A guide to local live music venues in Albany, Troy, and Saratoga

Just like you, I’m so excited to be back in school and starting the fall semester. Now that I’ve moved into my dorm, hung up my cool “Reservoir Dogs” poster, and paid so much for my books, as all college kids say, it’s time to light up.

Res life is totally sick but for a change let’s stay away from the quartet tonight. I want to get off campus to call an Uber and listen to some live music. I’m planning to look into some bands and have some ideas of where to go.


While you’re hanging out with some friends at Russell Sage or RPI and wanting to go crazy somewhere, let’s check out the weather at No Fun at 275 River St. in Troy, half a mile away. The beer selection is good and affordable ($3 Narragansetts!), and there’s a show at 8pm almost every night. Like the Blk Jks band from South Africa arriving in October, we could see local indie acts, the occasional hip-hop show, and crazy experimental and garage-psychic rock that can only be seen there or in a big city. A few blocks from there, at 90 Congress St., is Rare Form Brewing, and Super Dark Collective puts on a weekly alternative show with regional bands. The October 8 series, featuring Sensor Ghost, Wet Tuna, and Albany’s Sky Furrows, looks particularly promising. Or we could even go to the El Dorado Bar at 121 4th St. and give one of the Crisis Isolation Gig DIY punk or underground rock shows some aggression.

Saratoga Resources

If we’re going to Saratoga to visit your cousin in Skidmore, Super Dark hosts free shows every Monday and Thursday at Desperate Annie’s over 12 Caroline St. We might not be the most responsible thing to go out on a Monday as we are students, but it’s a great way to see punk, metal, jam rock, DJs, synth-pop, sometimes a local rapper like Sime Gezus and pretty much anything else you can think of. But at 47 Phila St., which is also the home of Caffe Lena, we can grab a coffee and relax with some folk, jazz, blues and even bluegrass. I was looking for a place to play my cozy acoustic songs so we should come here sometime for an open mic night.


Oh, you want to stay in Albany tonight? Let’s see if those guys we met at Saint Rose last spring want to go to the Pauly’s Hotel at 337 Central Ave. But anyway, I’ve heard it’s great, and there’s usually some pretty upbeat rock band or Grateful Dead tribute. Sometimes it’s stand-up comedy and that can be good. Linda is right next door. It’s a little colder there, and there’s usually some interesting deep-rooted stuff going on there. The Leslie Mendelson concert on November 18 looks like a good one.

We can always mix it up a bit and go downtown. The Hollow, down 79 N. Pearl St., has some pretty cool bands and indie rock. Midnight North will be there soon, and the last time they played, Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead made a surprise appearance and played with them. A few blocks away at 93 N Pearl St., Empire Live. There is a metal show at least once a week as well as a ton of other famous bands. Vincent arrives on September 14 and Wolf Alice on October 1. If we’re feeling emo, we might see Jimmy Eat World on September 28. Taylor Swift Night is October 7th, so it’s all going to be T Swift. it gets stuck all night.

So many choices and all better than anything the food court has to offer for lunch today. I don’t even know what goulash is, I just know it doesn’t look right. But that’s off topic, which we got to watch a show tonight. As they told us during orientation; The possibilities are endless.

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