Mike has performed at the Madison several times and Saturday night he and his trio performed 2 1/2 hours to benefit Toys for Tots. He played a mix of rock, classical, blues, jazz and a few holiday tunes on both electric and acoustic. His range is astounding! He is quite shy and very sweet but when those fingers start moving he gets lost in the music (and takes the audience with him.) Hearing him in this small venue was a gift. The acoustics are great and the audience is close enough to see those fingers fly across the strings.
Mike, a Capital Region native, who lives in Albany is a guitar player and composer known for being a member of Trans-Siberia Orchestra. He is on the TSO album, THE LOST CHRISTMAS EVE that went gold. In 2008 he released his own rock Christmas record, THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS.
He has released 9 records of his own and appears on THE WARMTH OF THE WILDERNESS a Jason Becker tribute album. Mike is a true guitar virtuoso and composes and plays (acoustic and electric) rock fusion. He composes both vocal and instrumental arrangements. His ability to improvise is amazing.
He is a contributor to several major guitar print and digital publications. And he is in heavy rotation on NPR (National Public Radio.) He has toured and performed with many national acts and at many icon music venues.
Check this out!
Here is a clip from a previous appearance at the historic Madison Theater. He is playing VIBE from the record of the same name.
A few photos of the well attended show.
As I said, he played 2 1/2 hours with out a break and never missed a beat. He is an amazing artist and I had a wonderful time!
Battle Jacket, battle vest, Cut-Off or Kutte (German *slang*) what ever you call it, to me it is art. Starting off as standard for biker gangs, they slowly became part of the Punk and Heavy Metal cultures. Denim or leather covered with patches and pins they can not, not be seen as art.
They come in all styles and are a reflection of their owners. Some are neat and tidy with their patch placement and others prefer it to look like embroidered chaos. Some like their stitches hidden others like it to look like the work of Dr. Frankenstein.
They became very popular in the metal world nearly from the birth of Heavy Metal in the 1970's. And although you don't see as many of them as you did in the 80's and 90's; they are still out there. Most of the originals belonged to those of us who are now in our 40s, 50s and 60s; many young'uns still carry the torch.
My own (new) jacket is a diverse mix of metal sub-genres (classic metal, metalcore, doom, thrash, nu, alternative and shock) but it is all metal and all good. Of course I did have to put a small homage to my boy Darth Vader and his empire.
Slayer and Pantera join a Hostile pin on the front. And there is still plenty of room for a few more.
Sleeves have Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Alice, Ghost,Gojira and Avenged Sevenfold.
The back patch WILL always be the owners favorite band. Mine, of course is Judas Priest. And of all the album cover back patches available I had to pick BRITISH STEEL.
I love my jacket. Here is a look at a few others.
James Hetfield with his cut-offs. And he wears them all the time.
A young'un in his.
A few more....
(I love this photo!)
Grab yourself a jacket, buy some patches and stitch away!
Got out Friday night to see one of my favorite bands. "Supergroup" HellYeah was formed in 2006 by some of my favorite musicians from some of my favorite bands. Chad Gray of Mudvayne, Tom Maxwell of Nothingface and the legendary Vinnie Paul (Abbott) Pantera. The current line up, which is my favorite, also includes the AMAZING (and beautiful) Kyle Sanders and Christian Brady. Oh I will say it, five beautiful men! Chadness and Tom started it as an experiment; they wanted Vinnie but he had taken a hiatus from music after the murder of his brother by an obsessed fan. They were relentless and Vinnie finally agreed. Again, just an experiment, BUT, the band quickly became a great success, and for that I am truly grateful.
Tom, Christian, Chadness, Kyle, Vinnie Paul
They performed at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park. This intimate venue only holds up to 1000 people, which to me is a perfect size. UCH started out many many years ago as Northern Lights, and it is still going strong, bringing great music to our area. We have several other performance venues, but for heavy music UCH is the place.
There is an elevated seating area under the mural off to the left and offers a great view of the stage. But I prefer to be right up to the rail. The coolest thing about the venue is the stage is only 3 feet off the ground. What a view!
One of two bars, one in the center of the space; the other off to the right side with seating behind, tables and booths.
Such a cool bare bones venue. Stage off in the back and to the left.
Ticket prices are always very reasonable and it is general admission, so you can be up as close as you want to the stage, or hang out in a seating area behind the bar or just wander around.
HellYeah came with Swedish group InFlames, and two young groups. Source from Denver, CO and From Ashes to New from Lancaster, PA. All four bands were amazing but I was there for HellYeah.
The set list.
They really were incredible. Chad's voice was better than ever. Vinnie was solid on the drums. Tom, Christian and Kyle were wild men. They played a nice mix of songs from all of their studio albums and played my favorites. Such a memorable night.
Family photo from Clifton Park. I'm right behind Chad!
First, let me explain something; no, I still don't understand how this ended up in Ticonderoga, NY; but the gentleman that started this whole thing does live there. There is NO other connection between the show, the studio and the town. But, it is great for Ticondergoa, which is home to the beautiful Fort Ticonderoga; and it sits on the banks of the mighty Lake Champlain.
So, we took a short drive (about an hour and 45 minutes) up the Northway to the Adirondacks to Ticonderoga. We decided to spend the night so we wouldn't be too tired for the space trip the next morning. Our destination The Original Star Trek Set Tour.
It is an amazing replica of the set on the DesiLu studio that was home to the cast of Star Trek. It is such an amazing replica that it is licensed by CBS to operate as a museum. The $24.00 to get in for the hour tour is a bargain! Our cute little tour guide was originally from Troy, and moved up the Northway just to work for the museum. Here is a look at our tour.
As I said, it is not a tour of a space ship, but of the studio set.
Heading on in.
My favorite was the Transporter Room and they allow you to stand on the Transporter for photos.
The iconic Star Ship Enterprise hallway.
And the all important bridge, with the Captain's chair (again you can sit for photos.) Also, the usual spots for Uhura, Sulu and my favorite Checkov.
The tour guides are well versed in information, facts and anecdotes about the studio, the show and the cast. There are also cases filled with memorabilia and props used in the series.; plus other cool period stuff!