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The Machine

Can you hear that sound off in the distance? It’s the repetitious pounding of machinery and a low thud of ominous guitars. It’s a psychedelic swirl of keyboards. It’s Pink Floyd tribute band the Machine, coming into town.

First Night Albany abandoned Lark Street years ago (we can’t remember why), but Center Square will not be left lonely come New Year’s Eve. The Machine—with openers Jim Weider’s Project Percolator featuring Tony Levin—will rock the Washington Avenue Armory with songs from every stage of Pink Floyd’s career.

And we are so cool with that. From Syd Barrett’s psychedelia through the David Gilmour-Rick Wright spaceship-rock years to Roger Waters’ soul-crushing misanthropic epics, Pink Floyd always beguiled us. The Machine, with first-rate musical chops and a spectacular laser light show, are as close as you’re gonna get to seeing Floyd’s multiple personalities in one show.

The Machine will perform on Saturday (Dec. 31) at 8 PM at the Washington Avenue Armory (195 Washington Ave., Albany). We are assured that the show will be over in time to catch the New Year’s fireworks display. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 on the day of the show. For more information, call 694-7160.

First Night Celebrations

What are you doing on New Year’s Eve? If you had to pause just now to consider your family’s interests, we’ve got a few ideas for you—specifically, the Albany and Saratoga First Night celebrations. These things happen every year, so if this is the first you’re hearing of them, you might want to make a mental note for next time.

First Night Albany has covered much ground since its inception 19 years ago. Actually, it now covers less ground, as the organizers are now squeezing everything into about five city blocks (events at earlier celebrations were strewn all over downtown Albany, even west of Lark Street!), but we digress. The entertainment is just as top-notch this year as any, and it’s all within easy walking distance. (Shuttle vehicles will be made available for those uninterested in “hoofing it.”) Headlining the musical portion of the evening is Abba Gold (pictured), who will faithfully recreate a late-’70s-era Abba concert at the Palace Theatre. The whole thing kicks off at 2 PM on Saturday (Dec. 31) with the Jingle Jog, a fun run for kids. A $12 First Night button is required for admission to all First Night events. Buttons are available at all area Price Chopper supermarkets, or at Albany City Hall. For more information, call 434-2032, or visit www.albanyevents.org.

First Night Saratoga celebrates its 10th year this Dec. 31st, and in grand fashion: It’s now the biggest First Night celebration in New York state (take that, Albany!). Musical acts on hand to ring in ’06 include local stars the McKrells and Blotto, who will team up for a show at the City Center. There will also be jugglers and dancers and the like, plus the requisite fireworks display at midnight. First Night Saratoga events begin at 6 PM on Saturday. Again, a $12 button is required for admission to all programming, and buttons can be purchased at numerous locations around the area. For a full schedule and more information, go to www.firstnightsaratoga.org, or call 584-8262.


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