Rocking My Way Down the Thruway

BY HEATHER HACKNEY

Ladies and Gentlemen, I realize now why my European friends follow bands across the country (mostly Bruce Springsteen).

This month I have sat at the feet of greatness watching not one, not two but three music legends take the stage. It makes me very humble to know the music I love was born out of the roots these and many other greats have planted along the way.
Bethel Woods hosted earlier this month The Beach Boys on their 50th anniversary tour. The venue packed full of baby boomers, hippies from days gone by and surfers who just never missed the tide going back out. Missing Dennis and Carl Wilson who passed away (1983 & 1998 respectively), the remaining members hit the stage with front man Mike Love leading the way.

Banking on their new CD “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” they sang the album’s title song which peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Charts, the highest chart placement they’ve seen since 1974. Of course all the usual favorites were heard including “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Surfin’ U.S.A” and “California Girls.”

Making my way up the Thruway, I landed at Times Union Center in Albany to see Aerosmith. This was the must see show of the season so far.

Their Global Warming tour set foot in the state capital along with their opening act, Cheap Trick, who might I add should have been left at home. The crowd seemed far from interested in the openers and far more interested in where Joe Perry and Steven Tyler were. The show went off without a hitch and what a show!
Playing off their new album “Music from Another Dimension!” the new hit single “Legendary Child,” which they originally debuted on the season finale of American Idol, brought everyone to their feet. This makes it their 15th studio album since their debut in 1973. Tyler and Perry rocked the house with their legendary chemistry and drummer Joey Kramer brought it down with a 10 minute drum solo which ended with his using his hands and head.
What a night! What a show! Be sure not to miss them at the IZOD center later this summer on July 24.
Coming back down to Bethel Woods, (after trying to regain my voice, of course, because how can you not scream out the words to “Walk This Way?”), I was enthralled by the one and only Dave Matthews Band. Closing out their tour on the east coast they lit up the venue like an early 4th of July celebration.

Opening for them was Delta Spirit which despite The Rolling Stone’s three star review fell very short of amazing and couldn’t hold a candle to DMB’s sound, despite the fact that Dave himself introduced the band.

It was a night for new music this round as DMB played mostly newer music to their set instead of classic standards. However, we were treated to “Satellite,” always a gem. The only downside to this show was despite Bethel’s always amazing security team, outside contractors which could have only been hired by the artists, flooded the place which was already overflowing with sheriffs and state troopers. Though it didn’t prevent this reporter from being shoved around by some ugly goon in the pit.

Up ahead keep your eyes peeled for amazing shows, new albums and a whirlwind of amazing music for you to rock your face off to this summer. After all, there’s got to be something better than what’s getting pumped out of American Idol… Stay Tuned…