Cheap Trick, February 7, 2020 ALB

Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Tom Petersson, Daxx Nielsen

Cheap TrickI won a pair of tickets to see Cheap Trick at the Palace Theatre in Albany on Friday, February 7. But I wasn’t sure I’d actually go. It wasn’t something my wife wanted to do. I would have given both tickets away, but my offer got no response on Facebook.

It was a strange week. Tuesday, I felt unwell and blew off Bible study, but went to a meeting. Wednesday, I was better, but still woozy. Thursday, the daughter woke up about 4 a.m. with stomach pain, and I tended to her, skipping choir.

By Thursday night, she felt much better. But the school has a policy that you can’t go in if you’ve, er regurgitated in the last 24 hours. She had the last bout, of several, at noon Thursday.

Friday, I fed her and helped her with her homework. She went to school the last period, at 2 pm, to take a unit test. She was even well enough to take a youth trip to Vermont. The question was the weather. They were originally going to leave at 5 but it ended up she was the first to arrive at the departure point at 6.

At 6:15, it’s too late for my church’s First Friday event. And one of the performing groups couldn’t make it. On the other hand, there’s a 7:18 bus (#138) a block from my house that could get me to the Palace by 7:45. I have dinner with my wife. She wants to watch recorded figure skating on TV that evening.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go

I hadn’t left the house in two days, except to shovel the walk and take out the garbage. It appears that I needed to see Cheap Trick. Thank you, CDTA. The seats at the Palace weren’t too bad, one for me and one for my coat. They are off to the left, but only about a third of the way back.

The house was about 2/3 full when the opening act, a Chicago-area band called Rookie played. The three-guitar/bass/keyboard/drum group played eight or nine songs. They were quite good, though the lead singer/guitarist who sang the majority of the songs was clearly the best vocalist. He did the finest harmonies when the drummer sang as well.

The setup between acts talks about 20 minutes, an the theater really starts filling out, with a couple now to my right. Cheap Trick takes the stage. Immediately, the folks nearest the stage stand, which has the obvious cascading effect.

They perform ​Just Got Back, Hello There, Way of the World, Come On Come On, Lookout and Elo Kiddies before I decide, “That’s enough!” I sit. And so do random other folks. And I can see lead singer Robin Zander in his white outfit between the heads as he sings Magical Mystery Tour, In Crowd, and Speak Now.

Three original plus a scion

Occasionally, I’d see guitarist Rick Nielsen wandering across stage. I only brief caught bassist Tom Petersson, and Daxx Nielsen (son of Rick), who replaced drummer Bun E. Carlos about a half decade ago. Ballad of TV Violence, Ain’t That a Shame, and Waitin’ for the Man. There was lots of swaying through The Flame.

Then they end with two of the songs I, and everyone wanted, I Want You to Want Me and Dream Police. I don’t know what time it was, so I headed for the exits. But I discovered it was only 10:15, so I watched the encore, California Man and Surrender, from the back. The latter featured two of the members of Rookie. The member at their promo table says Cheap Trick has done that the last three shows.

I walk across the street to the bus stop. About five minutes later, the obviously happy crowd came out. The #12 bus arrived at 10:35, and I was home by 11. I was happy, not just with the concert but with the spontaneous evening. A good night.

Janet Jackson @ SPAC – July 26, 2018

Toward the end of the night, Janet Jackson showed photos of her father Joe Jackson, who passed away just last month.

Janet JacksonThe Saratoga Performing Arts Center or SPAC, just 35 miles north of Albany, is a venue where I’ve seen dozens of concerts. But none recently until I saw Janet Jackson last month with my friend Mary from church.

Janet is the youngest of the musical Jackson clan who I used to watch as Penny during the latter days of of the TV show Good Times. The Times Union reviewer is correct, that she “is one of the most important and successful artists ever.”

I’ll admit that I was much more familiar with the early work of Janet Jackson, the Control (1986) and especially the Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989) albums. Fortunately, she performed generous chunks from each.

It was clear that she wanted to both address the State of the World, the title of the opening video as well as the name of the tour, and to have her fans have a dance party. At 52, she has a LOT of energy, as did her eight dancers, along with a four-piece band and a DJ.

The Troy Record reviewer noted: “Toward the end of the night Jackson showed photos of her father Joe Jackson, who passed away just last month, during her 1997 hit Together Again. Michael Jackson, Janet’s brother, also showed up on the stage’s big screen during Scream, a song they released together in 1995.

We were glad to have gone. As Mary noted, “Fun show, great music, amazing dancing.” We were REALLY glad that it didn’t rain, because we had lawn seats and did not want to be sitting in a sea of mud. That’s something the younger selves could have endured. My thanks to my ticket benefactor, so the only expenditure was the $10 parking charge.

Listen to Janet Jackson:

The Skin Game Part I
The Knowledge

Miss You Much

What Have You Done for me Lately
The Pleasure Principle

All For You

What About

Together Again
Scream (with Michael Jackson)

Rhythm Nation
State Of The World

It’s odd that I haven’t been to SPAC in a while. I saw Joni Mitchell there in 1974 (Miles of Aisles tour), Talking Heads in 1984 (Stop Making Sense), Bobby McFerrin in 1999 with the Philadelphia Orchestra, other orchestra and ballet performances, at least a half dozen Jazz Festivals, and the 1998 folk festival with Lyle Lovett, Joan Baez and many others.

We gotta get out more.

The Vivaldi Gloria, part of First Friday at First Presbyterian

First Presbyterian First Friday: Concert at 6:00 pm, Gallery open from 5:30-8:30 pm

First Snowfall by David Hinchen
First Snowfall by David Hinchen

Each First Friday at First Presbyterian Church, 362 State Street in Albany, is an “Experience of Visual and Musical Art.”

Friday, December 5, listen to Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria, featuring Deborah Rocco, soprano; Carla Fisk, soprano; Fiona McKinney, alto; and First Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir, with Michael Lister, director and Nancy Frank, organ.

Also: Music for the Season from the First Presbyterian Church Handbell Choir, Jack Holmes, director.

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Seeing Paul McCartney live in concert for the very first time

Paul McCartney acknowledged the signs in the audience which led to a wedding proposal on stage involving a Rochester couple, with Jon singing When I’m 64 to Claudia.

c. 2014 K Durkot
c. 2014 K Durkot

I don’t know how to review seeing Paul McCartney in concert on July 7, what turned out to be the first stop on the US leg of his current tour. Want a review? Here’s one by Greg Haymes, and here’s another one by Greg, who I happened to see before the show, and I’d say they are pretty darn accurate.

Also saw Karen, one of my oldest friends, a Beatlemaniac before I was by a few weeks, and that was fab. (Sorry.) The Daughter and I took the CDTA down and back, and THAT was actually worked out almost perfectly.

So let me do a song-by-song musing:

Eight Days a Week – Karen saw his performance at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts last October, a highlight of her life, and he opened with that here as well. The Daughter (L) was so excited; this is the moment it became real, that she has actually seen a Beatle in person.
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Paul McCartney is now “feeling great, rocking and rolling.”

There are plenty of musicians I’ve never seen play live, who I’ll never see play live. Probably should have seen The Who in the mid-1990s when they were in Albany, NY.

And when the announcement came that Paul McCartney was going to play Albany, NY, I figured he be one more. I know someone who was working with his people, but there were no comps to be had, he tickets were pricey and were expected to sell out quickly, and I resigned myself to not going.
Continue reading “Macca”