Steam Powered Giraffe (Photo provided)
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By DUNCAN CRARY
TROY — San Diego-based musical performance act Steam Powered Giraffe will headline a fast growing steampunk festival in Troy that aims to fill the void left by the cancellation of world’s largest Steampunk fair.
“We’re sad to hear The Steampunk World’s Fair will not be happening this year in New Jersey,” said Sue Dunckel, creator of The Enchanted City annual steampunk street festival in Troy. “But based on the interest we’ve had as result of that cancellation, we’re hoping to fill that void and satisfy the need for a spectacularly large steampunk event in the Northeast. And we’re ready for it, with one of the top steampunk acts in the country headlining our festival in one of the most amazing Victorian music halls in one of the most intact 19th century industrial downtowns in the U.S.”
Steam Powered Giraffe will play the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Steam Powered Giraffe is a musical project from San Diego, Calif. that blends steampunk-styled pantomime, vaudeville and barbershop harmonies. The act formed in 2008 by twin siblings David Michael Bennett and Isabella “Bunny” Bennett. Together, along with a cast and crew filled with music and theatrical backgrounds, the group takes on the guise of singing antique automatons, more than a century old, and the fictional robotics company that made them.
The quirky act combines comedic sketches, improvised android banter, and original music fused with billowing steam effects and robot pantomime. As with any antique mechanisms, sometimes the performing “robots” experience mechanical issues during shows that require live on-stage upkeep — even a full system reboot — by human MC Steve Negrete and his blue matter engineers.
Steam Powered Giraffe’s unique songs have been described as “funky cabaret rock” and “heartwarming nostalgic melodies.”
“We’re thrilled that Steam Powered Giraffe is making one of their rare East Coast appearances on the stage of our historic music hall as headliners to The Enchanted City,” said Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Executive Director Jon Elbaum. “We think this act will draw many out-of-town visitors for the concert and festival which really showcase the creative vibe that is so much a part of Troy now. Troy is a fun cultural tourist destination.”
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
A National Historic Landmark, the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall opened its doors in 1875. Its legendary near perfect acoustics have earned the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall a reputation for being one of the world’s great concert halls. The Hall has hosted performances by legions of first class artists, from legends including Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Isaac Stern, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Vladimir Horowitz, to the best on today’s contemporary music scene, including Joshua Bell, Andrew Bird, Steve Martin, Lyle Lovett, John Prine and others.
Designed by architect George Post, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall is a pristine “Gilded Age” artifact from Americas 19th century industrial wealth.
The Hall was used as a setting for 1984 British film “The Bostonians,” based on the Henry James novel, starring Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Reeve, Madeleine Potter and Jessica Tandy.
“Even if you’re lucky enough to have seen Steam Powered Giraffe in concert, you have never seen them in a Victorian space as magical as the legendary Troy Savings Bank Music Hall,” said Dunckel. “Experiencing this act in this musical hall in our perfectly preserved Victorian downtown will be the actualization of a dream. It does not get any better than this in steampunk.”
Tickets are available via phone, (518) 273-0038, in person, or online at troymusichall.org.