The Upstate Concert Hall is a tiny little venue located in the outlying suburbs of Albany, New York. It’s situated in a strip mall, nestled between a church and a dollar store, and for all of its rather ordinary exterior, it remains one of my favorite venues.
The acoustics and lighting are always top-notch, the staff is professional, and the security is always superb. The Upstate Concert Hall consistently delivers an enjoyable concert experience, one that rivals some of the more well-known venues in New York City.
I saw the Eeries back in October when they opened for Gerard Way, and it’s amazing what a difference six months can make. The Eeries, while experienced musicians, are still a young band, and being on tour gives a band the opportunity to improve and refine their performance.
It’s clear that the Eeries did just that.
Time and experience has also given the band a layer of confidence that was missing from their show the first time around, and they really pulled the audience in with their punky brand of dirty alternative rock and roll. Their set was truly enjoyable, and it was interesting to note that there were plenty of people in the audience singing along with the songs.
When I saw them back in October, I thought they were a decent rock band with some catchy songs. After this performance, I saw the potential for so much more.
The Eeries released their self-titled debut EP in December, featuring their summer hit Cool Kid, and have finished up a full-length album slated to be released in late 2015. Expect a lot more from this band in the future.
The Eeries are Isaiah Silva (vocals, guitar), Brandon Sweeney (guitar), Nadir Maraschin (drums), and Eliot Lorango (bass).
The Marmozets are a British band, formed back in 2007. They’ve spent their time performing primarily across the UK, and over the last few years have finally reached a tipping point: they headlined for the first time in 2013 and the following year they signed a recording contract. Their debut album, The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets was released the same year.
The Marmozets are a very dynamic band, with vocalist Becca Macintyre screaming and gyrating across the stage to the guitar-heavy songs, using her powerful voice to emphasize the lyrics. The band clearly enjoyed playing together, and overall it was an excellent set from another up-and-coming band that I hope to see more of in the future.
The Marmozets are Becca Macintyre (vocals), Sam Macintyre (guitar, vocals), Jack Bottomley (guitar), Will Bottomley (bass, vocals) and Josh Macintyre (drums).
Every Time I Die
I’d heard of Every Time I Die; it’s hard not to if you’re a fan of hardcore music. They’ve been around for almost twenty years, they’ve put out seven studio albums, and they’ve got a huge fanbase. But I wasn’t familiar with their music, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I saw them live.
What I learned was this: Every Time I Die could get up on stage and play nursery rhymes, and it will still be the most amazing show ever. I didn’t know a single song, or any of the lyrics, and yet I was caught up in the tremendous whirlwind of high velocity energy this band brings to the stage. It was clear that Every Time I Die brings 110% to their performance, and their fans reflect all of that energy right back at them.
It was chaotic and messy, with people moshing and crowd surfing, high-fiving the band as they made it past the barrier and were manhandled by security. It was everything I love about live shows: the loss-of-self from being in a crowd of three hundred plus sweating, bouncing people, moving to the beat that vibrates through your bones, making you scream and shout and sing along with the music.
It was a wonderful experience, and really impressive to see a band with so much raw passion perform. If you ever have a chance to see Every Time I Die live, do it. You will not regret it.
Every Time I Die is vocalist Keith Buckley (vocals), Jordan Buckley (guitar), Andy Williams (guitar), Daniel Davison (bass), and Daniel Davison (drums)
It’s been three years since the Used hit Albany, and honestly, it was three years too long. The Used are one of my favorite bands, I love both their studio music and their live performance. They toured last year, co-headlining with Taking Back Sunday, with support from frnkiero andthe cellebration, but the closest they came was Pittsburgh, which had been a little bit out of my budget.
So when they announced this tour, I jumped at the chance to see them again.
It’s amazing the difference three years makes. The last time the Used blew through town, they were playing in support of the recently released Vulnerable. Since then, they’ve gone on to raise money for the It Gets Better Project, release an EP and a new album, and work on creating a new musician-focused record label.
Their music has evolved as well, with the Ocean of the Sky EP featuring some experimental instrumental and ambient tracks, and their new album Imaginary Enemy focusing on some of the social issues faced by people across the globe. It’s great to see a favorite band continue to grow, and these last two releases show exactly how much the Used has developed as artists.
What I really love, though, is the Used’s live performance. There’s something magical and electrifying about their stage presence, from Bert McCracken’s frenetic bouncing around to Dan Whitesides trying to destroy his kit to Jepha Howard and his fluorescent bass strings to newcomer Justin Shekoski’s (Quinn Allman’s replacement while he’s on hiatus) rocking guitar work. It’s an engaging experience on multiple levels, forging connections through the strength of the performance.
At the end of the live version of Hard to Say, Bert says “Thank you for treating us like family,” and that’s exactly what the Used’s shows always feel like. Family.
It was a great night. I went primarily to see the Used, and was fortunate that the other bands were also extremely enjoyable. A perfect night.
by cardiac_in_overdrive (@cardiac_ovrdrv)