C.K. Flach (Photo by Amy Modesti /TheSpot518)
ALBANY — The Capital City’s annual Tulip Festival marks the beginning of summer and the area’s outdoor music season, which always leaves fans wondering who will step up to play the two-day event’s entertainment?
El Modernist was named on a short list of entertainers to play this year’s main stage at Tulip Festival at Washington Park in Albany, on Saturday and Sunday, May 11 and 12. Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced a partial setlist on Jeff Morad’s WEQX morning show “Early EQX” on Thursday, March 28.
The local four-piece band has garnered attention over the year as it incorporates elements of hip hop with rock. It first drew attention within the scene while winning a battle of the bands series that offered the opening gig to last September’s Pearlpalooza, a one-day street festival on Albany’s Pearl Street organized by WEQX. Plus, the four musicians are, “the nicest group of guys,” said Morad.
Headlining the festival is the Kongos, four expatriates of England and South Africa who have settled in Phoenix to produce hard rock tracks like “Come With Me Now.” The band recently played an invitation-only show hosted by WEQX at The Hollow Bar and Kitchen and will play the main stage on Saturday, May 11, at 4:30 p.m.
The Greeting Committee will make a return visit to Albany after playing at last year’s Pearlpalooza.
“We have absolutely fallen head over heels in love with this band,” said Morad on his radio show. “We hear this a lot from bands who are not from this area: They say Albany is their home away from home, and that’s true with this band.”
The band put on a memorable performance last September as lead singer Addie Sartino took the show to the crowd, leaping off stage and singing along with the throngs of fans gathered on Pearl Street.
El Modernist released a four-track EP, “American” just last month. The band will play Tulip Festival with a set on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Hasty Page, a local three-piece band that opened Pearlpalooza in 2017, will start music on the Local 518 Stage following the Tulip Queen Coronation.
The Tulip Queen will be crowned at noon on Saturday, May 11. Hasty Page will take the local stage at 1 p.m.
List of acts to play Saturday on the Local 518 Stage includes C.K. & The Rising Tide (Saturday, 2:15 p.m.), Sydney Worthley (Saturday, 3:30 p.m.) and Wild Planes (Saturday, 4:45 p.m.).
Girl Blue will kick off music on the main stage on Sunday, May 11, at 1:30 p.m. The solo independent artist continues to tour regularly and record her own music while planning a full-length album for release.
Moriah Formica continues to hustle after national television appearances on both “The Voice” and “American Idol.” Her voice reminds many of Ann Wilson of Heart, thanks in part to her rendition of “Crazy on You” during her audition performance on “The Voice.” She will take the stage at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Marshall Charloff will remind Albany of Prince as he brings The Purple Xperience to the main stage at 4:30 p.m.
List of acts to play Sunday on the Local 518 Stage includes Mike Grutka (Sunday, 1 p.m.), Honey Slider (Sunday, 2:15 p.m.), Bird Streets (Sunday, 3:30 p.m.) and Let’s Be Leonard (Sunday, 4:45 p.m.).
“I think the reason that bands love coming here is because this is a city that loves live music,” said Sheehan.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.