ALBANY — Alive at Five is back for another exciting season! The line-up has been officially announced and there are so many wonderful acts on here!
Who are you looking forward to seeing?
June 6: Pride Night- Donna Missal
On her debut album This Time, L.A.-based singer/songwriter Donna Missal shows the elegant collision of elements at play in her music: a poet’s command of tone, a soul singer’s boundless intensity, a bedroom musician’s willful embracing of intimacy and experimentation. Along with channeling the raw passion she first ignited by playing in rock bands in her homeland of New Jersey, This Time expands on the melodic ingenuity displayed in recent singles like “Driving” and “Thrills.” Above all the album is a testament to the sheer force of Missal’s voice, a dynamic but delicate instrument that achieves a beautifully nuanced expression even as she belts her heart out.
June 13: Pop Night- Travie McCoy
Geneva, New York’s own Travie McCoy is a rapper, songwriter and singer. Founding member and front man for Gym Class Heroes, he exploded on the scene as a solo artist with his debut solo album Lazarus. The lead single from the album, “Billionaire” featuring Bruno Mars, peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold 15,000 copies in it’s first week. McCoy has collaborated with Jason Mraz, Panic! at the Disco lead singer Brendon Urie, Sia and more.
June 20: Hip Hop Night – Slick Rick The Ruler
Ricky Martin Lloyd Walters, known to the world as Slick Rick and widely regarded as “hip-hop’s greatest storyteller”, is a London-born, Grammy-nominated performer and the most successful British-American rapper in music history. The hip-hop veteran began his career in 1983, as a member of Doug E. Fresh’s Get Fresh Crew, pioneering what is today celebrated as the “Golden Age of Hip- Hop”. With four albums to his credit – the landmark The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (1988), The Ruler’s Back (1991), Behind Bars (1994) and The Art of Storytelling (1999 – Rick has collaborated with a range of musical icons, from Jay-Z and Missy Elliot to Outkast, Jermaine Dupri, Mos Def, Common, R. Kelly and Aaliyah. His music has been sampled and interpolated over 650 times, by such artistsas Eminem, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Beastie Boys, TLC, Nas, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, Black Star, The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg and Color Me Badd.
June 27: Classic Rock Night- Quiet Riot
Quiet Riot is a rock and roll phenomenon. Famously described as the first heavy metal band to top the pop charts, the Los Angeles quartet became an overnight sensation thanks to their monster 1983 smash album Metal Health. Their followup album Condition Critical went double platinum and the band continued to record and tour throughout their 25-plus year history.
July 11: Reggae Night- Culture
Culture’s music, featuring the shining lead vocals of Joseph Hill, is solidly roots, perfectly executed and delivered with genuine emotional fervor. Joseph Hill’s devotion to the traditional Rastafarian values of purity, simplicity and justice is exemplified by Culture’s lyrical themes. Milo Miles, writing for The New York Times, named Culture as “the leading exponent of ‘conscious reggae’”. Hill’s message is clear and uplifting. His songwriting abilities are outstanding and music reviewers have lauded his achievements for two decades.
July 18: Funk Night- Lettuce
Known for their incendiary live shows, extensive touring, die-hard fans, and massive two-decade career, Lettuc have brought a new vitality to classic funk, matching their smooth and soulful grooves with a hip-hop-inspired urgency.
Comprised of a stellar group musicians – Drummer Adam Deitch, guitarist Adam Smirnoff, bassist Erick “Jesus”Coomes, keyboardist and vocalist Nigel Hall, saxophonist Ryan Zoidis,and trumpet player Eric “Benny” Bloom – the members of Lettuce are highly sought after musicians who, together, continue to earn their name as masters of their craft. Blending together these talents in a sound distinctly their own, they have garnered praised by the likes of New York Times, NPR, Billboard, Consequence of Sound, Relix, Red Bull Music and more.
July 25: Local Night – Wild Adriatic and Jocelyn & Chris Arndt
Rooted in the rowdy spirit of rock and roll, Wild Adriatic has built an international audience on a combination of groove, grit, and guitar-heavy swagger.
Whittled into sharp shape by a touring schedule that’s kept them busy for roughly 175 days a year — including two European tours, countless stateside runs, and appearances at festivals like Bonnaroo — Wild Adriatic’s three members recorded Feel in Austin, teaming up with Grammy-nominated producer Frenchie Smith in the process. The goal was to shine a light on the band’s strength as a live act, avoiding click tracks, digital instruments, sampled sounds and other tricks of the recording studio. Instead, Wild Adriatic focused on the same core ingredients — Gray’s guitar playing and soulful sweep of a voice; Vosganian’s percussive stomp; Derbyshire’s in-the-pocket bass — that helped kickstart the band in 2011, back when Wild Adriatic formed in Upstate New York.
Aug. 1: WEQX Night – Marco Benevento
For more than a decade pianist Marco Benevento has been amassing an extensive body of work. His studio albums and live performances set forth a vision that connects the dots in the vast space between LCD Soundsystem and Leon Russell, pulsating with dance rock energy, but with smart, earthy songwriting to match. It has led to numerous high profile appearances, ranging from Carnegie Hall to Pickathon, Mountain Jam to Treefort Festival, while headlining shows coast to coast.
Alive at Five is each Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Jenning’s Landing, Albany. In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved under the bridge at the intersection of Colonie and Water streets.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.