- THINGS TO DO
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Thursdays, June 12 - August 7, 2014
Jenning's Landing at the Corning Preserve (formerly Albany Riverfront Park)
Rainsite: Corning Preserve Boat Launch
5pm - 8pm; Free and open to the public
For the past 25 years, Alive at Five has been the high energy weekend kick-start in Albany. Each week during the series, bands of various genres from the local, regional, and national scene take the stage to entertain professionals, community members, and friends.
FITZ & THE TANTRUMS with THE FEATURES
Brimming with imagination, energy, and genre-smashing scope, Fitz & The Tantrums defied the odds to become an indisputable phenomenon, a chart-topping, show-stopping modern pop combo unlike any other. Now, with their spectacular Elektra Records debut, More Than Just A Dream, the Los Angeles-based sextet have ramped up the timeless songcraft and soul sonic force that made them a worldwide sensation to fashion a kaleidoscopic milestone that delivers on the promise of their 2010 breakthrough, Pickin' Up The Pieces. Songs like the back-to-back #1 alternative smash hit singles "Out Of My League" and "The Walker" are positively brazen with verve and vivacity, demonstrating all the drama and passion of the band's famed live shows. From the studio to the stage, Fitz & The Tantrums give everything they have to anything they do, leaving it all on the floor night in and night out.
Experimental, exhilarating Nashville band The Features are known far and wide as one of the best live rock combos around. Since releasing their first EP a decade ago, The Features' style has developed into a combination of distinctive songcraft, vivid lyrics and sonic inventiveness. The band's latest, self-titled album finds The Features retaining their unshakable pop hooks while embracing a slew of previously untapped styles on hits like "This Disorder."
JUNE 19: REGGAE NIGHT
EASY STAR ALL-STARS with JOHN BROWN'S BODY
Blending musical versatility, instrumental prowess, beautiful vocal harmonies and a premier rhythm section, the Easy Star All-Stars have established themselves as one of the top international reggae acts on the scene today. Thanks to their brilliant best-selling tribute album releases, Dub Side of the Moon, Radiodread, and Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band, and original albums Until That Day and First Light, the Easy Star All-Stars have built a growing, dedicated fan base throughout the world, bringing together fans of reggae, classic rock, dub and indie rock into one big family. The band has toured in over 30 countries on 6 continents, dazzling crowds at the world's biggest festivals.
Over their nearly 20 year history, influential Boston band John Brown's Body paved the way for the U.S. reggae scene while evolving into an utterly unique sonic animal, incorporating dub and electronic sounds into their traditional reggae roots while using the vocabulary of the genre to express their own experiences in the world. With the new album Kings and Queens, their first since the 2008 #1 Billboard Reggae hit Amplify, JBB has finally crafted their ultimate statement, tying together styles they've dabbled in, paid respect to, created, or pushed forward into one tightly woven mosaic.
JUNE 26: R&B NIGHT
DWELE with MIRK
Possessing a cool, conversational tenor, an ability to create lush, aquatic grooves and narrative lyrics that flow with the cadence of a rapper's, Detroit's Dwele (born Andwele Gardner - say it "DWELL-lay") has proven himself as a consistent hit maker since selling self-mastered copies of his first album, Rize, from the trunk of his car back in 1998. Now, over a decade later, the Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has cemented his reputation as a legacy-building soul provider and storyteller with a string of top 10 R&B albums and stunning collaborations with a who's who of hip-hop, soul and jazz kingpins like J.Dilla, Kanye West, Common, Lucy Pearl, Boney James and Roy Ayers.
Mirk is an edgy 7-piece alternative hip-hop powerhouse that seamlessly blends elements of soul, R&B, rap, rock, and pop into a completely original, utterly unique hit-making machine. Formed in Albany, NY in 2009, Mirk has quickly established themselves as one of the "must-see" live shows in the Capital Region. Besides writing and performing their own music, Mirk has also been credited with producing music for Jay-Z, Petey Pablo, Eamon, Ciara, and Young Jeezy, among others; several have been certified platinum and gold by the RIAA.
LORD HURON with MARYLEIGH ROOHAN
Los Angeles indie folk band Lord Huron is a musical and visual project created by Michigan-born singer, songwriter and visual artist Ben Schneider. Inspired by his outdoor explorations at his childhood retreat at Lake Huron, where he began his musical education around the campfire, Schneider's first two original EPs, Into the Sun and Mighty, were lauded by critics and fans alike. Originally a solo project, Lord Huron has grown into an acclaimed, heavy-touring live band, wowing audiences at festivals like South by Southwest, Outside Lands and Lollapalooza since playing their first show in 2010. In 2012, Lord Huron signed with independent label IAMSOUND Records to release their first full-length album, Lonesome Dreams, featuring layered, lovely hits like "She Lit a Fire" and "Time to Run."
Though she's only 22, singer-songwriter MaryLeigh Roohan has already been praised as the Capital Region's "Best Female Singer-Songwriter" (Metroland, 2012), released two acclaimed albums and played everywhere from Scottish pubs to festivals stateside, sharing stages with Sean Rowe, Jill Sobule, Chic Gamine, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, Willie Alexander of the Velvet Underground and many others. As evidenced on her latest Fake Chapter Records release, Skin and Bone, Roohan's style shifts seamlessly from sunny indie pop to sultry jazz crooning to heartfelt Americana reminiscent of Neko Case, with influences ranging from Joni Mitchell to Etta James. Roohan will be on tour throughout the spring and summer in support of the release, playing dates solo and with Maxwell Hughes (the Lumineers) and Pete Donnelly (the Figgs, NRBQ).
JULY 17: ALBANY INVASION
EASTBOUND JESUS with STELLAR YOUNG and HARD SOUL
Eastbound Jesus don't fit well under any one genre, and choose to call what they do "Northern rock". They shred on the banjo, they have sweet sounding vocal harmonies, they play ballads, they play fast-paced rocking tunes, and it all comes from a real, genuine place that makes for a sound all their own. These six guys from Greenwich, NY have recently put out an incredibly well-crafted album entitled Northern Rock and have been packing venues with an infectious energy that gets people dancing, hollering, smiling and finding a new appreciation for a sound that is both traditional and refreshing.
Named "Best New Band" and "Best Indie Rock Band" in Metroland Readers' Polls and Best Of issues in 2012, 2013 and 2014, Albany quintet Stellar Young are that rare band that's "...engaging enough to garner mainstream indie rock fans' attention and intricate enough to please music snobs." (Property of Zack). Originally from the Hudson Valley area, these five guys have already shared the stage with the likes of We The Kings, Bret Michaels, San Cisco, The Features, Civil Twilight, Weerd Science, and The Front Bottoms, and are currently hard at work crafting the follow-up LP to 2012's excellent Everything at Once.
Albany's own Hard Soul recently delivered their powerful debut LP Heart of Plaster, featuring 10 vintage rock n' roll tracks, including the debut single "Just Be Love." The record is inspired by life on the road, heartbreak and sacrifice, and the search for a place to call home, all set to a mighty back-beat with heartfelt lyrics soaring over a classic-rock inspired soundscape. Channeling the guitar and lyrical stylings of Thin Lizzy, the hooks of The Beatles, and the emotion of Oasis, Hard Soul is bringing back vintage rock with a modern flare. UpstateLIVE Magazine lauded Heart of Plaster, saying the album "exemplifies the band's stellar musicianship, versatility, and range of emotion."
JULY 24: COUNTRY NIGHT
DUSTIN LYNCH with JACOB POWELL
Tullahoma, Tennessee singer-songwriter Dustin Lynch learned by listening. He spent a formative period intently studying at the proverbial feet of some of Nashville's most important writers at the legendary songwriters club the Bluebird Café - instrumental in the development of Garth Brooks, Faith Hill and Kathy Mattea. That education paid off in a big way for Lynch. He signed with Broken Bow Records - the home of Jason Aldean - and is working on his debut album with some of Music City's top producers, writers and engineers. Lynch has combined his fascination with words and melodies with live skills he developed over years on the southeastern club circuit, a combination that has made him one of country's artists to watch, a performer who's written his own mix of party songs and ballads with a unique perspective. It's his own viewpoint, honed from watching the world, and watching the experts.
No parent ever wants to hear that their son is giving up med school to pursue a music career, but these days Jacob Powell's folks are seeing it as a wise decision. The young Tennessean's high octane debut EP is rapidly earning him a reputation as one of Music Row's most talented new singer/songwriters.
Jacob Powell sings country music with an authority and authenticity that come from both natural talent and hard-earned experience. He was never meant to be a doctor. He was born for this.
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD with WILD ADRIATIC
"You cannot talk about rock in the 1970s without talking about Grand Funk Railroad!" (Rolling Stone). Originating in Flint, Michigan in 1969, Grand Funk has accumulated 13 gold and 10 platinum records and sold over 25 million records worldwide in its storied 45-year career. With its signature hard-driving sound, soulful vocals, muscular instrumentation and forceful pop melodies, Grand Funk laid the groundwork for classic rock, influencing everyone from Journey to Van Halen along the way. Mega-hits "We're An American Band", "I'm Your Captain/CloserTo Home", "Locomotion", and "Some Kind Of Wonderful" still receive continuous airplay worldwide. Grand Funk's legendary appearance at New York's Shea Stadium sold out faster than the Beatles, and the band continues to pack in appreciative crowds at major venues and festivals around the globe.
Calling to mind the soulful, dynamic sounds of ‘70s giants such as Led Zeppelin and Mountain, Wild Adriatic has won acclaim from audiences and critics nationwide with their dynamic live shows and debut full-length album, Big Suspicious. Since forming in Saratoga Springs in 2011, the band has played with everyone from J Roddy Walston & the Business to Blues Traveler to Third Eye Blind to Matt & Kim and performed at SXSW, CMJ and Gathering of the Vibes. Relix calls Wild Adriatic "flawlessly tight with infectious melodies & tons of soul," the Huffington Post proclaims that the band is "full of rocking blues, soul, and depth" and USA Today deems them "an act to get behind."
SHEILA E. with CONEHEAD BUDDHA
One of life's constants for Sheila E. comes down to a simple phrase: follow the beat. And her impeccable inner rhythm is the pulse behind a trailblazing career that still knows no bounds. She's a world-class drummer and percussionist whose credits read like chapters in a music history book: she was a driving force behind Prince's classic Purple Rain, and she's collaborated with Ringo Starr, Marvin Gaye, Beyoncé, Herbie Hancock, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan and George Duke. She's a Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter behind the seminal hits "The Glamorous Life" and "A Love Bizarre." She's a fearless multi-instrumentalist, as well as an actress, mentor, and philanthropist. These career checkpoints all converge in 2014 with the release of her first album in 13 years, the aptly titled Icon, a record that showcases the fusion of pop, R&B, funk, rock, Latin and jazz influences that shaped her unique style
Conehead Buddha is not your average jam band. For better or worse, even after their sixth album (released summer 2012) the long-running Capital Region band's sound still remains indefinable. Each song has a little something for everyone, be it rock, ska, salsa, or funk sprinkled with subtle elements of jazz. Their live show is infectious, even raucous, and it's obvious they are enjoying each other's company on stage. Out front you'll see horns, percussion, and real voices that blend like they've been doing it together since the womb. A fresh new rhythm section including the addition of keyboards really holds down the fort and lets the jams flow freely. Don't get too comfortable doing your thing though, because the groove's going to change, and soon.
Alive at Five is not just about the music, though. Enjoy great food, drinks, and views of the river while kicking back in the summer sun.
For a complete schedule of events, visit http://albanyevents.org.