Photo Credit: James Goolsby/TIMES UNION, Luanne M. Ferris/TIMES UNION, Steve Jacobs/TIMES UNION


The Year in Entertainment '05

A look back at the people and events that shook up the local arts scene

Section: Arts-Events,  Page: I1

Date: Sunday, January 1, 2006

Long time, no Stones

The Rolling Stones made Capital Region fans wait four decades between their 1965 appearance at the Palace Theatre and their Sept. 20 visit to the Pepsi Arena, but few who paid the steep ticket price (which topped out at $351) seemed to mind. With an elaborate set and Charlie Watts' classical backbeat, the band brought their "Bigger Bang" tour to town for a show that featured plenty of lacerating classics like "Midnight Rambler," "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Sympathy for the Devil." Note to the Glimmer Twins: Don't make us wait another 40 years, fellas.


EMPAC impact

  Suspended by ropes and harnesses, the dancers swung back and forth, dangling upside down and seeming to defy gravity as they danced along the bare concrete exterior walls of the building. On the ground below, a string quartet played on. Overhead, fireworks crackled, providing a jolting percussive backdrop to both the sights and the sounds.

And that was only one of the four performance segments of "EMPAC 360: On Site and Sounds," a mindboggling multimedia experience that took place in early September in Troy. The event marked the midway point in the ongoing construction of RPI's $142 million, state-of-the-art Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus.

EMPAC director Johannes Goebel combined the talents of San Francisco's Flyaway Productions dance troupe, the New York City-based string quartet Ethel, French pyrotechnics artist Pierre-Alain Hubert, sound designer-composer Stephan Moore and video artist Benton-C Bainbridge into a dazzling spectacle amid unfinished buildings, exposed girders and heavy construction equipment. More than 3,000 people attended the free happening, experiencing the most exciting Capital Region arts event of the year.

With this kind of introduction, we can't wait for the building to open in fall 2008.


Underground in daylight

  The Albany Underground Artists broke through to the mainstream in a big, big way in 2005.

 Artists Chip Fasciana, Tommy Watkins and Mark Gregory originally banded together to present one-night-only art exhibitions in vacant storefronts around Albany. Under their official collective moniker, the Albany Underground Artists hosted their first official show in the former Carosello Bakery shop on Lark Street in February 2004.

 This year, they kickstarted the Capital Region art calendar in March with the spectacular Mansion Show at the corner of Washington Park, attracting a humongous crowd of art fans, curiosity seekers and believe it or not art collectors, too. Yes, the artwork was actually selling.