Summer Concert Preview
Here are some summer concerts that have piqued my interest:
Fleetwood Mac at the Times Union Center in Albany on June 19 — I emailed my friend Bill a few weeks ago and asked him whether I should go see Fleetwood Mac.
“Maybe,” he said. “Let me do some research.” Later, he advised me to go. “Christine McVie isn’t touring,” he said. “But I don’t think she sang very many songs that are worth hearing.” I was ready to commit, but a few weeks later Bill changed his mind. “OK, I counted,” he wrote. “Christine has exactly nine songs that are worth listening to. So I’ve changed my mind, I wouldn’t go see Fleetwood Mac without her.”
I appreciate Bill’s diligence, but I keep hearing Fleetwood Mac on the radio, and I think I am going to attend this concert. In fact, I’m excited about it. I plan on buying the cheapest tickets and sitting in the bleachers, but I think it will be fun anyhow.
Solid Sound at MassMoCA in North Adams, Mass., on June 21-23 — For the uninitiated, Solid Sound is the music and arts festival curated by Wilco; this year, they will be joined by acts such as Yo La Tengo, Neko Case and Capital Region singer-songwriter Sean Rowe. I’m planning on attending on June 22 with my friend Monica, and having a great time.
Suzanne Vega at Helsinki Hudson in Hudson on June 22 — Last week a friend asked whether I had any interest in seeing Suzanne Vega at Helsinki Hudson. “Sure, when is she playing?” I said, then added “I bet she’s playing on June 22nd, when I’m supposed to go to Solid Sound.” My friend and I then discussed how sometimes the Capital Region is absolutely dead, and there’s nothing to do, but then there will be a night when three or four cool things are going on, and you can’t possibly do them all.
Sure enough, Suzanne Vega is playing on June 22. As is Session Americana, the Boston-based rock band my friend Kim invited me to go see at Caffe Lena. “Sorry,” I said. “I’ve got Solid Sound.” Seriously, people: Can we distribute the musical events a little more evenly next July?
Rush at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs on June 25 — I admit it: I like Rush. I would absolutely go see them in concert if any of my friends were interested. But they probably aren’t.
The Zombies at Empire State Plaza in Albany on June 26 — The pioneering English rock band is playing a free concert just blocks from my apartment? Why wouldn’t I go to this?
George Clinton at Riverfront Park in Albany on June 27 — One of the funkiest men alive is playing a free concert a short walk away from my apartment? Why wouldn’t I go to this?
Richard Thompson at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock on June 28 — I saw Richard Thompson at The Egg a few years ago, and he was fantastic. The Bearsville Theater is an intimate venue that sits on a pretty little creek, and I suspect that it will be an even better place to see Richard Thompson.
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at Valentine’s in Albany on July 9 — I skipped the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion show my freshman year of college, and have lived to regret it: Apparently they blew the doors off the place. Anyway, this concert at Valentine’s is a chance to correct a past mistake. And maybe listen to “Orange” again.
The AmericanaramA Festival of Music at SPAC on July 21 — This concert should be awesome, because it features Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Ryan Bingham. I’m not a huge My Morning Jacket fan (I’d rather see Richard Thompson, who’s joining the tour for a number of dates), but I love Wilco, Ryan Bingham is cool and Bob Dylan is, of course, a legend.
Bon Jovi at SPAC on July 22— I heard “Bad Medicine” on the radio the other day and thought, “You know, I bet Bon Jovi is fun in concert.” I mean, I always enjoyed hearing Bon Jovi at my middle school dances, and I bet they’re even more impressive live.
Nick Lowe and Kim Richey at Helsinki Hudson on August 21 — I’m not too familiar with the music of Nick Lowe, but people I respect have made it clear that the English singer-songwriter is someone to see. And he’s playing with Kim Richy, a singer-songwriter my friend Jane has always raved about.
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