FREE: Empire State Plaza Concerts Announced

(photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)
Bootsy Collins

Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The first round of free concerts slated for Albany’s Empire State Plaza has been announced, and it’s a pretty strong list of some familiar faces and some folks who haven’t been around town in a while. And, yes, they’re all FREE…

Here’s the schedule so far:

Wednesday, June 4, 5–9pm
The music performed by this New York City-based, Grammy Award-winning band is an original fusion of free jazz, funk, hip-hop, hard rock and heavy metal. Living Colour rose to fame in 1988 following the release of their first album Vivid, which featured the band’s signature song, “Cult of Personality.”

Wednesday, June 11, 5–9pm
“My life is a country song,” Kellie Pickler has said on occasion, and no one who knows her or has watched her career evolve from her days as a breakout presence on “American Idol” would argue that in the least. Over the course of three albums, hundreds of concert appearances, and a breath-taking 2013 win on ABC-TV’s “Dancing With the Stars,” she has earned the admiration and affection of countless fans, serving as both inspiration and role model.

Wednesday, June 18, 5–9pm
Known as the “man who put bass in yer face,” Bootsy Collins is one of the all-time great funk and R&B bassists/singers/bandleaders. His first group, the Pacesetters, functioned as James Brown’s back-up band, and Bootsy’s inspired, clever progressions and patterns on the bass were a vital part of James Brown’s recordings. Bootsy later joined George Clinton’s Parliament/Funkadelic, before launching Bootsy’s Rubber Band as a spinoff to P-Funk. GO HERE to read review of Bootsy Collins’ 2012 Alive at Five concert…

Wednesday, June 25, 5–9pm
George Thorogood and his band played their first gig in 1973 and are still making explosive music and thrilling audiences, as the baddest-to-the-bone performers in rock. With hits that crackle with humor and swagger — “Who Do You Love,” “I Drink Alone,” “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” “Move It On Over,” and “Bad to the Bone” — the band defines powerhouse rock with bar band roots, unchained attitude and a fierce love of its country and blues history.

With Gedeon Luke & the People
Thursday, July 4, 3–10pm
The annual Fourth of July holiday celebration features live music and fun for the whole family including the biggest fireworks show in the region. Each year, more than 30,000 people gather to enjoy the day at the Plaza and an evening of live entertainment leading up to the big pyrotechnics show. Felix Cavaliere earned his place in music history as the keyboard player and vocalist for the ’60s pop/rock sensation, the Rascals. From 1965-1969, the Rascals were one of the biggest groups in the country, with a string of hits including the Felix-sung “Good Lovin’,” “Groovin’,” “A Girl Like You,” “A Beautiful Morning” and “People Got to Be Free.” Hailing from the streets of Memphis, soul music flows through Gedeon Luke’s veins in rainbow colored hues. Gedeon and his band the People are here to crash through the boundaries of music and society, to bring peace, love and soul to the world. GO HERE to read review of the Rascals’ 2013 Palace Theatre concert… GO HERE to read review of Gedeon Luke’s 2013 performance with the Daley Brothers at the Empire State Plaza…

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